Published In November 2000
At Avaya, Inc., a Basking Ridge, N.J., company spun off from Lucent Technologies earlier this year, Authorized Business Partners (ABP) are fully supported with structured cabling training from the company’s SYSTIMAX Group. ABPs are contractors that have met certain longevity, quality, and financial performance requirements, and are committed to selling, designing, and installing specified volumes of SYSTIMAX products. According to Doug Kulm, senior product training manager, the SYSTIMAX courses are longer and more in-depth than many of the other courses typically offered in the industry. The SYSTIMAX Structured Connectivity Solutions (SCS) training program consists of three separate courses that are routinely updated as new technology is introduced. Experienced instructors teach these monthly courses in Orlando, Atlanta, Parsippany, Dallas, San Francisco, and Chicago. On-site courses are also taught at authorized ABP locations. “How to Position and Sell SYSTIMAX SCS” is a two-day course about how to sell the company’s structured connectivity solutions in a competitive environment. “The focus of the course is to teach SYSTIMAX SCS representatives to step-up from responding to requests for quotes (RFQ) to positioning their firm and SCS with information technology (IT) decision-makers,” Kulm said. Lessons include network evolution and the importance of cabling on network decisions, how SYSTIMAX SCS provides high-performance solutions, and how to sell SCS against the competition. “Each student is challenged to apply the knowledge gained from the course in the development of sales strategies and presentations,” Kulm added. About 25 percent of class time is spent analyzing the competition, developing sales strategies, and creating effective presentations. “Upon completion, students have the ability to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, discuss value versus price, develop strategies for demonstrating the value of Lucent’s SYSTIMAX SCS, and to analyze customers’ applications and develop presentations that demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s business,” Kulm said. For four days, attendees of the “SYSTIMAX SCS Design and Engineering” course learn how to select the appropriate SCS components required for the implementation of particular network applications. “The class begins with the introduction of RFQs, which serve as the basis of the course’s design exercises,” explained Kulm. After every lesson, each student participates in a design exercise that requires him or her to configure a particular element of the cabling system as specified in the RFQ. Besides an introduction to RFQs, lessons include evaluating architectural considerations, horizontal cabling design, intra- and inter-building backbone cabling design, cable termination, and administration system design. Students who complete this course learn to estimate the horizontal cabling requirements for several types of commercial buildings, to design fiber and copper intrabuilding backbone systems for a multi-story commercial building, order all termination hardware for equipment and telecommunications rooms, and provide a complete material list for the project. “Students who complete this course are also awarded a certificate of completion and are assigned a unique SYSTIMAX SCS Designer registration number,” Kulm added. “SYSTIMAX SCS Installation” is a three-day course that teaches the methods used for the installation of both twisted-pair and fiber components of the SYSTIMAX Group’s structured connectivity products. A thorough explanation of the installation procedures for Category 5E and Avaya’s GigaSPEED cables, modular outlets, and patch panels, as well as the company’s 110 cross-connect systems and its VisiPatch components are included. Avaya’s GigaSPEED 81 series of copper cable is designed to improve private local area networks’ (LANs’) downtime, increase data transmission speed, and lower administrative costs. The VisiPatch patch panel system is a high-density solution designed for the improved organization and management of building telecommunications wiring systems. “Testing of twisted pair and fiber optic circuits is also explained,” Kulm added. Lessons include information on unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cables and terminating hardware, terminating multi-pair, 25-pair, and four-pair UTP cables, fiber optic cables and terminating hardware; installing various fiber optic connectors; and fiber optic testing procedures. About 50 percent of the course time is hands-on and includes practical installation exercises to reinforce classroom learning. “Students that successfully complete this course are awarded a certificate of completion and are assigned a unique SYSTIMAX SCS Installer registration number,” Kulm explained. The registered “Designer” and “Installer” designations are important because, in order to receive the 20-year warranty and applications assurance, the installation must be designed by a registered designer, supervised and/or performed by a registered installer, and inspected by a representative of Avaya, Inc. “The SYSTIMAX SCS training program consistently receives high ratings from course participants. Our goal is to continue to offer the best possible, sales, design, and installation training to our authorized business partners,” Kulm concluded. For more information, visit www.lucent.com/systimax/training.html. BREMER is a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md. She can be reached at (410) 394-6966 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.