IPexpert, Internetwork Expert vs. Cisco 360 CCIE learning program

Just days after their public spat over Tolly's review of their respective CCIE training labs, IPexpert and

Internetwork Expert have turned their attention to Cisco's 360 learning program for CCIE Routing and Switching. In a Webcast Thursday that was filled to capacity, IE co-founder Brian Dennis said his company decided not to join Cisco's 360 program and instead would launch CCIE 2, which he claimed would provide "dynamic, customized self-paced content" backed with "community involvement." The announcement followed a blog post published Tuesday by IPexpert founder Wayne Lawson, who shared his personal view of Cisco's program that his company also declined to participate in.

During the Webcast, Dennis said IE declined to join Cisco's program because it would have required IE to become a Cisco Learning Partner and that it would have been restricted to selling its services in North America. Dennis said that 50% of its business is overseas. Earlier this week, IE launched a CCIE scholarship program for U.S. and international participants.

You can listen to IE's Webcast here (it's almost 2 hours long).

Meanwhile, in his blog Lawson made three predictions for Cisco 360: The "different beast" of providing CCIE training would trip up the Learning@Cisco team; it would be an adjustment for "most learning partners that focus on the lower-level Cisco certifications" that are "used to delivering classroom training"; and that it would be the CCIE candidate/student that would suffer in the long run. Read his full blog post here.

In an e-mailed response to Cisco Subnet, Jeanne Beliveau Dunn, general manager of Learning@Cisco, wrote: "We entered into this market because of customer requests for improved offerings that would teach them skills needed on the job that would mirror experience in today's demanding network designs. Cisco already has the most respected experts signed up and ready to deliver this training and we expect many more to follow as we get additional partners through the exhaustive training and skills requirements hurdles before they are approved and authorized to deliver the training. We understand there are a few partners that are still evaluating their choices and we believe the market will decide every program's merit."

Meanwhile, Robert Whiteley, principal analyst and research director for IT Infrastructure & Operations at Forrester Research had this to say of Cisco 360: "I think it’s wise that Cisco gets actively involved in the learning and training process, and this includes the CCIE level. I’ve spoken to some of the largest Cisco customers in the world and all of them are concerned about the pace at which the network is evolving. These enterprises and service providers see a skills gap and they expect Cisco to step up and provide the infrastructure to train a new generation of networking professionals."

He adds: "The worldwide demand for networking professionals is rising dramatically – especially in emerging nations. I think there is more then enough room to accommodate Cisco and independent organizations to supply the certifications need to meet this demand."

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