I have taught Cisco’s CLCOR class several times and wanted to share what students can expect when they take the class.
Cisco’s Implementing and Operating Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies class, known as CLCOR, is a five day, instructor led class that is offered in-person or online, via WebEx. Like most of the new Cisco training classes, more than half of the class time is dedicated to hands-on labs; configuring, testing and troubleshooting the equipment. The instructor goes through the theory during the lecture and then students apply that theory by configuring the equipment in the lab.
In addition, there is the equivalent of three days of self-paced material included that is not part of the five day in-person training. Access to the class material that the instructor goes over, as well as the self-paced material, is available during and after class. Access to the lab equipment is only available during class.
What Will You Learn
The first four days of class focuses on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). This includes describing the Collaboration network architecture, options for adding phones, adding users and configuring features. A lot of class time is spent going over the dial plan, including configuring CUCM to route calls to a voice gateway and configuring the voice gateway to route calls to the PSTN.
The last day of class goes over the Instant Messaging and Presence (IM & P) server, used to provide IM chat capabilities for the Jabber client and the Cisco Unity Connection (CUCxn) server, used to provide voicemail and Auto-Attendant capabilities.
The self-study material goes over the Collaboration Edge equipment, including the Expressway-C and Expressway-E servers used for Mobile and Remote Access (MRA) and Quality of Service (QoS) as it relates to voice traffic going over the network.
You can find a more detailed list of CLCOR topics on Cisco’s website here: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/clcor-exam-topics.
What Will You Not Learn
According to Cisco’s website, taking the CLCOR class “helps prepare you to take the exam”, which is true. It does not fully prepare you. Many times, students will take the class and expect that they will immediately be able to take the exam and pass. The class is really designed to teach students the basics, it would need to be a month long to teach all the details needed to pass the exam. Taking the class is a good first step because you have to know the basics before you can dive into all the details. But the class is really just a starting point for your studies.
I am sometimes asked by students why the official Cisco class does not go over every question they see on the exam. This is because the class is written to teach the material, not to teach students how to pass the exam. After talking to different people at Cisco, it turns out this is not a bug, it’s a feature! There are different groups within Cisco that write the class and the exam. Cisco keeps these groups separate so the class is not written to “teach the exam”.
Who Should Take the Class
CLCOR is not an introductory class. It is a professional level class, part of the CCNP Collaboration certification. Students need to have some basic knowledge of networking, VoIP and CUCM to get the most from the class. Many students take the fundamentals class (CLFNDU) first, to get a good foundation in Cisco Collaboration, before taking this class. Students that have 2 years or more experience with CUCM and have a good understanding of networking and VoIP can skip the fundamentals class and start with CLCOR.
How to Get the Most out of the Class
To get the most out of the class you need to focus on the class and minimize distractions. Let your coworkers know you will be in training and will have limited time to work on your usual day to day work activities. Very often students will miss out on large chunks of class time because of things that come up at work. Work with your manager before class to minimize this.
My other suggestion is to take your time when working on the labs. Sometimes students will rush through the labs so they can get out of class early, but they miss out on a good learning experience. You will learn a lot more if you take the time to understand why you are configuring something a certain way, rather than if you just click, click, click and get done quickly. There is a lot of good information in the lab guide, so make sure you spend enough time on it to get the full benefit.
For more information on Skyline’s CLCOR class go here: https://catalog.skyline-ats.com/course/implementing-and-operating-cisco-collaboration-core-technologies-clcor.