Microsoft has announced its first hosting certification qualification, allowing IT and hosting professionals to gain Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist status in Windows Server 2003 Hosting, Configuration and Management.
The Microsoft Certified Professional exam is designed to provide a measurement of technical proficiency and expertise using Windows Server 2003 for providing hosted services.
The software giant argues that the qualification is necessary as the hosting industry is growing steadily, with more and more complex applications being delivered as hosted services.
"Microsoft recognises that, as the technology used to deliver advanced hosted services becomes more complex, the requirement for industry-specific skills has grown. This certification programme will help hosting providers address that need," said John Zanni, director of worldwide hosting at Microsoft.
"With the right skills, hosting providers are able to deliver a positive experience for customers, while the certification allows them to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace."
Dan Golding, vice president and research director at Tier 1 Research, added: "The lack of trustworthy standards and certifications has hurt the hosting industry in its attempt to move into the enterprise mainstream.
"There is no doubt that complex hosted environments are significantly different from standard architectures and require their own set of specialised skills and in-depth technical knowledge.
"Microsoft's willingness to offer this exam as part of a comprehensive hosting strategy is exciting and will help the hosting industry move forward."
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