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300-810 Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications (CLICA)

300-810 CLICA

Certifications: CCNP Collaboration, Cisco Certified Specialist - Collaboration Applications Implementation

Duration: 90 minutes

This exam tests your knowledge of collaboration applications, including:

- Single sign-on

- Cisco Unified IM and Presence

- Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unity Express

- Application clients

Exam Description

The Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications v1.0 (CLICA 300-810) exam is a 90-minute exam associated with the CCNP Collaboration and Cisco Certified Specialist - Collaboration Applications Implementation certifications. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of collaboration applications, including single sign-on, Cisco Unified IM and Presence, Cisco Unity Connection, Cisco Unity Express, and application clients. The course, Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications, helps candidates to prepare for this exam.

15% 1.0 Single Sign-On (SSO) for Collaboration Applications

1.1 Describe these types of SSO as they relate to Collaboration

1.1.a Smart card

1.1.b Integrated Windows AD

1.1.c Kerberos

1.2 Describe the SAML SSO login process flow in the context of Cisco Collaboration solutions

1.3 Describe these components of SAML 2.0 and later

1.3.a Assertion

1.3.b Protocol

1.3.c Binding

1.3.d Profiles

30% 2.0 Cisco Unified IM and Presence

2.1 Configure Cisco Unified Instant Message and Presence on premises

2.1.a High availability

2.1.b Calendar integration

2.1.c Apple Push Notification Service

2.1.d Persistent chat

2.1.e Federation configuration (XMPP and SIP)

2.1.f Centralized Cisco Unified IM&P

2.2 Troubleshoot Cisco Unified IM&P on premises

2.2.a XMPP

2.2.b High availability

2.2.c Calendar integration

2.2.d Apple Push Notification Service

2.2.e Persistent chat

2.2.f Federation configuration (XMPP and SIP)

30% 3.0 Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unity Express

3.1 Configure these in Cisco Unity Connection

3.1.a Call handlers

3.1.b Voicemail transfers and greetings

3.1.c Routing rules

3.1.d Distribution lists

3.1.e LDAP integration

3.2 Troubleshoot these in Cisco Unity Connection

3.2.a Call handlers

3.2.b Voicemail transfers and greetings

3.2.c Auto-Attendant

3.2.d Routing rules

3.2.e MWI

3.3 Implement toll fraud prevention

3.4 Troubleshoot Cisco Unity Connection integration options with Cisco Unified Communications Manager

3.5 Describe digital networking in multicluster deployments in Cisco Unity Connection

3.6 Configure Cisco Unity Express integration to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express

3.6.a Basic call handler scripting (Auto-Attendant)

3.6.b Voicemail management

3.6.c MWI

3.6.d User management

3.7 Troubleshoot Cisco Unity Express integration to Cisco Unified CME

3.7.a Basic call handler scripting (Auto-Attendant)

3.7.b Voicemail management

3.7.c MWI

3.7.d User management

25% 4.0 Application Clients

4.1 Configure DNS for service discovery

4.2 Troubleshoot service discovery

4.3 Configure Jabber client installation switches

4.4 Troubleshoot Cisco Jabber Instant Messaging and Presence

4.5 Troubleshoot Cisco Jabber phone control

4.6 Troubleshoot Cisco Jabber voicemail integration

4.7 Troubleshoot certificate validation for Jabber clients

4.8 Describe the Cisco Unified Attendant Console Advanced integration

Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications (CLICA)
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Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications (CLICA)
QUESTION 54 Which dial-peer configuration routes calls from SIP-based phones on Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express to Cisco
Unity Express?
A. dial-peer voice 7000 voip
destination-pattern 7000
session protocol sipv2
session target ipv4:
codec g711alaw
B. dial-peer voice 7000 voip
destination-pattern 7000
session protocol sipv2
session target ipv4: codec ilbc
C. dial-peer voice 7000 voip
destination-pattern 7000
session protocol sipv2
session target ipv4:
codec g711ulaw
D. dial-peer voice 7000 voip
destination-pattern 7000
session protocol sipv2
session target ipv4: codec g729r6
Answer: C
What are two Cisco Jabber 12.6 on-premises deployment types that can be run on a Windows-enabled PC? (Choose two.)
A. Contact Center Agent
B. IM-only
C. multicloud-based
D. Full UC
E. cloud-based
Answer: BD
QUESTION 56 An engineer is checking the Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unity Connection integration and presses the Message button on a phone to check the voicemail. Which action does Cisco
Unified CM take?
A. Cisco Unified CM looks up the voicemail pilot configured to dial.
B. Cisco Unified CM routes the configured hunt pilot to Unity Connection.
C. Cisco Unified CM looks up the hunt pilot configured to dial.
D. Cisco Unified CM sends an AXL query to Unity Connection.
Answer: A
An end user opened a ticket, stating that though he can log in to Jabber for Windows, and presence and chat works, he cannot place phone calls using the desktop client. You investigate the user and find that no phone device is associated
with the user account in Cisco Unified Communications Manager. Which device type must you create for this user to enable calling services from the Jabber for Windows desktop client?
A. Cisco Unified Personal Communicator
B. Cisco Jabber for Tablet
C. Cisco Unified Client Services Framework
D. third-party SIP device (advanced)
Answer: A
QUESTION 58 Which step is the first for web-based
single sign-on login?
A. Authenticate.
B. Redirect to IdP to get authenticated.
C. Present authentication assertion.
D. Request access to protected service.
Answer: D
QUESTION 59 How is automatic fallback enabled on a Cisco IM and
Presence server?
A. In IM and Presence Service Parameter Configuration > Cisco Server Recovery Manager, change the Failover parameter to True.
B. In Communications Manager Service Parameter Configuration > Cisco Server Recovery Manager, change the Enable Automatic Fallback parameter to True.
C. Automatic fallback is enabled by default.
D. In the Presence Redundancy Group Configuration > Cisco Unified Communications Manager, check the Enable Automatic Fallback parameter.
Answer: B
Refer to the exhibit.
A customer reports that after a network failure, all of the Cisco Jabber clients are not switched back to their home nodes. An engineer determines that the primary Cisco IM&P server is in Failed Over state. Which two actions should be
performed to bring the system back to operational state and to prevent future occurrences? (Choose two.)
A. Advise all users to re-login to their Jabber clients.
B. Confirm that both IM&P servers are configured in the Presence Redundancy Group configuration pane.
C. Perform a restart of the IM&P primary server to force fallback.
D. Click the Fallback button in the Server Action pane.
E. Set the Automatic Failover parameter in the Server Recovery Manager Service Parameters to the value True.
Answer: BD
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Cisco Collaboration exam Questions - BingNews Search results Cisco Collaboration exam Questions - BingNews 10 Sticky Questions For 'The Next Cisco'

Cisco's Question Marks

On Cisco's fourth quarter earnings call earlier this month, Chairman and CEO John Chambers said Cisco was charting a course toward "the next Cisco" -- a leaner company, simpler to do business with and more focused on key technology priorities instead of 30 or more distracting "adjacencies."

Based on all that's happened to Cisco in the past eight months and CRN's ongoing interviews with Cisco observers, here's a look at 10 big questions for the networking titan as its employees, channel partners and customers charge into Cisco's fiscal 2012.

Has Cisco Turned The Corner?

The first question, and the most obvious, concerns Cisco's growth, especially as it lays off 6,500 employees as part of a workforce reduction that'll leave Cisco well north of 12,000 jobs lighter.

Cisco took an expected profit loss during its fourth quarter of 2011, but there were a number of signs that Cisco is beginning to stabilize as it continues a broad corporate restructuring expected to remove $1 billion in expenses during its fiscal year. Specifically, said Chambers, Cisco will be a "very focused, agile, lean and aggressive company," and expects to grow revenue between 1 percent and 4 percent in the first quarter.

Cisco COO Gary Moore offered another stat that bears watching for partners. Moore said that thanks to Cisco's restructuring, deal approval time has been reduced by more than 65 percent, which was also translating to higher conversion rates and higher win rates for Cisco. It'll take a few quarters to determine whether all of Cisco's cuts mean a simpler, smoother Cisco.

How Will Cisco Defend The Crown?

Cisco may be starting to stabilize, but don't bet that any of its major competitors have lost their taste for Cisco blood, especially after Cisco spent so much of calendar 2011 playing defense. HP isn't the only company touting market share gains against Cisco, and smaller players, like Juniper and Brocade, continue to attack Cisco's bases with relish.

The other new factor? Thousands of Cisco employees -- no small number of them VP-level veterans -- have left the company following Cisco's restructuring. CRN interviews with sources inside Juniper, Huawei Symantec, HP, ShoreTel, Arista Networks and many others -- not to mention several VARs -- have all confirmed the same thing: hiring managers' desks are piled high with Cisco-dappled resumes. Will all that veteran, departed Cisco talent come back to haunt the networking king?

What's The Meat Behind 'Partner-Led'?

Cisco's corporate restructuring has meant a number of changes specific to its Worldwide Partner Organization (WWPO), including the appointments of new channel-facing executives, and departures of others.

It also meant the move to a new strategy called "partner-led," which will theoretically mean a greater emphasis on sales of Cisco products and services through channel partners in all but Cisco's most strategic accounts. Cisco partners, by and large, like the sound of partner-led but most have told CRN the strategy needs clarity: less concept, they say, more brass tacks, cleanly described sales engagement terms.

How Will Cisco's Channel Incentive Programs Evolve?

Cisco in mid-August confirmed changes to its major channel incentive programs, notably the Value Incentive Program (VIP), which in its 18th installment will see some fatter rewards for particular Cisco VARs, and the Teaming Incentive Program (SIP), which finally rolled out in the U.S. more than a year after its debut. The changes mean that one of partners' biggest fears heading into Cisco's fiscal 2012 -- that Cisco would make big cuts to the budget it allocates to the incentive programs -- appears to have been laid to rest.

But look closer, and there are more curious questions. Ricardo Moreno, Cisco's senior director, Strategy, Planning & Programs, Worldwide Channels, told CRN that new incentive programs related to Cisco's cloud programs and partner-led initiative are coming. Will those be sweet rewards for partners or end up creating headaches with too many incentive possibilities and too much complexity?

Is Cisco's Video Strategy Settled?

On one hand, video has never been a more pronounced piece of the Cisco portfolio. Cisco has named video as one of its five major focus areas for "the new Cisco," revenue on its collaboration unit grew 11 percent year-over-year in Q4, and Tandberg is now fully integrated into Cisco, more than a year after Cisco closed its $3.3 billion acquisition. The ordering problems that hampered the Tandberg integration earlier this year seem to have ebbed, according to VARs.

On the other hand, Cisco has cut a number of collaboration and video executives and seen several more walk out the door, and consolidated its service provider, enterprise and consumer video efforts under one executive, Marthin De Beer. There's also the small matters of two of its major consumer-facing video plays, the now-shuttered Flip and the marginalized Umi home telepresence. Video seems one area where Cisco partners seemingly don't need to worry, but it's also difficult to see things as "settled."

Will Cisco Refocus On Security?

Here's a stat that perhaps hasn't gotten much attention from Cisco observers as others have: Cisco's security product sales declined 8.4 percent from its fiscal 2010 to its fiscal 2011, and declined 21 percent (about $415 million this year versus $526 million last year) in its fiscal fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis.

In an interview with CRN earlier this year, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers said that "security is our number one emphasis across the whole company, mainly because it's our customers' No. 1 issue" and discussed how many security challenges will be solved "in the network." After a year of security declines for Cisco -- and the fact that its ASA appliances were its hardest-hit products during Cisco's 2010 supply chain crisis -- many security-facing solution providers are wondering about Cisco's next move here.

Has Cisco's Acquisition Strategy Changed?

Up through the present, Cisco has been on an acquisitions streak that's gone largely unabated since 1993 -- indeed, it's one of the industry's most voracious acquirers.

What'll be interesting is whether this year's emphasis on Cisco's restructuring means any slowdown in acquisitions overall. Cisco bought three companies already this year, including cloud provisioning specialist NewScale, but it's vowed to become a simpler company, and less distracted by new "adjacencies" to which some acquisitions can provide it access.

Is Cisco Cius A Tablet Contender?

Cisco is looking to position Cius, its Android-based tablet, as the ultimate in business-centric endpoints for full-fledged enterprise unified communications systems.

Cisco finally launched the Cius globally at the end of July, and with volume discount programs, the Cius' price should be about $650, not including the additional price of its docking station. Is the market ready to embrace Cius, however, when so much of Cius' charm depends on its use with Cisco's own equipment and services, and there's so much competition in the tablet market in general? Cisco has been steadfast in positioning Cius as having business-centric features, such as on-board security, that separate it from Apple's iPad, but with iPad itself penetrating the enterprise and so much eardrum-shattering hype around tablets, Cisco may have a harder time directing the conversation than it first thought.

Is VCE Solid?

More than a few VARs have reported myriad problems and logistical headaches with VCE, the company that was established as a joint venture of Cisco and EMC with buy-in from VMware and Intel and designed to push the converged data center technologies and private cloud ambitions of all of those vendors.

Rob Lloyd, Cisco's executive vice president, worldwide operations, told CRN in July he is "personally involved" in making VCE simpler and easier for partners to work with, but many questions remain about the venture, which recently opened up to two-tier distribution with Ingram Micro, Arrow and Avnet. EMC recently spoke of "momentum" with VCE in EMC's most recent 10-Q filing, but VCE has also lost millions amid ongoing whispers of internal restructuring.

With all the see-saw chatter, it's tough to get a read on how healthy the VCE venture really is.

Is Cisco Still Focused On Energy?

Because of all the cheerleading Cisco has done for the smart grid and energy management opportunities in recent years, its recent decision to abandon its Network Building Mediator product has gotten more attention than Cisco probably hoped. Gary Moore, Cisco's executive vice president and COO, said on Cisco's Q4 earnings call that Cisco "will no longer be investing in premise energy management devices," a statement that lead to a round of speculation about Cisco's energy market ambitions.

Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Connected Energy Group, said in a corporate blog post that Cisco's "commitment to the industry remains strong and our vision for energy management and Smart Grid has not changed." But for VARs and energy market specialists looking to Cisco as a potential thought leader for next-gen energy management technologies, the move leaves a sour aftertaste.

Tue, 16 Aug 2011 04:35:00 -0500 text/html
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Earning specialized certifications is a surefire way to advance your career in the IT field, regardless of industry or current career level. The right certification validates your skills and knowledge, which makes you more desirable to future employers who want to attract and retain the best employees. Below, we’ll explore the top IT certifications and share how to examine your goals to choose the right path forward. 

We’ve narrowed IT certifications into specific categories to help IT professionals assess what’s available and pursue the best certifications to show their willingness to learn and develop the in-demand career skills employers want.

Best database certifications 

Database platforms have changed greatly over the years, but database technology remains important for various applications and computing tasks. Available certifications for IT professionals include those for database administrators (DBAs), database developers, data analysts and architects, business intelligence, and data warehousing specialists, and other data professionals.

Obtaining database certifications demonstrates an understanding of database concepts, design, implementation, administration and security. This can boost your credibility in the job market and show potential employers that you have the skills needed to work with databases. The best database certifications include the following:

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SAS is one of the world’s leading firms for business analytics, data warehousing and data mining. Today, the SAS Global Certification Program offers 23 credentials across categories including foundation tools, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and administration.

SAS programmers remain in high demand, with a quick search of job boards showing thousands of open positions. Obtaining SAS certification shows employers that you are proficient in the company’s popular suite of tools. Some of SAS’s certification programs include the following: 

Many professionals earn certifications to help navigate their career paths. According to the IT Salary Report, 92 percent of information technology professionals have at least one certification.

Best Cisco certifications 

Cisco Systems is a market leader not only in networking and communications products, but also storage networking and solutions for data centers. Cisco offers a variety of certifications for IT professionals, ranging from entry level credentials to expert-level exams. 

These certifications prepare professionals for Cisco-related careers. A search of job boards reveals thousands of open positions for Cisco experts, underscoring the continued relevance of these skills. Some of Cisco’s certifications include the following:

Best Dell certifications 

Dell Technologies remains one of the world’s leading computing companies. In addition to its well-known hardware lineup, Dell also offers solutions for networks, storage, servers, gateways and embedded computing, as well as a broad range of IT and business services.

Becoming certified in Dell products can help make IT professionals competitive in engineering roles for server, virtualization, networking, systems, integration and data security. Additional roles include consultants, account executives, system administrators, IT managers and deployment managers.

Best mobility certifications 

In the mobile era, it has become increasingly important for network engineers to support local, remote and mobile users, as well as provide proper infrastructure. The focus on application and app development now leans more toward mobile environments, requiring security professionals to thoroughly address mobility from all perspectives.

Due to the fast-changing nature of mobile technology, not many mobility certifications have become widely adopted. However, a few of the top mobility certifications can help IT professionals stand out in this rapidly evolving field. 

If part of your job includes selling and implementing an IT solution, you may want to pursue the best sales certifications. You’ll show your organization that you’re willing to go above and beyond to reach sales targets.

Best computer hardware certifications 

As remote and computer-based work has become more common, it’s more important than ever that businesses and individuals be able to maintain their hardware. While discussions about potential computer-related jobs often revolve around software work and coding, jumping into the IT field by becoming a computer technician is an excellent starting point.

Today, thousands of hardware technician jobs are available across the country. Entering this industry becomes more accessible for those who acquire computer hardware certifications. These certifications can showcase your expertise and proficiency in the upkeep of computers, mobile devices, printers and other hardware components.

Best Google Cloud certifications 

IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. Today, Google Cloud is one of the market leaders in the cloud computing space. 

Regardless of where you are in your IT career, engaging with certification programs can demonstrate your willingness to keep on top of rapidly evolving cloud technologies. To that end, Google has introduced a host of certifications for its cloud platform, including the following: 

Best evergreen IT certifications

In the fast-changing world of technology, it can help to focus on certifications that have stood the test of time. “Evergreen” refers to certifications that remain popular year after year. 

The top evergreen certifications are based on recent pay surveys in IT, reports from IT professionals about certifications they want or pursue the most, and those that appear most frequently in online job postings. Obtaining these credentials is one step toward ensuring that your skills remain relevant for a long time: 

Best IT governance certifications 

IT governance provides structure for aligning a company’s IT with its business strategies. Organizations faced with compliance rigors always need experienced IT pros who can see the big picture and understand technology risks. This means certified IT governance professionals are likely to remain in high demand.

Earning one of the following certifications proves a commitment to understanding the role of IT governance and its position in a company’s current and future success. Getting certified can validate your expert knowledge and lead to advanced career opportunities.

Best system administrator certifications 

An IT system administrator is responsible for managing and maintaining the information technology infrastructure within an organization. The position demands sought-after career skills, ranging from configuring and maintaining servers and clients to managing access controls, network services, and addressing application resource requirements.

If you’re in charge of managing modern servers, there’s a long list of tools and technologies that system administrators must master. Obtaining some of the most prominent system administrator certifications can demonstrate your mastery to potential employers. 

Best ITIL certifications 

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, was developed to establish standardized best practices for IT services within government agencies. Over the ensuing four decades, businesses of all types embraced, modified, and extended ITIL, shaping it into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery. 

The ITIL framework remains the benchmark for best practices in IT service and delivery management, offering certification programs that cater to IT professionals at all levels. These training and certification courses ensure that IT professionals stay well-prepared for the ongoing evolution in IT service delivery management. There are four certifications in the ITIL certification program:

Best enterprise architect certifications 

An IT enterprise architect is responsible for designing and managing the overall structure and framework of an organization’s information technology system. Enterprise architect certifications are among the highest that an IT professional can achieve; fewer than 1 percent ultimately reach this level. 

Enterprise architects are among the highest-paid employees and consultants in the tech industry. These certifications can put IT professionals on a path to many lucrative positions. The average worker earns over six figures annually. Some top enterprise architect certifications are listed below:

To become an enterprise IT architect, you’ll need knowledge of systems deployment, design and architecture, as well as a strong business foundation.

Best CompTIA certifications

CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. The organization’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

CompTIA certifications are grouped by skill set and focus on the real-world skills IT professionals need. Armed with these credentials, you can demonstrate that you know how to manage and support IT infrastructure. 

Best Oracle certifications 

A longtime leader in database software, Oracle also offers cloud solutions, servers, engineered systems, storage, and more. The company has more than 430,000 customers in 175 countries. 

Today, Oracle’s training program offers six certification levels that span 16 product categories with more than 200 individual credentials. Considering the depth and breadth of this program — and the number of Oracle customers — it’s no surprise that Oracle certifications are highly sought after. 

Vendor-specific certifications address a particular vendor’s hardware and software. For example, you can pursue Oracle certifications and Dell certifications to become an expert in those companies’ environments.

Best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications

Business continuity and disaster recovery keep systems running and data available in the event of interruptions or faults. These programs bring systems back to normal operation after a disaster has occurred.

Business continuity and disaster recovery certifications are seeing a healthy uptrend as new cloud-based tools grow in popularity. While business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning have always been essential, they’re becoming more critical than ever — and IT certifications are following suit.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html
Cisco: Collaboration Is 'The Partner Investment Opportunity Of The Decade'

Cisco says collaboration is a $42 billion market opportunity for Cisco channel partners -- a figure that doubles and in some cases triples when services are taken into account.

That opportunity is in everything from upgrading core networks to supporting the demands placed on them by mobility, video and virtual desktop infrastructure, to network optimization, consulting and application integration. And if there's one message Cisco has tried to bring to partners, even in a year of major corporate changes at the networking titan, it's that Cisco's collaboration story is the one to beat.

"This is the partner investment opportunity of the decade," said Richard McLeod, senior director, collaboration sales in Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization (WWPO).

Cisco's overall collaboration strategy -- in other words, how it will go to market with partners to attack what McLeod said is expected to be an $8 billion contributor to Cisco's revenue pie -- is organized around four tenets: mobile, social, visual and virtual. Cisco's approach is to attack each of those transitions with products that, while not the cheapest offerings by category, instead form an architecture around which partners can make money and increase their profitability behind value-adds such as application development and services.

"We still have all of those old PBXes that need to become collaboration solutions," McLeod said. "The installed base is needing a refresh once again, and we're looking at opportunities now for even the installed base of video that was standard definition video."

With PC shipments expected to continue to decline over the next few years, the days of what McLeod described as a "monolithic stack of Win-Tel solutions" are going away, he said. More than 70 percent of workers will be totally mobile over the next two years, he said, and trends like that create a need for collaboration tools that can be deployed at any time on any device from anywhere.

"To have your work follow you and your capabilities follow you is phenomenal," he said.

Cisco has spent much of the year broadening and updating its collaboration portfolio even in the midst of a broader corporate restructuring that saw the company cut headcount, pull back spending in some product areas and eliminate others entirely.

Several of its big collaboration announcements were made in October, when it launched version 2.5 of its Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) for virtual desktop deployments, launched a version of its video Show and Share software for iPad and iPhone, and debuted Cisco Callway, a subscription-based telepresence service for SMB customers.

Most recently, Cisco made updates to two of its most popular collaboration applications, WebEx and Jabber, framing a theme of moving beyond the era of PC-based collaboration during the Cisco Collaboration Summit in Miami this month.

Behind every big launch, Cisco has looked to align its motives with analyst data about collaboration-centric trends and customer adoption rates, such as the oft-cited statistic that more than 250,000 corporate desktops will be virtualized by 2014, McLeod said.

"That drives costs out of the business," McLeod said. "But it also makes the management of everything so much more smooth and [allows you] to build a new level of security onto things. The actual data is not on the device itself, it's held back at the data center, in the cloud."

NEXT: How Cisco Will Motivate Partners Behind Collaboration

Several updates to Cisco's collaboration strategy go beyond product launches; as of this year, for example, all of Cisco's endpoint products are video-enabled. Still others are programmatic; Cisco's Collaboration Breakaway program -- in which Cisco salespeople and Cisco partner salespeople are incentivized to displace competitive collaboration and unified communications systems -- has been a hit for Cisco since its Aug. 2010 debut.

In November, Cisco updated Breakaway, which already covers the rest of the collaboration portfolio, to include the Cius tablet, with Cisco offering 10 Cius devices for the price of five and a net discount of 83 percent on those devices when ordered with a minimum of 100 Cisco IP phones in a customer deployment.

Bank on more updates and expanded capabilities for Cisco collaboration tools such as Quad, Cisco's social media-flavored collaboration platform which it recently began offering a hosted service, hosted telepresence and also Social Miner, a heavily touted Cisco software tool that allows customers to track social networking interactions as a form of business intelligence.

Partners should also expect new channel specialization programs in the new year related to collaboration and video, McLeod said.

Make no mistake, McLeod said: the time is now for partners to invest with Cisco behind its collaboration vision, or risk being left behind.

"I'd correlate it to the days of 2002 to 2005 around IP telephony," he said. "Those early adopters from a partner perspective saw massive growth because they jumped on it. The sooner partners jump on it, the better they're going to be to capitalize on growth. In the next two to three years, if you haven't made the transition, you'll struggle to catch up."

Cisco's top solution providers are investing behind Cisco's collaboration vision with the thought that because trends such as mobility and desktop virtualization are line-of-business conversations as much as they are IT sales conversations, customers are more willing to invest in architecture than point UC or collaboration products.

"Collaboration is a platform, not an activity. It's about getting info to people, and I think Cisco's message is starting to get to that level," said Steve Reese, vice president, collaboration and secured architectures at INX, a Dallas-based Cisco Gold partner currently being acquired by another VAR500 power, Presidio Networked Solutions.

One of Cisco's biggest strengths, Reese said, is that it builds on its heritage as a network plumber to attack the collaboration problem as being of a piece with the business transformations brought on by data center upgrades, mobility and applications.

"We've spent many years, a lot of money and a lot of energy selling UC as a Level 1-through-Level 3 enabler," Reese said. "But it's time we start delivering Layer 4 through Layer 7 value. Basic features like IM and presence and single-number reach are now basic, but the true ability to create a communications platform that traverses through everything you're doing is something I think Cisco recognizes."

There's no question that collaboration and UC need to solve broader problems than they did even a few years ago, said other solution providers.

"Windows-based desktops are no longer the focal point of the workday," said Jason Parry, practice director, unified communications, at Force 3, a Crofton, Md.-based solution provider and Cisco Gold partner. "But a lot of customers are still stuck in how they do this, and how do they take it to the next level and move it into this collaborative environment that Cisco talks about."

Force 3's collaboration sales have grown 60 percent year-over-year, Parry said. While there are customers who'd favor buying less costly point products than making bigger investments in Cisco architecture, he said a lot of the budget discussions he has with customers do focus on line-of-business problems and how to move unified communications products past the "core requirements" of IP telephony and basic collaboration applications like presence.

"They're looking for a strategic approach," Parry said. "While there are definitely some that favor cheaper products, others are looking at how to take their UC [tools] out of silos to more of an architecture."

NEXT: The Next-Gen Cisco Collaboration Partner

INX's Reese agrees with McLeod's assertion that the differentiated partners that can sell the architecture are not only the ones that will thrive, but the ones that will survive with Cisco and in the channel.

The solution provider model of tomorrow will separate VARs from next-generation solution integrators, Reese said. Companies like INX -- whose VocalMash business unit integrates business applications with customers' Cisco-based voice and communication networks -- will form the vanguard of those integrators.

"VARs are dead -- they just don't know it yet," Reese said. "If I'm selling IT to IT and IT no longer has budgets and you have managers who want a compute platform that can live in a cloud and they pay per consumption, what are you really doing? I think you're going to see the whole new concept of solution integrator partner come forward."

Those software integration-savvy, integration-centric partners, Reese contends, will be a lot more attractive to Cisco than the hardware- and maintenance-focused resellers will.

"It's not just, do you have a CCIE or a router guy and a voice guy and if you have those guys, you can do this," he said. "The collision is happening between the data center and the whole collaboration experience and the right guys aren't just the traditional Cisco partners anymore."

Cisco's challenge is to adequately enable those partners with differentiated channel programs and incentives, Reese said -- in other words, reward partners that can build something like a VocalMash on their own, have line-of-business discussions with customers, and wrap services around those integration sales to fatten their margins.

Partners who have that should be rewarded differently than partners who achieve Cisco's highest partnership tiers and discount levels based on hardware volume sales and other "traditional" means of partner compensation, Reese said.

The perception that Cisco products don't integrate well with other vendors' products is legitimate, Reese acknowledged. But he agreed with Force 3's Parry that Cisco's holistic approach is more in line with many customers' spending priorities.

"What's made Cisco continually successful in this space is that they have never neglected any layer of the stack to execute on their strategy," he said. "John Chambers came out and said, we can't lose focus on the core, because without a solid core, the rest of the stuff doesn't work. That's what makes Cisco more attractive that other players out there."

NEXT: Is Cisco's Cius Struggling?

Of all the products Cisco counts as critical to its collaboration strategy, it's Cius, Cisco's Android-based tablet, that remains the biggest question mark.

Following initial partner excitement around its June 2010 debut, Cisco delayed getting Cius in the hands of partners until the spring of this year. , faces an uphill battle driving acceptance of Cius among enterprise users, even with what Cisco describes as differentiated security, collaboration, application management and other enterprise-grade features.

But partners are less certain.

"I've been on the fence about Cius for a long time," said INX's Reese. "I think if you really peel back what Cisco is saying about Cius, it's that it's the device that iconifies that post-PC era for Cisco today -- you have something tangible to point to that Cisco can say, 'That's our vehicle.' Cisco is doing the right thing by positioning it as a vehicle to get people to think differently about how they're communicating rather than boiling the ocean in tablets."

Force 3's Parry said customers have shown interest in Cius, but he's had to quickly identify customers that are interested in purchasing tablets versus those who want to listen to the story of Cius as the enterprise-grade endpoint to a Cisco collaboration architecture. The former category of customer, he explained, is a discussion that revolves around Apple's mighty iPad, and looks at Cius as an also-ran tablet instead of a piece of the collaboration solution.

"We don't pitch Cius as a tablet," Parry said. "Customers will listen to the pitch and the security and the experience of [features] like VDI are different than what you get on the consumer device."

But that conversation is lost on customers that just want tablets, Parry added, and aid in how quickly the iPad seems to be catching on with business and commercial users.

Cisco itself is approaching the tablet question pragmatically, McLeod said.

"We don't think everyone's going to buy a Cius tomorrow," Cisco's McLeod said. "But if we get 10 percent of what's projected for growth in Android tablet devices, that's easily a million devices for us here in a couple of years. So we'll take our small share and focus on those rich collaboration opportunities."

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 16:27:00 -0600 text/html
Sustainability, Collaboration, and Cisco: A Channel Leader's Perspective

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / November 28, 2023 / Cisco Systems Inc.

By Stacy Betts

As a Cisco channel leader, I recognize the importance of understanding our partners' sustainability endeavors in the Americas, as collaborative efforts and mutual support are imperative in addressing the significant sustainability challenges we confront. In this regard, I had the privilege of conducting interviews with several Cisco partners to discuss their challenges, uncover opportunities, and explore how Cisco can offer support.

Throughout these discussions, a common theme emerged: the need to bring our partners together for collaborative engagement, knowledge sharing, and in-depth conversations on building sustainable business models and offerings. The aim is to ensure not only the success of our partners but also the achievement of our mutual customers' sustainability goals.

Prioritizing sustainability is also a business imperative

A key revelation from these conversations is the recognition that prioritizing sustainability is not just an ethical choice; it's also a vital business imperative. While there may be situations where the choices between speed and convenience conflict with what is morally right, aligning our efforts with the objective of creating an inclusive and environmentally responsible future is not only ethically sound but also central to Cisco's overarching mission.

To help us share insights for the better good, the Americas partner sustainability community now convenes on a quarterly basis with a dedicated leadership team committed to helping customers realize their sustainability objectives. These gatherings provide valuable insights from Cisco leaders on the broader sustainability strategy. They also serve as a platform for introducing the latest Cisco programs and tools centered on sustainability, hosting industry and ecosystem partners to share their go-to-market strategies and offerings, discussing sustainability funding, and encouraging partners to share their own experiences and lessons learned.

Inclusive engagements

Sustainability is a concept that calls for inclusivity. It acknowledges that no single individual or group can bring about the needed changes on their own. What we require is a concerted effort that actively engages individuals empowered by organizations to create a culture of sustainability.

At Cisco, we strongly encourage everyone to engage with their local communities in ways that hold personal significance. This can take various forms, such as participating in beach cleanups, contributing to habitat restoration, supporting wildfire prevention, or engaging in organic waste and edible food recovery initiatives, among others. These efforts must address both the current sustainability challenges our planet faces today and inspire and educate future generations to carry this work forward.

Partnering for purpose

In addition, leadership plays a crucial role in driving these sustainability efforts. Leaders must lead by example, inspire others to join the cause, and ensure that everyone participates. It is a collective endeavor, and leaders must be at the forefront of the solution, making tangible commitments, both in financial terms and in the way their businesses operate, to become more sustainable entities.

At Cisco, our objective is to facilitate collaboration, create scalable solutions, and enable the sharing of best practices with partners globally. The "Partnering for Purpose" initiative aligns perfectly with Cisco's vision of an inclusive future. I'm thrilled to announce that in fiscal year 2024, Cisco will introduce sustainability offerings across our services portfolio in four key areas: Sustainable Data Centers, Smart Buildings and Workspaces, Internet of the Future, and Industry Solutions and Ecosystems.

Reducing our carbon footprint necessitates a shift in mindset, challenging us to think differently about how we design technologies, support our employees, and help our customers address challenges. For instance, through Cisco Refresh, we remanufacture and certify used network routers, switches, phones, and collaboration products, extending the value of our customers' budgets while reducing the environmental impact associated with old technology. This is a win-win solution for all parties involved.

A Commitment to Sustainability

My aspiration is for all of us to lead happy, healthy lives and enjoy our planet in a way that ensures future generations can do the same. As a leader, I encourage others to integrate sustainable practices into every facet of their lives and endeavors. Building a culture of sustainability requires the commitment of all individuals to make choices today that will protect us from bearing the consequences of poor decisions tomorrow. Whether it's protecting our oceans, nurturing emerging leaders, or running our businesses in a manner that safeguards the future, sustainability is a shared endeavor that benefits us all.

To learn more about what commitments Cisco has made to ensure a better tomorrow, read our 2022 Cisco Purpose Report.

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Mon, 27 Nov 2023 15:25:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Advantages & Disadvantages of Collaboration Between Businesses

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 16:03:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Navigating the World of IT Certifications: The Role of practice tests and the Pitfalls of real qeustions with Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA No result found, try new keyword!This article explores the importance of practice tests in achieving Microsoft, Cisco ... IT certification community. real qeustions typically contain real exam questions and answers, often obtained ... Wed, 29 Nov 2023 09:59:00 -0600 en-us text/html Exam Information

An exam proctor will begin studying exam instructions approximately 15 minutes before the exam start time. Students must be in the exam room with their exam at this time. If taking the exam on a laptop, it must be booted up and have passed the security check. Hand writers must not have a laptop with them in an exam room, unless otherwise allowed according to the professor’s instructions. A student entering the exam room after the proctor begins studying instructions will not receive additional time for booting up their laptop, passing the security check, and/or studying exam instructions.

When instructed by the proctor, write your exam number on the cover page of your exam, bluebooks, and any scratch paper you turn in as part of your exam. Handwritten exam answers must be written in blue books in blue or black ink. Number the bluebooks you use (1 of 1, 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.). Proctors will allow time to read the professor’s instructions. Other than counting the number of pages of the exam, students are not permitted to turn the page of an exam past the instructions page until the proctor instructs them to do so.

When taking a closed-book exam, no books, outlines, book bags, purses, or scratch paper (other than the scratch paper provided) may be at your seat during the exam. These items must be left outside of the exam room or in the front or sides of the exam room. Students may not begin to write anything, including on scratch paper, before the proctor begins a closed-book exam.

Students taking in-class exams are prohibited from having any electronic communication device, other than a laptop as allowed per the professor's instructions, during the exam. Cell phones and smart watches must be turned off during the exam and placed in a bag or backpack. Violations of this rule may be considered an Honor Code violation. A clock in each exam room will be the official timekeeper for the exam.

Non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in exam rooms; however, the container must have a lid.

After the exam instructions have been read and the exam begins, the proctor will remain in the room. Any student who has a question or problem during an exam should see the proctor.

Students may use the restroom or take a break during an exam. However, all exam materials must be left in the exam room and no additional time will be given. Students must sign in and out at the front of the room with the proctor.

Thu, 15 Jun 2023 00:20:00 -0500 en text/html
'Unsolvable' exam question meant for 11-year-old leaves adults defeated

A baffling exam question meant to test 11-year-old students has been leaving adults defeated - and the 'unsolvable puzzle will make you glad you're no longer in school

The question has left people baffed (stock photo)

A mind-bending maths question designed for school children has left adults stumped - with some saying the puzzle is completely 'unsolvable'.

Do you remember sitting your maths exams at school and scratching your head at the strange real-life quiz questions you'd be presented with? The questions are designed to encourage students to use logic to pick out the important parts of the often long-winded story and then figure out which maths discipline they need to use to find the correct answer.

They're not always easy and for many of us, they will have been the least favourite part of any exam. And it's no different for kids today either, as one maths question designed for 11-year-old students has been leaving children and adults alike baffled as they struggle to find the answer.

The question came from a Chinese exam paper that was designed for schoolchildren aged 11 in 2018. According to the BBC, a translation of the question asks: "If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship's captain?"

That's it. That's all the information you're given for this question - so try and answer it. Surely there must be some way to work it out, even though it certainly feels like you haven't been given enough details about the imaginary ship and its captain to truly reach a solution.

Other people who tried to work out the correct answer thought the same, and thanks to the South China Morning Post, we can even see some of the answers that clever students gave. One pupil argued: "The captain is 36 years old. He is quite narcissistic, so the number of animals corresponds to his age."

Another defied the question writers and refused to answer, as they said: "The number of the sheep and goats is irrelevant to the captain's age," and a third dejected student simply wrote: "The captain's age is ... I don't know. I can't solve this."

One answer from an adult on social media also tried to work the puzzle out using very sound logic, as they said: "In China, if you're driving a ship that cargo you need to have possessed a boat license for five years. The minimum age for getting a boat's license is 23, so he's at least 28."

But what is the correct answer? Well, there isn't one. Yep, that's right. Unfortunately, when we said this puzzle was "unsolvable", we meant it. As infuriating as it is, apparently the whole point of the question is that there's no way to work out the answer, and students will get the question right on their exam if they explain they don't have enough information to supply a solution.

In a statement, Shunqing Education Department confirmed there was no answer, as they said: "The role of education is not to produce standardised spare parts ... Each answer can reflect a different personality. A question that can have different answers is a good question."

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at

Sat, 18 Nov 2023 01:32:00 -0600 en text/html
Jaguars' Andre Cisco: Week 15 status is question

Cisco suffered a groin injury in Sunday's loss to the Browns and head coach Doug Pederson stated they'll have to "see how he feels this week," John Shipley of reports.

Cisco exited Week 14 against Cleveland and was unable to return to the game, and it appears he may be in danger of missing the team's Week 15 matchup with the Ravens. However, that'll depend on how quickly he can recover in the days ahead, so his practice status as the week progresses should provide more insight in that regard.

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Mon, 11 Dec 2023 05:01:00 -0600 en text/html

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