Because the CCIE Collaboration Written exam assumes familiarity with a variety of unified communications solutions (for example, CUCM, CUCME, CUC, CUPS, and UCCX), you would certainly benefit by first successfully completing both the voice/collaboration associate and professional level certifications. Then, you could fill in the gaps (for example, UCCX and IP multicast) through self-study.
Perhaps you have the luxury of working with some of these technologies in your current employment. If so, you might check into the feasibility of constructing a collaboration lab topology, which can help you prepare for not only the CCIE Collaboration Written exam, but also ultimately the CCIE Collaboration Lab exam.
If you don’t have the good fortune of working with these technologies, you might consider renting rack time from one of the many CCIE training companies. Or you might invest in a series of Cisco Press books (as detailed in the next section).
Finally, if your budget allows, consider attending a CCIE Collaboration Written boot camp. Personally, the benefit I’ve seen from attending a boot camp is that it seems to compress time. Here’s what I mean; when preparing for my first attempt at the CCIE Voice Lab, I attended a week-long boot camp. Upon leaving the boot camp, I remarked that I learned more in that one week than I would have in a month and a half of independent study. So, although I felt that I could have reached that level on my own, it would have taken much longer.