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CCIE's raise Voice over Cisco cert move

First in anger, then in glee as Cisco relents on Collaboration

Cisco quelled a growing mutiny among CCIEs to the company's recent announcement to obsolete CCIE Voice and have them re-certify for CCIE Collaboration. Petitions and blogs said there should be a smoother transition to CCIE Collaboration from CCIE Voice than just canceling Voice and having them re-certify.

The protesters contended the two certifications are nearly identical, and that they've been keeping up with the Cisco collaboration portfolio for as many years as they have been Voice CCIEs. It's Cisco who hasn't been keeping up -- the CCIE Voice certification lagged behind the collaboration trend, they say.

William Bell of UC Guerrilla put it this way:  

I'd like to welcome the IE program to the Collaboration world. We've been waiting.

Soon after Cisco's announcement, a petition started to change the plan and within five days,1,000 signatures appeared. 

Petition author John Welsh told us there effectively is no transition for current CCIE Voice experts to get to CCIE Collaboration, even though the blueprint material is about 80-85% identical. Taking any CCIE lab exam requires spending thousands of dollars in expense per test, which average three attempts to pass, he says.

Also, CCIEs are required to take a written exam every two years just to maintain their certification. So whatever Cisco's done in "voice" over the years - which includes video, WebEx, Jabber and other unified communications apps - they've been on top of.  

Says Welsh:

This is why they can make it as hard a certification as it is and people are still willing to take it, it's investment protection... With its latest announcement Cisco has pretty much told the world that the CCIE Voice is obsolete.

Cisco's heard the cry and today said it's changed it's ways. Here's the company's e-mailed statement from Fred Weiller, director of marketing, Learning@Cisco:

We are listening to the feedback from our valued CCIE community, and will be adjusting the CCIE Collaboration requirements. As a quick preview of the evolution of the CCIE Collaboration certification, a current holder of the CCIE Voice designation will now be able to migrate to a CCIE Collaboration credential by taking the CCIE Collaboration written exam only. We appreciate all of the great feedback and patience of the community while we update our webpages to reflect this change. We will be communicating further details about this modification as soon as possible.

Welsh responded:

This is excellent news! Having a written test to transition is what we have been asking for. If it ends up being a written test, this is what the petition and online efforts have been about. 

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