Sony Electronics Inc, Park Ridge, N.J., announced its Security Systems division created a certification program in response to customer requests. The certification program is designed to allow participants to be distinguished as a select certified group of professionals and receive sales incentives and rewards, along with enhanced sales support and access to Sony solutions engineers.

Following the announcement,SDMinterviewed Miguel Lazatin, senior marketing manager for Sony Security Systems, about the new program:

SDM:Can you begin by summarizing the certification program and what it means to be a Sony Security Certified Professional?

Lazatin:The certification program was built out of the need from the field. We kept receiving requests for a program of this nature from the market because it would help them sell, make demonstrations easier and give them an advantage when putting together specifications for projects or quoting projects. From Sony's side, we wanted to support the VARS and installation managers and engineers who support the brand. And we wanted to provide them with some distinction as well as other benefits that they are entitled to.

SDM:Who is the program available to?

Lazatin:The program is open to security and IP professionals, project managers, installation managers, consulting engineers, architects and engineers—but it is not intended for end users. It is specifically for the group of individuals who work with our products and sell to the end user. Any systems integrator or value-added reseller who specs or sells Sony products should consider developing their Sony product knowledge and demonstration ability through the certification program.

SDM:How does the program work?

Lazatin:This program is a three-step process. Anyone interested in becoming a Sony Security Certified Professional should go online and fill out an application form. Then they need to complete the Sony Learning Management System online course. Finally, they need to register and pay for the classroom training course, which is held throughout the year at Sony office locations across the country. The cost of the classroom training is $450 per participant, but in addition to getting to work with the products themselves and be taught only by Sony engineers—the most knowledgeable staff we have on these products—participants will walk away with the camera that they use during training and a binder of all training presentations for future reference. This allows them to continue what they have learned in the classroom setting and it helps with conducting demos of the product.

SDM:You’ve already conducted one class at your Park Ridge, N.J., location. What response did you receive from participants?

Lazatin:It went extremely well. The response from the attendees was very positive. Most were impressed with the instruction and the breadth of the content. We covered a lot of topics over the day-and-a-half class. The participants were also pleased with the interaction with the engineers that are teaching the class. That is actually where they pick up the most value—the highly hands-on nature of the class. They can get the nuances of the products and go in-depth with the engineers to understand the details right away—more than they would get through any operation manual.

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