This year, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Much has changed since the organization was formed in 2001 to promote the interoperability and deployment of Carrier Ethernet. Back then, Ethernet was viewed as simply another networking protocol. Today, Ethernet is ubiquitous, and the MEF has played a key role in accelerating the adoption of the technology and carrier-class Ethernet services worldwide.
Now a global alliance that’s made up of over 180 organizations including telecoms service providers, cable MSOs, network equipment manufacturers, software vendors, semiconductor companies and testing organizations, the MEF is renowned for its certification programs. The group launched its first program in 2005 when it began certifying network equipment. And just a year later, the MEF added a carrier services certification program – the first of its kind. Today, the organization’s latest program is aimed at certifying individuals. The idea of a professional certification for network experts is not new, as several equipment manufacturers already offer highly respected and sought after certification programs. But what sets apart the MEF program is that it’s a fully vendor independent certification. Called the ‘MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP),’ the program is designed to support the growth of Carrier Ethernet by making it easier to identify experts in the field.
Developed by leading industry experts, the program
aims to validate knowledge of Carrier Ethernet technology, standards and applications. It’s geared to product and technical marketing managers, pre-sales and application engineers and product planners, as well as technically oriented salespeople. Those folks who complete the program by passing an MEF-administered exam receive a MEF-CECP certificate and are listed here on the Ethernet Academy website
For all of us who work in telecoms, this new program is significant because it brings industry-standard validation to Carrier Ethernet expertise in the same way it did with equipment and services. Speaking at the NetEvents 2011 APAC Press Summit, MEF President and Founder Nan Chen summed it up nicely when he said, “…For the individual, this new aspect of MEF certification helps career advancement by providing industry recognition of their knowledge and expertise. For the employer, it simplifies the choice of candidates and helps to define standard training requirements. For the industry, it will enable growth via better trained sales, marketing, product management and technical professionals.” And I think that’s something we can all get behind.
So, as the MEF celebrates a milestone birthday, it has yet another accomplishment to add to its impressive portfolio. Happy birthday, MEF, and here’s to many, many more.
Rafael Francis, MEF-CECP
AVP of Technology & Marketing, Americas