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CCIE and CCNP Collaboration Pathway Updates

CCIE and CCNP Collaboration Pathway Updates

Cisco has developed and shared a detailed certification pathway across all its tracks for three purposes. Firstly, to keep pace with the fast-changing tech landscape, Cisco has moved away from the outdated approach of updating certification content every three to five years. This shift aims to keep learners away from outdated material and gradually introduce them to the latest, most relevant information through updated certification guidelines.

Secondly, the pathway ensures the certification preparation is relevant to current job roles and equips candidates for future opportunities. Lastly, the structured progression of the certification process offers predictability. With annual updates, candidates can foresee changes and strategically plan their certification endeavors, aligning their personal and professional commitments more effectively.

CCNP Collaboration: A Gateway to Expertise

The CCNP Collaboration certification is for network engineers specializing in collaboration solutions in enterprise networking. This certification validates the skills to design, implement, and troubleshoot complex collaboration solutions. The pathway to achieving CCNP Collaboration now offers a more streamlined and focused approach to mastering these essential skills. Let’s take a closer look at the requirements and benefits of obtaining CCNP Collaboration certification.

Core Exam and Concentration Electives

The updated CCNP Collaboration certification now requires candidates to pass two exams: a core exam and a concentration exam of their choice. The core exam, Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies (CLCOR 350-801), lays the foundational knowledge necessary for any collaboration engineer. It covers infrastructure and design, protocols, codecs and endpoints, Cisco IOS XE gateway and media resources, call control, QoS, and collaboration applications.

Following the core exam, candidates can choose from several concentration exams, each focusing on a specific area of collaboration technologies. These include:

  • 300-810 CLICA: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications
  • 300-815 CLACCM: Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and Mobility Services
  • 300-820 CLCEI: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions

This modular approach allows professionals to tailor their certification path according to their career interests and the specific needs of their organizations.

Updates to the CCNP Certification Program

Protocol Adjustments and Webex Enhancements

  • Protocol Changes: The Cisco COR exam has phased out ISDN and MGCP from its exam content, recognizing their status as established yet less prevalent protocols.
  • Expanded IAMP and Webex Integration: The curriculum now extends the IAMP content to cover Webex Imp, addressing specific security and other customer needs. Furthermore, the Webex application has been updated to a newer version, showcasing its continuous improvement.

Codec Standardization and Cloud Adoption

  • Codec Standardization: The trend towards standardizing a single codec across media resources has reduced the need to test less commonly used codecs, aligning the exam content with current practices.
  • Cloud Technologies and Authentication: With the growing shift towards cloud solutions, web architecture’s role in cloud services has become more pronounced. Technologies like single sign-on and OAuth have gained traction, simplifying access across applications and enhancing security, particularly for remote or mobile workforces.

Evolution of Voice Infrastructure

  • Unity Express and CME Changes: The exam no longer includes Unity Express, and the focus on Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) is diminishing. At the same time, the adaptation of Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) is increasing to match its growing adoption.

Learning Resources for CCNP Collaboration

Preparing for the CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) certification involves combining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in networking technologies. The right learning resources are crucial to navigating the comprehensive curriculum and ensuring success.

Learning Resources for CCNP Collaboration

The release notes are a great resource to help guide you on what to focus on. They detail everything added or removed from each blueprint in the release notes. The release notes also provide detailed domains and tasks that you need to be familiar with and study.

It’s also good to conduct some self-study while waiting for supplemental training and learning resources to be further developed and published. Understanding Cisco live sessions can help the examinees develop themselves further. Using the Cisco Forum is another great trick to make learning faster. Participating in online discussion groups and forums can provide valuable insights and support from fellow professionals in the field.

CCNP Collaboration Certification FAQs

  1. What is the CCNP Collaboration certification?

    The CCNP Collaboration certification is designed for network engineers specializing in collaboration solutions in enterprise networking environments. It validates the skills to design, implement, and troubleshoot complex collaboration solutions.

  2. Is CCNP Collaboration worth the investment?

    If your career goals align with network collaboration and the job market in your area values Cisco certifications, the CCNP Collaboration can offer a good return on investment in career growth and opportunities.

  3. What are the requirements for obtaining the CCNP Collaboration certification?

    Candidates must pass two exams to obtain the CCNP Collaboration certification: a core exam (Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies, CLCOR 350-801) and a concentration exam of their choice, focusing on a specific area of collaboration technologies.

  4. How has the protocol content changed in the Cisco certification exams?

    The Cisco certification exams have phased out ISDN and MGCP protocols, recognizing their lesser prevalence. They have also expanded IAMP content to include Webex Imp and upgraded Webex applications to reflect ongoing developments.

CCIE Collaboration: Pinnacle of Collaboration Expertise

For those aiming at the zenith of collaboration expertise, the CCIE Collaboration LAB certification represents the ultimate achievement. This prestigious certification targets collaboration architects, engineers, and experts. It lets them demonstrate their skills in complex collaboration solutions.

A Two-Step Journey to CCIE Collaboration

The journey to achieving the CCIE Collaboration certification involves two critical steps. The first is passing the qualifying exam, Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies (CLCOR 350-801), identical to the core exam required for the CCNP Collaboration certification. This ensures a solid foundation of knowledge before advancing to the second step, the CCIE Collaboration lab exam.

The CCIE Collaboration lab exam is an 8-hour, hands-on test that challenges candidates to configure and troubleshoot complex collaboration networks in a timed test environment. Regular updates to this exam capture the latest technologies and real-world scenarios. This ensures that CCIE Collaboration holders stand out as top-tier experts.

CCIE Collaboration 3.0 Blueprint Update Overview

The CCIE Collaboration blueprint has upgraded from version 3.0 to 3.1. It keeps the seven domains intact without changing their main themes. However, within these domains, specific topics have undergone revisions to stay current with industry trends and technologies. Release notes accompany these updates, highlighting significant changes rather than providing an exhaustive comparison between versions.

Protocol and API Enhancements

Domain_1: Protocol and API Enhancements

  • SIP Protocol Consolidation: The latest blueprint streamlines the focus within the Protocol and API domain, particularly by removing MGCP and enhancing SIP-related topics, now organized into five distinct subtopics for a more targeted approach.
  • Security Protocols Addition: Acknowledging the rising significance of secure communication, the curriculum now includes new TLS negotiation and certificate verification topics. This ensures candidates have current knowledge of security protocols.
Infrastructure and Quality of Service Adjustments

Domain_2: Infrastructure and Quality of Service Adjustments

  • Webex Control Hub Integration: The team added the Webex control hub to improve voice and video quality troubleshooting. It acts as a full-featured analytics and troubleshooting tool, valuable for both lab preparation and customer interactions.
  • Gateway and Connectivity Updates: Additions include a premise-based PSDN Gateway for certificate management, with considerations for enhancing cloud connector UC functionalities. Additionally, connectivity has been expanded to include a variety of third-party devices and platforms.
Dial Plan and Telephony Features

Domain_3: Dial Plan and Telephony Features

  • WebEx Calling Features: This domain now includes new elements like dial plan and telephony features specific to WebEx calls, alongside the introduction of the WebEx calling survivability gateway, removing outdated features like ESRST to align with current needs. With these new features, WebEx is now more advanced and efficient for businesses.
Endpoint Security and Management

Domain_4: Endpoint Security and Management

  • Enhanced Endpoint Security: Building on the existing focus on securing endpoints, the revision introduces specific topics to prepare better candidates, including cloud clients, consolidation, and AD enhancements, reflecting the evolving landscape of endpoint security.
PSTN Integration and Gateway Modifications

Domain_5: PSTN Integration and Gateway Modifications

  • PSTN Updates: Reflecting the shift from traditional PRI Gateways, the new blueprint emphasizes cloud-based and premise-based PSTN solutions for WebEx calling, ensuring professionals remain relevant in collaborative technologies. This updated certification focuses on understanding the architectural and operational differences between on-premise and cloud-based solutions, as well as deployment and integration best practices.
Conferencing Solutions and CMS Adjustments

Domain~6: Conferencing Solutions and CMS Adjustments

  • CMS Role Reduction: While not wholly removed, the emphasis on CMS (Cisco Meeting Server) has been scaled back, particularly in hands-on lab components, indicating a shift towards theoretical and planning aspects of conferencing solutions within the CCIE curriculum. This reflects the evolving landscape of video conferencing, where cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular and traditional hardware-based deployments are seeing a decline.
Presence and IM&P Transformation

Domain7: Presence and IM&P Transformation

  • IM&P Introduction: The Presence domain has been revamped to focus on IM&P (Instant Messaging and Presence), with the removal of UCCX and the introduction of new elements like WebEx contact center and WebEx spots, including practical scripting exercises to enhance collaboration skills. IM&P allows users to see the real-time presence status of their colleagues, making it easier to communicate and collaborate efficiently.

These updates reflect Cisco’s commitment to ensuring the CCIE Collaboration certification remains relevant and valuable, aligning with the latest industry standards and practices.

Software Updates of CCIE Collaboration Exam

The CCIE Core Lab has undergone minor software updates, including an upgrade to version 14.0 for core collaboration applications. 

Software Updates of CCIE Collaboration Exam

This includes the Communications Manager, IM&P, Unity Connection, and Expressway. The team has shifted the Gateway from the CSR 1kv Virtual Router to the new Catalyst 8000v Virtual Router. This router will serve as the Gateway or the on-premise Gateway in WebEx calling contexts.

The WebEx App is a new feature that has become the prevailing collaborative end-user application for many Cisco internal users. It is essential to set up and plan for migration from Jabber to the WebEx app to maintain relevant and meaningful conversations in the workplace. This knowledge can be leveraged for Cisco certification pursuits.

One significant addition to the software list is the WebEx control hub, which allows for cloud collaboration. This intelligent tool makes many people nervous about testing in the lab and connecting to live Cisco documentation. However, ensuring that each part has a way out to the control hub and can configure, deploy, or implement cloud or hybrid collaboration is crucial.

While this may seem daunting, collaboration professionals’ value will increase as they know what it is and how to migrate from on-premise to the cloud. This knowledge will make them more relevant collaboration professionals in preparing for the exam.

Learning Resources for CCIE Collaboration

Learning Resources for CCIE Collaboration

The release notes on the Cisco Learning Network (CCNP) provide a snapshot of key changes and highlight the importance of studying and revealing the blueprints. It is crucial to compare the older and new blueprints and highlight the changes to understand what changed and plan for the changes. The blueprint updates and organizes the learning matrix, making various categories of learning materials available for each topic and subtopic. 

Cisco documentation, such as the software user’s guide, design guide, Cisco live presentations, and VoDs, is also available for preparation. Cisco Live offers an on-demand library with a wealth of information, and the CCNP provides new supplementary study material, such as the software user’s guide, design guide, etc.

The CCNP also offers collaboration communities on the Cisco Learning Network, including study groups and a community forum. These communities allow users to share knowledge, ask questions, and help each other, making it the best way to learn.

Explore the FAQs of CCIE Collaboration

1. What is CCIE Collaboration?

Cisco offers the expert-level CCIE Collaboration certification. It validates a candidate’s ability to design, implement, and troubleshoot complex collaboration solutions. This includes working with Cisco’s collaboration and unified communications applications, devices, and networks.

2. Who should pursue the CCIE Collaboration certification?

Collaboration architects, unified communications architects, and voice and video network managers who implement and troubleshoot complex collaboration solutions are the target audience for this certification.

3. What are the prerequisites for CCIE Collaboration?

There are no formal prerequisites for the CCIE Collaboration certification. However, Cisco recommends having an in-depth understanding of the exam topics and several years of experience working with complex collaboration solutions before attempting the certification.

4. What is the format of the CCIE Collaboration lab exam?

The CCIE Collaboration lab exam is an eight-hour, hands-on test requiring candidates to configure and troubleshoot complex collaboration networks to meet specifications. The exam tests practical skills in a controlled, timed environment.

5. How difficult is the CCIE Collaboration certification?

The IT industry views the CCIE Collaboration as one of its strictest certifications. It demands a thorough grasp of collaboration technologies and the skill to tackle complex problems quickly.

Why Pursue CCIE and CCNP Collaboration Certifications?

Achieving the CCNP and CCIE Collaboration certifications validates your collaboration technologies expertise and demonstrates your professional development commitment. Here are several reasons why these certifications are invaluable:

  • Recognition: Both certifications are globally recognized and respected in the IT industry.
  • Career Advancement: They can open doors to higher-level positions and opportunities for career advancement.
  • Higher Earning Potential: Certified professionals often enjoy higher salaries and better job security.
  • Staying Current: The certifications ensure you are up-to-date with the latest technologies and solutions in the rapidly evolving field of collaboration.

Preparing for CCNP and CCIE Collaboration Exams

Success in achieving these certifications requires a combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. Cisco offers a range of training courses and materials, including self-study resources, instructor-led training, and practical lab exercises. Additionally, joining study groups and engaging with the community can provide valuable insights and tips for passing the exams.

Understanding the exam objectives is one of the most critical aspects of preparing for Cisco certifications. This involves reviewing and getting to know all the knowledge areas on the test. A solid grasp of networking fundamentals is essential, as they form the foundation for all Cisco technologies.

In addition to studying and practicing, it’s important to have hands-on experience with Cisco equipment. Certification exams include simulation questions requiring you to configure devices or troubleshoot network issues. Having real-world experience will not only help you answer these questions correctly, but also give you a deeper understanding of how Cisco technologies work in a practical setting.


In conclusion, the updates to the CCIE and CCNP Collaboration certification pathways reflect the latest trends and technologies in the field of collaboration. By pursuing these certifications, IT professionals can enhance their skills, advance their careers, and contribute to the success of their organizations in the digital age. These certifications are valuable for individuals and companies seeking to stay competitive and innovate in the ever-evolving world of collaboration.

One of the critical updates to the CCIE and CCNP Collaboration certifications is the addition of automation and programmability skills. With the increasing use of virtualization, cloud computing, and software-defined networking, it has become essential for collaboration professionals to have a strong understanding of automation tools and programming languages such as Python. This knowledge will enable them to automate tasks, streamline processes, and create customized solutions for their organizations.

CCIE and CCNP Collaboration Pathway Updates
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CCIE and CCNP Collaboration Pathway Updates
Discover the newest CCIE & CCNP Collaboration Pathway secrets! Propel your networking career forward with these vital insights.
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