Three-Year Journey to the Pinnacle of Certifications: Cisco Collaboration

By Cristobal Priego, Presidio Senior Consulting Engineer
03/10/14 at 08:45 am

I spent almost three years preparing to accomplish a huge milestone in my career—becoming CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) in Collaboration certified—but it was well worth the effort! Keeping up-to-date with what’s new in collaboration is difficult because the technology changes very fast and continues to grow at a fast pace. It parellels my job because that’s exactly what we strive to do here at Presidio. We strive to meet the needs of mobile workers with high-def video, gadgets and new technologies that integrate with their mobile devices and increase their productivity.

That’s what also drove me to obtain my CCIE in Collaboration. According to Cisco, only one percent of all IT engineers worldwide earn CCIE status. The percentage is even lower for those achieving certification in Collaboration—perhaps the most difficult of all IT-industry certifications. Based on the other Cisco certifications I have obtained, I can certainly vouch that the test is by far the most challenging. It took me three times before passing!

The test requires you to work through an eight-hour lab that includes configuring the solution to work at the Layer 7 application level. This creates many potential complex variables to study ahead of time to have a chance at passing. There are probably enough variables that you could spend two full weeks in a lab testing them all.

With the certification, I’m now qualified to design, implement and troubleshoot complex collaboration solutions that integrate with data networks and enable interoperability among Cisco video, mobility, and presence technologies. With this new capability, I look forward to providing our customers with peace-of-mind that we can implement collaboration designs that leverage the very best industry practices.

I have enjoyed working for Presidio for the past 2+ years and live in Sacramento, CA. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking with my wife and two Great Danes as well as playing the piano. We are expecting our first baby in April!