Review - Cisco Collaboration Specialist Training 2015 Lisbon

Some weeks ago I get the invitation to join the Collaboration Specialist Training from Cisco hold in the Cisco Office in Lisbon. 4 days full of sessions and labs around the different Cisco collaboration products. The combination of the attractive city of Lisbon together with a great agenda around Collaboration Meeting Rooms (On-Prem, Hybrid and Cloud), Cisco Endpoints,Jabber and Cisco Spark sounded very interesting to me.

Because of the training start on Tueday morning 8:30 am I took the late flight on Monday from Munich to Lisbon.  The flight across Lisbon was the first great moment on that trip and increased anticipation to 4 days full of learning and networking.

The arrival to Lisbon shortly before midnight was already impressive and a very good start into the week. After the arrival I tried to get a taxi to my Hotel and was completely surprised that Uber was working great  (since the Partner Training ealier this year I'm a real Uber fan). After my 5-star trip with Jose I arrived finally in my Hotel in the area of Lagos Park, about 10 minutes walking distrance from the Cisco Office in Oeiras.

Day 1: Endpoints and Strategy
After the first welcome sentences of Jason we get the clear reminder that many topics are under NDA, so talking about the different sessions is not so easy but I try to give a small overview of the different topics covered. The lab covered the most important topics like Mobile Remote Access and the typcial endpoints features.

I liked the dCloud session, the work these guys are doing is creat and such a easy way to make small tests of special scenarios without building a large lab environment. 

Day 2: Collaboration Meeting Room (On Prem, Hybrid and Cloud)

8:00 am, a ver early start for the second day sessions, but we have no time, the schedule is full. The first session of the day was about the new Personal Multi Party and Shared Multi-Party licensing model. The model was described in detail and we get all our special questions. This new model will really change how video services will be adopted in the future.The next sessions where about the changes and new features in CMR Hybrid and CMR Cloud.

The labs in the afternoon gave a good hands-on experience about the different versions of Collaboration Meeting Room and also showed some challenges which have to keep in mind during the design phase in a project.

Day 3: Jabber and BoF session

The Jabber lab was awesome, it covered almost all scenarios you can find in the different customer projects. I really hope they will make this lab also available via dCloud, it is a great possibility to prepare for the next Jabber installation.

The BoF session was something very special. It was hold offside in Custom Cafe, which was also the location of our evening event. We had 8 Cisco Product Manager connected via video conference. 
After the session I'm looking really forward to a very special event at the end of the year and the coming announcements.

Day 4: Spark and Collaboration Cloud and travel home.

My favorite day, I'm a real Spark fan since the Cisco Live in Milano this year. Who the f*ck needs Whatsapp if he can use Spark? My data is my own….. The focus of the lab was the already launched calender integration. The labs during the days before helped a lot with Spark topics like SSO and directory integration. I really think Spark will change a lot in the way we communicate in projects and daily business.

My personal review is the complete training was a great investment of time. The complete organization of the training was great and the presenters of the business units answered lots of questions, also to topics not on the official agenda. 
A great value for me where all the side discussions with the different technical marketing engineers, they helped a lot with their feedback in my actual projects and made my life really easier.

For every Cisco partner engineer with focus to Collabaration, the next years will be very interesting and full of great new topics. The Cisco approach with Collaboration Cloud Platform is great and helps to solve some challenges you have in large projects and the complexity of on-prem solutions. I just hope Cisco will adopt some feedback of the partners from EMEA about the special requirements in this part of the world regarding data pricacy and security in the cloud.

Special thanks for the great job to the organization team and the people from Cisco Portugal and all the others who made the training possible. This training set for me a new benchmark and for the next ones it will be very hard. I hope.


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