I just wanted to take a moment to provide an update, as I know things have gone quiet recently with regards to my vBlogs and general progress for the CCIE.

So the reason behind this radio silence is a good one.. I am delighted to have accepted a position with INE as  ‘CCNP Collaboration Instructor’.

I was blown away when they offered me the position and for me this is a huge opportunity that I can’t wait to get stuck into and complete. At some point this year you will hopefully see the end product up and available on the INE website. I will be covering CIPTV1, CIPTV2, CTCOLLAB and CAPPS in the usual INE format.

So yes things will quiet down for me on this website, but I will be back don’t worry and fully intend to carry on and complete the CCIE Collaboration. 🙂

CCIE Collaboration Version 2 Exam Update

CCIE Collaboration Version 2 Exam Update

Cisco have announced that the version 2 CCIE Collaboration exam goes live on July 23rd 2018.

Revised Exam Topics:


CCIE Collaboration Learning Matrix v2:

CCIE Collaboration Learning Matrix v2.0

Study Materials:


More Information from Cisco:


For anyone preparing for the Written, here are the changes:

Key topics added in v2.0:

  • Collaboration APIs
  • Cisco Expressway dial plan
  • Cisco Unified Communications Mobile and Remote Access
  • Cisco Spark Hybrid Services
  • Single-Sign-On
  • Ad-hoc and rendezvous conferencing on Cisco Meeting Server

Key topics removed from v1.0:

  • Digital telephony signaling: BRI/CAS/R2/NFAS
  • H.323 Registration, Admission, and Status (RAS) and gatekeepers
  • Cisco Mobile Voice Access (MVA)
  • Cisco Service Advertisement Framework (SAF) and Call Control Discovery (CCD)
  • IOS basic automatic call distribution (B-ACD}

So it begins..

I passed my 1st Cisco exam back in 2010 with the CCENT and since then have been on a journey to take out all of the CCNA and CCNP exams that I have deemed to be relevant to my job at the time. It has always been a personal goal of mine to attempt the CCIE Lab exam.

My certification list is current as follows, with a few comments around each:

  • CCNA R&S – Still to this day, this exam was ‘the one’ and I worked my socks off to clear this exam. All self study/on my own with my 1st home lab.
  • CCNP R&S – This certification was a pleasure to prepare for. I worked in a role which gave me the majority of skills and experience to clear ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. Again the exams here were brilliant, with TSHOOT almost being fun!
  • CCNA Wireless – Wireless is something I wanted to obtain a qualification in, although the exam was very theory heavy, I cleared the exam, skills were barely put to any use in my role at the time and therefore this track was not for me.
  • CCNA Datacenter – Again something that seemed to buzz in the industry along with virtualisation and become a niche skillset to obtain. Painful set of exams as a lot of new concepts for me and I have never worked anywhere where I had the chance to use these skills at work, so it was passed and then left behind.
  • CCNA Security – This exam was all based on IOS firewall and was interesting/relevant to my job at the time. So a lot of good skills actually put to use in the day to day duties. I remember the exam being pretty shocking though with screenshots out of focus and not fitting on the screen. Poor…
  • CCNA Voice – My old boss James introduced me to voice and I was reluctant to bother with it at all. Why would a network guy want to learn about phones?! Well the push was worthwhile and this one introduced an entire new world for me, which followed R&S very nicely (To my surprise!) and steered my career to where I am today.
  • CCNA Collaboration  – I actually had to go back and pass the CIVND exam to obtain the CCNA/CCNP Collaboration certifications. CCNA is a prerequisite for CCNP, this was probably the worst exam I have ever sat. Completely useless, although I did learn a few neat things about video endpoints on the way.
  • CCNP Collaboration – This was the big one that I had been trying to get to since 2013 when I cleared CCNA Voice. A very long, but overall good journey with plenty of learning and hard work along the way. I sat the following exams: CVOICE, CIPT1, CIPTV2, TVOICE and CAPPS. **CIPTV2 and CAPPS being the hardest due to the ‘new stuff’ in the transition from Voice to Collaboration
  • CCIE Collaboration – TBC…….

So today on the 2nd January 2018, I begin my preparation to take the CCIE Collaboration Written Exam. In this post I will share my thoughts on preparation, materials, timelines and also cover off the exam topics.

Introduction to the CCIE Collaboration Written Exam


There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required.

Recommended Training and Experience

Candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding practical exam.

You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints, a minimum of seven years job experience, and a thorough understanding of networking infrastructure principles. You can review the exam preparation materials included on this page for more information.

Steps to Certification

Step One: CCIE Collaboration Written Exam

You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam covering those technologies and applications that comprise a Cisco Enterprise solution before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.

Exam Topics

Link to PDF:


High Level Topics

  • Cisco UC Infrastructure
  • Telephony Standards and Protocols
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager
  • Cisco IOS UC Applications and Features
  • Quality of Service and Security in Cisco UC Solutions
  • Cisco Unity Connection
  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Express
  • Cisco Unified IM Presence
  • Evolving Technologies


My plan is as follows:

  1. Define the exam topics and build a structure on my website to act as a repository for my notes
  2. Obtain all required study materials
  3. Create a bookmark structure also on my computer for all resources **I am very OCD when it comes to organising my notes!
  4. Schedule study time in a dedicated calendar (iCloud)
  5. Complete study sessions and update notes on this blog
  6. Schedule lab time on Cisco dCloud as required

**Also as a bonus I can normally squeeze in extra study time on my return train journey to work, which equates to roughly 90 mins a day. Just whack on a Spotify deep focus playlist and off I go!


Cisco recommended materials for CCIE Collaboration:


If we expand the topics, the Cisco ‘expert-level training’ links either take you to a Cisco training course, or any of the other links take you to various documents from Cisco.com. If you can find the relevant documentation on Cisco.com, normally it is pretty decent, half the battle is finding it!

Evolving Technologies

At this stage I appreciate that a lot of this will be new for me but for now here is the link from the Cisco website to the materials for this part of the exam:

Evolving Technologies Materials

Other recommended materials from Cisco:

CCIE Collaboration Learning Matrix

CCIE Collaboration Evolving Technology Matrix

**The matrix documents are actually very good thank you Cisco!

Cisco Press

CCIE Collaboration Quick Start Guide

Study Group

CCIE Collaboration Study Group

**I have already posted in here to kind of introduce myself and seek a bit of wisdom, but nothing back so far so time will tell if this will be of use or not.


I aim to sit the written exam in 6 months from now, so TBC date in July 2018.

In terms of study time… I have no idea!! I will update this blog as time goes on to see how I am doing and hopefully to then forecast the rest and change the exam target date if required.

That’s about it for now. Watch this space! 🙂