Larry: Obviously, from the name of your company VoiceBootcamp, you are in the voice training business. What made you want to specialize in voice?
Faisal: I decided to focus on Voice out of passion for these technologies. I believe to be an EXPERT, you need to focus on one area. It’s like a Doctor, some specialize in the Brain or Heart while others on Children, etc. But what is common among them is they are all doctors but specialized in certain area. You won’t see a doctor who specializes in the Brain performing heart surgery. But I am sure he knows about the heart. So same rule applies to CCIEs. If CCIEs are considered to be expert, we need to focus on one area and I believe devoting 80% to 100% on certain topic makes you an expert otherwise you are a professional
I stopped going after CCIE exams when I achieved two. I realize having triple or 4 or 5 CCIE, I would be doing disservice to myself. I will not be focused on any area. I don’t believe for one moment that one can do CCIE Voice, R/S and SP, Wireless every month and still consider to be expert. These days I feel bad to call myself R/S Expert because I lost touch with R/S.
VoiceBootcamp is a small company started by just me. So I decided to focus 100% on Unified Communication and become an expert in that topic.
Larry: That is an interesting take on it. I can definitely see your point about focusing in on one area. When folks ask me about what track they should go for I always say “the one that interests you the most”.
I see that you offer training all over the world. Do most of the classes fill up?
Faisal: VoiceBootcamp run classes globally. If class does not get fill up we will take serious financial loss. So to answer your question yes, most classes are full if not at least with minimum requirement to ensure we don’t take financial loss.
Larry: I took the CCVP+ Bootcamp earlier this year. It was 2 full weeks of 12 hours a day non-stop training. Are your CCIE Voice bootcamp classes as intense?
Faisal: Our CCIE VOICE is as intensive as our CCVP +. Over the years, CCIE VOICE has changed and we have changed our strategy.
A typical day of a CCIE VOICE candidate in one of our training center around the globe is ss follow:
Since every student has been given CCIE VOICE Lecture on DVD, their job is to watch the pre-recorded lectures (Per day basis) prior to attending the class. Student arrives on the 1st day, after the orientation we will review those lectures and have an open discussion. Then student start the lab based on the lab that is also given to them in advance. Around 4:00 PM every day 1 hour will be allocated to discuss and demonstrate some CCIE VOICE Trouble Shooting tips from our CCIE VOICE troubleshooter product based on the topic covered that day. This way you will know how to troubleshoot the network.
Larry: Sounds like a good learning experience and a slightly different take from the traditional CCIE bootcamp.
I know that you are always doing something to develop products or teaching classes. Do you ever sleep?
Faisal: I am human being so sure I do sleep. I am a married person with a son who is 3 years old. I spent most of my time when I am not working with my son. I travel a lot so I have to sleep.
I don’t take vacation that much because if you love something so much (as I do for my work in this technology) then you should not be taking vacation. Vacation is something you do to enjoy and I enjoy my work. But then since I travel a lot, I get to see many countries, enjoy different food, culture and often my family will come with me once in a while.
Larry: You really do have a passion for teaching!!!
What do see for the future of the Voice lab? There was a big change made this year with the change of version of the UC products tested. Do you foresee any other big changes in the near future?
Faisal: I see Voice has huge future. Simply take a look at the PSTN technologies. For telephone companies it took over 100 years to build the PSTN infrastructure worldwide. VoIP just started. All the companies in the world, All the household in the world will have voice enable devices. Your Fridge at home will be voice enabled, these days your car use voice enable features. Think about the future where one day your car can make a 911 call in case of a emergency and you are now talking to the E911 operator over VoIP and they are using GPS to track your location.
Most of the feature added by Cisco in Unified Communication is not new to Telephony world. I mean similar feature already existed in traditional PBX. Cisco just finally got their product up to PBX standard. I am sure Cisco will come up with lots more integration in their CallManager -for example using IP Phone to initiate a database lookup or customer query directly from CallManager. Enable CallManager to talk to multiple Active Directory for different companies. May be one day all Cisco IP Phone will initiate a direct VPN Connection by using a built in VPN client so all the issue with security and/or NAT may be resolved.
I think the next big thing will be Video enable IP Phone in house to house in any given countries.
Larry: Interesting ideas!!!
You do actual voice implementations while you are not teaching and developing materials. From your real world experience, what do you see as the future for folks that are in the voice market? Will there still be a demand for these specialized skills?
Faisal: Yes, this one thing I always have done. I do believe in order for me to keep up to date, I have to be involved in project. So I often do lots of design and architect work or provide call center design for small business. Nothing big or huge. Simply stuff to keep going. I have another company call UC Solutions which is Cisco Premier partner and Microsoft Gold Partner where we provide small to midsize consulting service for partners. Although we don’t do big project as I am short of resource but my idea one of these days is to become a global player.
Larry: Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to share with the readers of the blog. Any last words you would like to share with the readers – maybe a special;-)?
Faisal: Focus, Love the technology. Don’t just go for CCIE certs. CCIE Voice cert is useless if you don’t know the product inside out. I mean I have been teaching CCIE Voice around the globe, met with many different people and many are not ready to become a CCIE but they will by some means or other. So to be a true CCIE, make sure you understand the concept. You should be able to live and breathe this technology. We all want Certs to get more money or secure a job, but while you are doing it, Enjoy the technology.
I have seen candidate who are burning themselves doing this lab over and over just to get the number but I don’t see them enjoying it.
Here are a few specials for your readers:
Feb 1 CCIE VOICE in New York – $4495 USD (promotional price $2499 USD) Register 30 days earlier
Review from the previous CCIE Voice in NYC
CCIE Voice Package – $999 USD
Includes – CCIE Voice Workbook
includes – CCIE Voice Lecture on DVD
includes – CCIE Voice Study Guide
includes – CCIE Voice TroubleShooter (for limited time)
UC Resource KIT Ultimate Edition – $1299 USD (every person will be eligible to win a Free CCIE VOICE or CCVP Plus Bootcamp). – over 160 plus Videos of Unified Communication (you know the rest)