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Michael Taschler

Cloud Certifications: Google Professional Collaboration Engineer

Michael Taschler

  • Jul 24, 2020
  • 15 Min read
  • Jul 24, 2020
  • 15 Min read
Cloud Collaboration
Google Professional Collaboration Engineer


Cloud-based solutions have been high in demand in the last several years, and this is not likely to change in the future. Today, organizations of all shapes and sizes collaborate, both internally and with external parties. These organizations use collaboration and productivity tools like Google's Gmail for email communication, Meet for video conferencing, Sheets for spreadsheets, Docs for word processing, and many more. There are also security and management features that allow administrators to set policies, control endpoint devices, and more.

In this guide, you will learn about the GC Professional Collaboration Engineer certification and the exam you can take to achieve it.

GCP Certified Badge Image

Target Audience

As the name suggests, this certification has "collaboration" written all over it, specifically Google Cloud collaboration and productivity offerings and features. Since it is a professional-level certification, the required exam covers a wide range of security topics and technologies.

As a Google Cloud Certified Professional Collaboration Engineer, you will transform business objectives into tangible configurations, policies, and security practices as they relate to your users, content, and integrations. You will leverage your understanding of your organization’s mail routing and identity management infrastructure to enable efficient and secure communication and data access. Operating with an engineering and solutions mindset, you will use tools, programming languages, and APIs to automate workflows. You will look for opportunities to educate your end users and increase operational efficiency while advocating for G Suite and the Google tool set.

Google recommends you have three or more years of industry experience, including one or more years designing and managing solutions using Google Cloud. Having a strong collaboration background is an absolute must to fully comprehend and understand these topics.

Applicable Exam

A single exam is required to gain the GC Professional Collaboration Engineer certification. Currently this exam is available in English and Japanese.

The price for the exam is US$200.

Google also offers a practice exam. At present, this practice exam is free of charge.

Certification Process


The exam format is multiple choice and multiple select.

While Google offers some exams remotely, the GC Professional Collaboration Engineer can only be taken in person at a test center. Follow this link to find the locations of available test centers near you.


You will have two hours to complete the exam. Ensure that you arrive on time and have completed the check-in process to maximize the use of your allowed time.


While there are no specific prerequisites to achieving this certification beyond passing the GC Professional Collaboration Engineer exam, it is worth noting that experience with the required skills is key to a successful experience. Having passed the GC Associate Cloud Engineer exam and the G Suite exam and achieved the corresponding certifications, while not mandatory, will help you prepare for this level since they introduce a number of technologies covered in the GC Professional Collaboration Engineer exam.

Skills Measured

Your skills will be measured in the following eight categories:

  • Planning and implementing G Suite authorization and access
  • Managing user, resource, and Team Drive life cycles
  • Managing mail
  • Controlling and configuring G Suite services
  • Configuring and managing content access
  • Configuring and managing endpoint access
  • Monitoring organizational operations
  • Advancing G Suite adoption and collaboration

These categories are broken down in detail as follows:

Planning and Implementing G Suite Suthorization and Access

Implementing authorization policies

  • Basic user security controls (e.g., password length enforcement and 2-Step verification)
  • Security aspects of identity, perimeter security, and data protection

Using G Suite as a service provider

  • Configuring third-party SSO for G Suite
  • Integrating with third party for provisioning

Using G Suite as an identity provider

  • Configuring and managing SSO for common third-party applications
  • Configuring and managing provisioning

Managing access to third-party applications and sites

  • Granting API access to applications that need access
  • Revoking third-party OAuth access
  • Removing connected applications and sites

Managing User, Resource, and Team Drive Life Cycles

Managing users

  • Adding users (e.g., individual, bulk, automated)
  • Removing users (e.g., suspending, deleting, recovering)
  • Transferring user data from one user to another
  • Editing user attributes (e.g., renaming, passwords, aliases)
  • Creating administrative roles (e.g., default roles, custom roles)
  • Managing user licenses (e.g., licensing models, G Suite SKUs)
  • Troubleshooting conflicting accounts
  • Implications of current G Suite APIs to development efforts
  • Using Google Apps Script to automate tasks

Synchronizing data in your Google domain with your Microsoft® Active Directory® or LDAP server

  • Integrating LDAP with G Suite
  • Configuring and troubleshooting GSPS and GCDS
  • Implications of current G Suite APIs to development efforts
  • Using Apps Script to automate tasks

Managing organizational structure

  • Designing efficient organizational unity (OU) structure based on business needs
  • Assigning users to relevant OUs
  • Modifying OU policies
  • Implications of current G Suite APIs to development efforts
  • Using Apps Script to automate tasks
  • Managing and verifying domains
  • Using Google Takeout to export data *Managing company profile settings

Managing groups

  • Configuring Google Groups
  • Adding users to groups
  • Implications of current G Suite APIs to development efforts
  • Using Apps Script to automate tasks

Managing contacts

  • Creating contacts
  • Sharing contacts
  • Implications of current G Suite APIs to development efforts
  • Using Apps Script to automate tasks

Managing Mail

Managing mail-related DNS settings

  • Managing domain MX records
  • Managing domain SPF records
  • Managing domain DKIM records
  • Managing domain DMARC records

Diagnosing and resolving mail routing issues

  • Analyzing mail flow
  • Analyzing email headers
  • Email log search
  • Disparate email services
  • Using G Suite Toolbox

Configuring and managing security, compliance, and spam rules

  • Configuring attachment compliance
  • Configuring blocked senders
  • Configuring email whitelist
  • Configuring objectionable content
  • Configuring phishing settings
  • Configuring spam settings
  • Managing admin quarantine
  • Configuring secure transport compliance
  • Configuring safety settings

Configuring mail routing rules

  • Configuring split and dual delivery scenarios
  • Implications of integrating third-party mail services
  • Configuring routing rules
  • Configuring recipient map
  • Configuring non-Gmail mailbox
  • Configuring hosts

Configuring general mail setting

  • Configuring append footer setting
  • Configuring forwarding
  • Configuring SMTP relay
  • Enabling email delegation for an OU
  • Disabling IMAP and POP
  • Managing Gmail archives

Controlling and Configuring G Suite Services

Administering G Suite services

  • Managing rollout of new Google functionality to end users
  • Troubleshooting G Suite services (e.g., performance issues for services suite, G Suite apps for OUs)
  • Configuring services

Configuring and managing G Suite core apps

  • Contacts/Directory (e.g., ability to make updates to Directory services or contact support or contacts sharing settings)
  • Calendar (e.g., Calendar sharing settings and delegations, Calendar resource management, Calendar invitations sent to Groups, troubleshooting calendar interoperability)
  • Drive/Team Drive (e.g., storage limitations in Basic plan)
  • Groups (e.g., creating and editing groups, banning group members from posting to the group)
  • Chat/Meet (e.g., disabling Hangouts voice calls for organization, designing video conferencing integration of Hangouts with different end points, disabling bot access on new Hangouts chat)
  • Sites (e.g., usage and implementation)

Managing services integrations

  • Integrating third-party marketplace apps to specific OUs in G Suite
  • Evaluating Marketplace and Connected app landscape
  • Managing private add-ons, chrome extensions, Appmaker Apps, etc.
  • Adding SP to Cloud Identity

Implementing automation

  • API permissions
  • Able to interact with APIs and lightweight scripting
  • Apps Script and App Maker capabilities
  • Service Accounts

Configuring and Managing Content Access

Configuring and managing Vault

  • Setting retention rules (e.g., setting retention rules, placing legal holds, searching your domain’s data by user account, OU, date, or keyword, exporting data for additional processing and review, auditing reports)
  • Holding and exporting data
  • Running Vault audit reports

Configuring and managing Drive and Team Drive

  • Configuring sharing settings (e.g., updating sharing settings to external domains, controlling file access with Information Rights Management)
  • Managing Drive folder structure (e.g., using Google Drive native file formats, recommending Google Drive and Team Drive file structures)

Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements

  • Scanning email with Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
  • Managing content compliance rules

Implementing and monitoring data security

  • Configuring security and data region
  • Monitoring security health check
  • Configuring security settings
  • Creating security records
  • Designing security integration and addressing objections.

Managing third-party applications and access

  • Backing up solutions of G Suite data for compliance
  • Whitelisting OAuth apps

Configuring and Managing Endpoint Access

Configuring mobile devices

  • Company-owned vs. personal devices
  • Configuring personal device settings (e.g., password, Android, iOS, advanced, device approvals, app management, insights)

Provisioning, deprovisioning, and enabling Chrome devices

Managing Google meeting room hardware (e.g., provisioning, deprovisioning, hanging up, calling, rebooting)

Managing Chrome apps, extensions, and Android apps

Configuring network settings (e.g., Wi-Fi, Ethernet, VPN, certificates, and general)

Monitoring Organizational Operations

Setting up and using reports (e.g., creating usage reports, measuring adoption and satisfaction)

Setting up and using audits (e.g., auditing document sharing, auditing Gmail and drive, auditing users)

Interpreting report and audit data and taking appropriate action

  • Troubleshooting and escalating support issues to Google Partner support or Google Engineering
  • Troubleshooting error logs
  • Identifying data leakage scenarios and implementing ways to prevent
  • Streaming audit data to BigQuery

Managing alerts (e.g., suspicious logging activity, apps outages, TLS failure, user deleted)

Advancing G Suite adoption and Collaboration

Building business solutions and processes

  • Creating simple workflow using App Maker
  • Creating simple processes using Apps Script
  • Creating team project sites

Staying up-to-date with G Suite

  • Using Google and partner support channels
  • Accessing and interpreting G Suite roadmap
  • Staying aware of new features and functionality in G Suite

Pluralsight Courses

As always, the newer the course, the more relevant the material will be to your learning journey.

Other Resources

GC provides several training resources. Take a look at the following learning resources:

Utilizing Google Cloud documentation and Google Cloud solutions and navigating to the relevant topics will also help you to prepare for this exam.

Compensation and Employment Outlook

The cloud business has been booming in the last several years. Google's cloud business keeps growing. While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, it certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on Google's cloud business.

Gaining an up-to-date certification like the Google Cloud Professional Collaboration Engineer certification from a household name like Google should make you much more attractive to both your current and future employers, especially since the cloud collaboration and productivity field is booming. Your current employer might not raise your salary, but the next time you go looking for a job, make sure you check trusted internet sources for up-to-date information on salaries in your region.

It's difficult to provide absolute figures because they will depend on numerous factors like your experience, company type and size, industry, and region. Expect salaries for Cloud Collaboration Engineers to range from US$57,000 to US$130,000 in the United States.


As a Professional-level certification, gaining the Google Cloud Professional Collaboration Engineer credentials, while challenging, will earn you the recognition to prove that you are a subject matter expert in this field. All it takes is a single exam, and you have a number of excellent courses available to gain the required knowledge and earn that badge. Sign up for G Suite by utilizing the free 14-day trial and book the exam, which you can take in one of many testing centers near you.

I hope that this guide is useful and wish you good luck with gaining your certification.