Monday, January 4, 2016

Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist

Back in November last year, the Apps Services Partner that I help with Google Apps Support told me that I was required to take the Google Apps for Work Deployment Specialist certification exam. I learned that Google was going to end the certification program and that I had to take the exam January 5, 2016. It turns out that they were simplifying the Partner Credential Program. All good!

So I took a crash review during the holiday break, read through all Google Apps for Work help articles I could get my hands on, and did self-study on Google Apps Administrator Fundamentals and Deployment Essentials.

I thought I could wing it with an hour or two of readings each day. Turns out that I had to read, practice, read some more, and recall deployments I was involved in. It was very humbling because I thought I knew a lot, and that if I made sure I understood different deployment use cases, I'd be fine. Boy, was I wrong. I was pulling at my hair trying to recall concepts and best practices around:
  • Mail delivery architectures
  • Directory Sync and user provisioning from LDAP servers
  • Data migration from Microsoft Exchange, IBM Notes and Domino, and IMAP sources
  • Configuration and support for mobile devices
  • Security features like SSO, SSL, and compliance settings
It took me 84 gruelling minutes to complete the exam, with the proctor stopping the exam a couple of times for camera adjustments. I got too frazzled that I didn't realize I passed the exam because right after I turned it in, the assessing system immediately presented my certificate and badge; and it took a while for that to sink in.

Let me know if your company wants to transition to using Google Apps as your email, collaboration, and productivity solution.