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    ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

    Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI

      Hi everyone. I am one of two people writing the new ICOMM Official Certification Guide for Cisco Press. The publishing date is not yet confirmed, but we are hoping to have it available in the first quarter of 2011.


      Since this book will be a primary tool for those of you studying for CCNA Voice, I wanted to give this community a chance to contribute to the content of the book.


      1. What do you need from a Certification Guide?

      2. What topics or concepts need more (or less) attention compared to the previous editions?

      3. What additional resources would you like to have?
        1. More questions and answers?
        2. Access to simulated lab gear?
        3. Video tutorials?
        4. Live tutorials via Webex?


      What else can we do for you?


      I remind all of you that the rules about discussing the exam content are very strict: I will not be doing that, and neither should you. (The truth is, even the study guide authors don't know any more about the exam than you guys! Exam content is very strictly guarded).


      I look forward to hearing from you, and working to provide you with the best possible study tool for the foundation of Cisco Voice certifications.



        • 1. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
          George Papison


          I for one vote for access to simulators/simulated lab gear.  $1,000+ for a hardware/software lab is beyond my resources right now.  I found Packet Tracer invaluable in preparing for my CCNA.


          Just my $.02 and we all know what a penny s worth today..



          • 2. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
            Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI

            I couldn't agree with you more, George. Providing lab experience is a huge challenge.


            Packet Tracer is a good choice; I am also working with Dynamips and GNS3 to reduce the amount of stuff in my lab racks. If it goes well, I am going to provide a set of configs so people can build their own virtual labs.


            Of course, with VoIP labs, at some point we need actual hardware for phones and PoE and so on... makes it tough!


            Thanks for the comment. I will be sure we think hard about how best to provide some lab experience for people.



            • 3. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

                                                                   Last day to test: 02/28/11 (for CCNA Voice 640-460 & CVOICE 642-436)


              Hi Mike,


              Thanks for asking our input... (wants are) out of order but:


              √ More questions and answers?

              √ Access to simulated lab gear?

              √ Video tutorials?

              √ Live tutorials via Webex?


              The more infor the better. I have made VoIP topologies with multi site and having the traffic router though an "OSPF Cloud" and a few other things for a better feel, with GNS3, you can see there are SO MANY MORE sub commands with in (Config-Telephony)#...


              It would be really good to have a section in the book addressing protocols and there uses, besides at the end in an appendix... I just noted that the Exam Topics Doc #8279 states version 7 in the upper right hand corner. I feel that a Cisco Press Certification Guide should address each point of those topics in detail.  I do have every thing for labbing except PoE switches... I'm reading up now for knowledge & cert for the CCNA V. and I am planning on addressing the ICOMM topic was well - I am sure those I am employed with will want me to posses that knowledge as well.


              I friend of mine just complete his CCNA Wireless and his CCNP Wireless, it would appear rather quickly but it is something that he had been addressing for a few years. Having read the design guides and just about everything that Cisco Press has put out for this topic. So for Voice, I would think that a clearly defined reading list for more indepth understanding or knowledge and to one up that URL's listed on a browser page on the CD, honestly from what I've seen everything in a Cisco Press book is somewhere on Cisco.com... just not all complied in one orderly book.


              As you have noted just GNS3, an emulator is much better than a simulator. At least with an emulator you can see all of the available commands. I have heard that Cisco was wanting to get their hands on GNS3 and am truly surprised they have not come out with a product yet but it all boils back to programming... that is where the "meat & bones" of it are, many of us are just the nerves that would the IOS/gear itself.


              So the more info the merrier in a nice progressive manner... Looking forward to your book!


              my 2¢'s (if there are 25 of us putting in 2 cents each S00N™ we will be .50¢...  bad pun)








              (from my laptop this time... )


              Message was edited by: JC.Bogard

              • 4. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

                Hello Mike,

                Nice of you seeking ideas from CLN.

                I will suggest the following :

                1) Include practical hands on exercise for each chapter.(Same style as Lab Companion)

                2) Basic setup and requirements to perform hands on exercise.

                3) You should consider having an initial single lab topology to be used for all lab exercises.


                Wish you all the best.


                Kind regards


                • 5. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

                  I agree with all comments listed above. The biggest issue is always to do with lab equipment and many of us would like an emulator all set up with the right components in order to learn. I for one don't have the money or space to set up a lab, or the inclination. I have a wife and kids and life as well as a job! If it is all about making money then remote labs should be available.

                  Personally I find I do a course then hardly hit the command line again, cause the majority of my work is project based. I need to know the stuff but not in great detail, shame there isn't an overview telecom project managers course book...maybe your next venture!

                  • 6. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
                    Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI

                    Great feedback from everyone, and thank you all very much.


                    It's pretty clear that lab experience is a priority. Using an emulator will work for the router/switch/CME labs. We will investigate how best to provide that.


                    The very difficult piece would be the CUCM/CUC/CUE/CUPS labs, which are all server-based. Building lab servers with VMWare works very well, but we can't give away the application software, even for demo lab use. This means someone has to host the labs and provide a useful environment for thousands of people worldwide. That is a very big deal.


                    It's an issue that needs some consideration. At this point I do not know what the outcome will be but I will keep you posted.


                    There will of course be questions and answers for each chapter. We will try to make them good ones!


                    I am also producing a series of video tutorials, to include ICOMM topics. I will post information here when they are in release -- that will be a little while because Cisco Press wants the text in print quickly so my priorities are pretty rigid at the moment!


                    Thanks again all.



                    • 7. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

                      What will the equipment requirements be for the new CCNA-Voice Track?  Is the UC520 no longer needed?  Will an ISR with Telephony-Service and related VWICs be enough?  Thanks for any insight as I'm a NetAcad Instructor and have been teaching Cisco Voice for quite some time under the CVOICE path but was considering moving to CCNA-Voice with the UC520 and now that appers to be a bad idea given that we are now at ICOMM instead of IIUC.

                      • 8. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here

                        I took CCNA voice (640-460) last year about this time.  The exam certification guide by Jeremy Ciora was really good.  If I had to make any additions or cuts, I'd add more detail on dial peers dealing with ISP in real life scenarios.  I thought I knew enough about dial peers (seeing as I passed the exam), but after taking a look at a fully deployed UC500 apparently I did not.  Digit manipulation and translations could have improved as well.  But this is all based upon the new exam will be on CLI and CME/CUE.  If it's more theory based and not really hands on then I'll have to come back later for that!

                        • 9. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here



                          My name is Geovany Gonzalez, I work for the Network Development Group - www.netdevgroup.com - we are a Cisco Partner, and we provide a remote lab solution called NETLAB+ that enables Cisco Academies to host IT equipment on the Internet to support IT training. Reading the messages in this group, I have seen that equipment is a concern for the ICOMM certification, in this sense we are developing a new topology that will be useful for IP Telephony, particularly targeting the ICOMM certification. The idea is that the topology will be easily adopted in dozens of training centers, enabling hundreds of students  to access real equipment to complete the IP telephony labs.


                          I see lots of potential between the book you guys are writing and the topology we are developing, and so I think that a conference call to share ideas will be very useful for your project and our topology. Please contact me if you consider this an opportunity, I certainly do.


                          I hope to hearing back from you.


                          Geovany Gonzalez (geovany@netdevgroup.com)

                          • 10. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here



                            Let me repeat the whwolfeii's very important question - what will be the equipment requirements for ICOMM? We're going to buy a new equipment to prepare our students to CCNA Voice. As the version of exam has changed we are confused about what to buy. I've heard that UC500 was get rid of the exam. Is that true?


                            I'm must prepare to teach ICOMM courses, as we begin them soon. What other books would you suggest to read in the meantime, before your book will be printed?




                            • 11. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
                              Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE



                              Neat idea...  But just as a side/semantic note...  Either the URL in your web address (first line) is incorrect, or your email address domain (last line) is incorrect, or you guys have multiple domains to cope with spelling errors.  




                              PS.  Mike - You already have your tech editors lined up?

                              • 12. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
                                Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI



                                The new ICOMM (CCNA-Voice) course covers the following:


                                • Unified Communications Manager Express v.8
                                • Unity Express v.8
                                • Unified Communications Manager v.8
                                • Unity Connection v.8
                                • Unified Presence Server v.8


                                The UC500 series is no longer included in the course.


                                In the meantime, I would recommend that you review the Admin guides for the applications listed, and perhaps some of the Feature Guides as well. Alternately, if you have access to the courseware for the CIPT 1 and 2 or the CVOICE classes, they would be beneficial. The previous edition of the CCNA Voice Exam Certification Guide will be an excellent resource (though possibly more detail than needed) for the CME/CUE products.


                                None of the material in ICOMM is covered in great detail (as you might expect given the time frame for delivery), but the basic concepts and configuration are there for each product.


                                Hope this helps,



                                • 13. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
                                  Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI

                                  Hi Geovany,


                                  It's a bit soon for a conference call -- I have a few deadlines to meet first! If you like, email me a summary of what capabilities you can provide and I will review it.





                                  • 14. Re: ICOMM Official Certification Guide - The Author is Here
                                    Mike Valentine CCNP CCVP CCDP CCSI

                                    Hi Scott,

                                    I am pretty sure Brett has all the victims editors lined up and ready to go, but I will pass him your name in case someone chickens out!



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