Interview With Eman Conde – CCIE Agent


It is my pleasure to introduce Emmanuel ( Eman ) Conde. Eman is the publisher of CCIEFlyer – an online publication for CCIE’s, CCIE candidates and the IT world in general.

Larry: Eman – Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.

Eman: I think what you are doing is cool.  The more of us out here in the ether that are helping the CCIE community the better!  Welcome to the CCIE Flyer and thanks for making me a part of you forum.

Larry: Well one of the first things I’d like to chat about is your title “CCIE Agent”. What exactly is a CCIE Agent and what does he do? Is this a widely know industry? Are there others out there?

Eman: I coined the term CCIE Agent™ because CCIEs are so few in number and so high in demand yet many recruiters sourcing them don’t really care or know much about them.  The fact is many recruiters are looking for CCIEs because they are getting large fees for the higher salaried professionals.  So they are motivated by the money more than the people they represent.  I focus on the career side of the CCIE since demand is so high it is better in the long run to represent the CCIE after learning about their career goals.  So I applied for the trade mark CCIE Agent™ thus locking in my concept.

What I do is support the Cisco Channel Partners as part of the Cisco SRS (Strategic Recruitment Solutions) Program.  This is the Cisco Talent initiative led by Celia Harper-Guerra which I became one of the first inductees in support of.  Celia by the way has since left Cisco after 17 years. I am also joined by Bradley Morris, Decision Tool Box and TalPro the other three organizations in the USA.

The industry?  The CCIE Agent™ is widely known because I have been featured as a source of information at events around the world.  I speak with Channel Partners at forums where I help them understand the care and feeding of CCIEs.  I also have been a guest speaker at various Network Academy events around the world where I help give motivational presentations to the next generation of CCIEs.  I truly believe in giving back to the CCIE community which I earn a living from in many ways that do not generate revenue but spread good will.

There are no others.  In fact the bio used at the Cisco HR Talent Forums states; “

Eman (Emmanuel Conde) has the distinction of being the only CCIE recruiter promoted by World Wide Channels of Cisco Systems.   Eman earned this distinction because of his tireless efforts on behalf of CCIEs and developing Cisco talent.  He has spoken at Cisco Academy events, developed an international CCIE mentor program, writes for ITWorld magazine, has a very active blog focused on CCIE career concerns, and produces the CCIE Flyer an online magazine published monthly.  He has developed a unique approach to recruitment which includes giving back to the CCIE community through his advice, career columns and CCIE Mixers which are networking events he hosts internationally.  Unique to the industry is his specialization in CCIE recruitment and the many ways he has created a presence in the CCIE community.  He is featured in many CCIE blogs, supports live music in Second Life where he advertises on two stages, created the CCIE Network in LinkedIn, has run the only CCIE supported CCIE Salary Survey, has appeared on TV advising Hispanic viewers about IT careers, works with CCIE training companies internationally to provide career advice to students as they prepare for the CCIE Labs, and he is now sponsoring schools in Delaware and NYC as part of the Cisco Network Academy program and IT Rocks. 

Larry: Eman – Sounds like you have your finger on the pulse of the “CCIE Market”. Many of our readers would like to know about the current job market – do you see a definite advantage to having a CCIE certification?

Eman: The job market has been tough on us all.  I would be lying if I said it has not affected CCIEs in some areas.  The demand for CCIEs in the UC space is highest right now followed by R&S and Security and there is a growing demand for SP in some industries.  The advantage of the certification is mostly in the Cisco reseller arena.  The certification is a badge of honor respected in the industry distinguishing some network engineers over others because it is assumed that with the certification the level of knowledge is higher.  The fact that my clients are Cisco Channel Partners makes my work simpler and focused.  I see the demand as high because I am supporting the very space that competes for these resources the most.

Larry: This is very informative. I’m sure that our readers will find that interesting as well.

So besides being a CCIE Agent, you are also the publisher of CCIEFlyer. Tell us when & how you started that and how the readership is doing.

Eman: I started the CCIE Flyer as an email circular.  It was my way of informing my network of what I was doing and where I was in need of them for jobs I was chasing.  Then after the first three months I asked my brother Dan to help make it more formal.  I then started asking various CCIEs and CCIE wanna-bees to provide interesting content.  I have had fun writing some of my own stories and musings as well as career advice as well.  Readership is great.  I have 15,000 subscribers most of whom are CCIEs and on any given month I get 20,000 to 40,000 unique sessions.  We now have paid advertisers and are featuring boot camps in various places around the world.  So it is generating revenue as well as keeping my network of over 12,000 CCIEs informed.

Larry: Congratulations on the success!!! I love it when these types of things become successful and take on a life of their own.

So is there anything new and exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share with us?

Eman: Well I am pretty excited about the training venues I have found sponsors for.  I am excited because training is expensive and many companies price their CCIE boot camps so high that many cannot afford them.  So I am partnering up with Narbik Kocharians, Paul Negron, Piotr Matusiak and Faisal Khan and the sponsors of these training venues to bring high quality affordable CCIE boot camps to places like Africa, India, UAE and the USA.  The certification can lift people up from poverty and change lives and families forever and that is the reason I am so excited!

Larry: Wow – this should be great news to a lot of folks out there!!!

Now for a tougher question. I know that there have been some things bantered around about you online in a few places.

Eman: Well I once had a friend who writes for Network World and he decided to start attacking me and my personal character on the Cisco Subnet.  He and I actually discussed my CCIE Agent™ concept and my fear about focusing strictly on CCIEs before I began this journey.  I have always given him credit for making me feel I was doing the right thing in launching this as a career.  So I was shocked to see he was trying to deride what I was doing and even went as far as to completely fabricate quotes from business associates of mine.  He even called my boss in London to attempt to get me fired.  This was an extremely ugly attack and Network World did pull those articles after realizing they were based on lies.  In fact one of my business partners (and a good friend of mine), was threatened that if he did not help “Bring Eman down” that his business would be targeted as well.  Still out on Google he has this fabricated questionnaire posted where he asks biased questions that can only lead to his goal of trying to injure my business.  I refer to him as “Manboobs” because of an article I wrote about his attacks back in 2008.  So in the online space you can find people with their own agendas who will try to rally hatred for their own gain. 

Watch out for them Larry! 

You see them in forums where they use anonymity to push their personal agendas or vendettas.  I feel if you want to express your opinion and it is about a person then we should know who you are too.

Larry: Sounds like quite the battle. I’m glad for the CCIE community that it did not take you down!!!

Do you have any juicy tidbits that only a Cisco insider would know about that you can share with us?

Eman:  Well the era of Celia Harper-Guerra leading the Cisco Talent initiative has come to an end.  She has been a mentor and a great friend.  I have enjoyed her company of in many venues.  Thanks to her my work focused on Cisco Channel Partners was made a success along with my CCIE Agent™ concept.  Who would ever think that a recruiter would go global and travel the way I have?  Not me.  Not in a thousand years did I ever expect to have a chance like this.  I miss her.

There was a move afoot to reduce the ranks of cheaters from the CCIE ranks.  I can say no more, but look at the numbers in the population of CCIEs they have dropped in 6 months by 48…

I will be headed for Eastern and Western Europe in the spring with the Talent Team as they break open the emerging markets in those regions.

Monica (my best friend at Cisco) is still my best friend at Cisco!  She is still very keen on helping CCIE regain control of their IE numbers.  I have been getting a regular stream of CCIEs looking for help and trying to get out of rent-a-cert situations.

Some CCIEs think that only the CCIE pays the price for renting their certifications.  This is not the case.  I know of two companies that have been barred from the reseller ranks.

There is hiring going on again and it is ramping up!  Call me if you need a job!

On a personal note I have started writing a novel on-line called God Scrawl.  It is exposing me as I develop the concept and edit it live and people can see it take shape.  The site is called www.godscrawl.com

Thanks for this opportunity to become a part of your effort Larry.

Larry: Eman – Thank you for taking the time to share with the readers. I’m sure that many folks might be interested in contacting you about CCIE job placement.

Eman can be reached via email at: Eman@CCIEFlyer.com

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