9 Months and counting to get your CCIE Voice v3 finished before CCIE Voice v4 –err, I mean before CCIE Collaboration– debuts.


See this newer blog entry before reading anything in this current post. Some of what’s below is accurate, but anything in this newer post usurps what may have been said here.


Overwhelmingly, the question I have been asked over and over again in the short time since this was announced is: “If I get the CCIE Voice certification, will I lose it come February when the new CCIE Collaboration debuts?”. In short, No, you will not lose your CCIE Voice. Once you obtain the CCIE Voice certification, then provided that you maintain any CCIE Written exam every two years, you will still be called a CCIE Voice. If you take and pass both, then you will in fact be a double CCIE.


So we finally have our answer. Those of us who are already CCIE Voice – we are not grandfathered in as CCIE Collaboration. CCIE Collaboration is a completely new CCIE track. Voice had a good 10 year run. Now it’s time to get busy and move on with the new CCIE that’s in town. At least that is what Cisco is telling us. It actually makes very little sense why they have done this. The hardware blueprint is almost identical, with a few slight enhancements. Testing days don’t overlap. Cisco even calls it CCIE Voice v4 on a few docs. Why the full retirement vs. a simple name change is beyond me. CCIE R&S has gone through massive changes over the 20 years it’s been out (next year) -it clearly looks nothing like it did in 1994- and it’s still called the CCIE R&S. Security as well. CCIE Communications and Services looks nothing like the CCIE Service Provider of today, but a simple name change sufficed in that case. At any rate, let’s take a look as to what has changed.

Perhaps the most sought after link as to “What if I take the ABC Written Exam, but the XZY Lab Exam – what will I be called?”, can be found here. One of the things it tells us is this:

“A candidate can use either the CCIE Voice or CCIE Collaboration written exam as part of a CCIE Collaboration certification. If a candidate passes either the CCIE Voice written exam or the CCIE Collaboration written exam, combined with the CCIE Collaboration lab exam, they will attain a CCIE Collaboration certification.” However, this does clearly tell us that you must actually pass the CCIE Collaboration lab exam to obtain the title of “CCIE Collaboration”.

Last days to test

CCIE Voice
The last day to take the CCIE Voice Written exam is November 20, 2013.
The last day to take the CCIE Voice Lab exam is February 13, 2014.

CCIE Collaboration
The CCIE Collaboration Written exam availability begins November 21, 2013.
The CCIE Collaboration Lab exam availability begins February 14, 2014.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding this new certification and any possible upgrade path can be found here.


Syllabus and some general info can be found here.

Written Exam Topics

Written Exam topics can be found here.

Lab Exam Topics

Lab Exam topics are extensive but not very revolutionary from CCIE v3, and can be found here.

What’s New?

As expected, Video. 9971 phones with USB-cam sled. Telepresence Movi, albeit in the cloud (candidate doesn’t have to configure). URI Dialing and ILS as expected. SAF via CCD (dynamic DN routing via EIGRP), something that is incredibly useful even if not often deployed. Cross-Cluster Extension Mobility presents an obvious need for at least two full UCM clusters. No word on SME, but that doesn’t mean they can’t test you on it – as it’s just another UCM cluster (and nothing to be afraid of). SIP pre-conditions such as for RSVP which falls right in line with SAF/CCD and which INE has plenty of content on already. Clearly Presence will have Inter-Federation – probably with WebEx, although they could have a Microsoft Lync cluster in the cloud/backbone that you would simply have to interface with. We know that there is no more H.323 Gatekeeper, and no more possibility of T1/E1 CAS, as we see in this Cisco document.

Lab Hardware and Software

Hardware hasn’t changed too, too much from CCIE Voice. In fact, from looking at it, you’d wonder if it isn’t mostly the same. Still has Frame Relay interfaces, which is crazy. Video phones such as 9971. Telepresence with Movi (ehem, Cisco Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence) in the backbone. UC on UCS as expected.

CCIE Collaboration Lab Equipment and Software List
Lab Equipment:
Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) C460 Rack Server
Cisco 3925 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
Cisco 2921 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
ISR G2 Modules and Interface Cards
- 1-Port 3rd Gen Multiflex Trunk Voice/WAN Int. Cards – T1/E1
- Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor Modules (PVDM3)
- Cisco Service Ready Module 710 Service Module with Cisco Unity Express
- 4-port Cisco Gigabit EtherSwitch 10/100/1000BASE-TX autosensing EHWIC with POE
Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series Switch
Cisco Unified IP Phones 7965 and 9971
Cisco Jabber for Windows
Cisco Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence*
*In backbone, no candidate configuration required

Software Versions:
Any major software release which has been generally available for six months is eligible for testing in the CCIE Voice Lab Exam.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager 9.1
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express 9.1
Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 9.0
Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence 9.1
Cisco Unity Connection 9.1
Cisco Unity Express 8.6
All routers use IOS version 15.2(4) M Train
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches uses 15.0(2) Main Train

Network Interfaces:
Fast Ethernet
Frame Relay

Telephony Interfaces:

About Mark Snow, CCIE #14073:

Mark Snow has been actively working with data and traditional telephony as a Network Consulting Engineer since 1995, and has been working with Cisco Call Manager and voice-over technology since 1998. Mark has been actively teaching and developing content for the CCIE Voice track since 2005, and the Security track since 2007. Mark's story with both data and voice technology started out quite young, as he began learning around the age of five from his father who was a patented inventor and a research scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Mark started out on Unix System V and basic analog telephony, and went on from there to large data networking projects with technologies such as Banyan Vines, IPX and of course IP, and large phone systems such as Nortel 61c, Tadiran Coral, Avaya Definity and of course Cisco Unified Communications Manager in both enterprise and 911 PSAP environments across the US and internationally. Mark is also an accomplished pilot and punched his ticket in 2001. When Mark isn't learning, labing, consulting or teaching, he can be found either piloting or possibly jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, hanging off a rock somewhere or else skiing out west. He also might just be enjoying a quiet day at the beach with his wife and two wonderful young kids, Ryleigh and Judah.

Find all posts by Mark Snow, CCIE #14073 | Visit Website

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

116 Responses to “CCIE Collaboration is not just a new CCIE Voice”

  1. Terrence B says:

    So mark are you going to have to do data center, then Jump back on board to take care of the collaboration.

  2. Sidi says:

    Will this new IE track go thru a beta phase first or live in Nov 2013 ?

  3. Terrence b says:

    So 1 last thing will you keep the last boot camp is? I would imagine a lot of people are not going to push through a retired track

    • We’ll evaluate each bootcamp as the time gets closer for that one to occur. As it stands right now, you can’t take the CCIE Collaboration exam for another 9 months, so most people will still be trying to pursue and finish up their CCIE Voice. 9 months is still quite a long time.

  4. Steve Snodgrass says:

    Oh wow, if CCIE Voice isn’t migrating this is going to upset a whole lot of people (probably including you Mark). This reminds me of the CCSP to CCNP Security debacle, but worse since it’s CCIE. However, I don’t see any definitive statement about what happens to current CCIE Voice holders – is it confirmed that they don’t have a migration path short of taking another lab exam?

    At this point it seems like anyone who’s got a voice lab scheduled before next February would be better off to cancel and reschedule since the CCIE they are trying to obtain is about to become obsolete, unless I’m not understanding what’s going on here.

    • I don’t agree with it, but that doesn’t mean that it upsets me. I do understand,however, how a LOT of people will be upset. I’ve had quite a few calls already this morning from students who just passed and are not happy that their certification will be a ‘retired’ one. There is something to keep in mind though, and that is that once you have your CCIE, you never loose it. A CCIE Voice may always call themselves a CCIE Voice, provided they take any CCIE Written exam every two years. So I would respectfully disagree that anyone that has an exam between now and February should cancel and wait for the new track. Quite the contrary, I think you should study hard, pass the CCIE Voice (which you will always have), and then if you like, study a bit more content (like 15-20% new topics) and take and pass the CCIE Collaboration as well come February. That way, you’ll be a Double CCIE, and all you will have had to do is study about 15-20% more content. Seems like a bargain to me!

      • mohamed says:


        I was already busy with my ccie voice lab doing good for about three months.
        I was planning to schedule my ccie voice lab around February 10 th.
        What do you think about it.

        I already have a ccie voice lab v 3 based.
        But what do you exactly mean by ” its beter to wait study harder and do the new lab exam then you will be a Double CCIE??

        • I simply meant that you have ~9 months left, and if you study and pass the Voice lab, and then commit to learning about 15-20% more and pass the Collab lab, then you will have 2 CCIE’s (albeit they will be a bit redundant) – but you will be a double CCIE nonetheless.

          • mohamed says:

            Hi Mark,

            Thanks for the reply.
            It sounds a little bit stupid…but why should i go for two labs.
            I can do either schedule and do the ccie voice lab in February.

            Or i can choose to study some new materials and schedule the CCIE Collaboration.

            At the moment i have this home lab.
            4 sites ( 3 x 2801, 1x 2811 )
            6 IP phone 7960/7961
            4 servers: ( CUCM, CUPS, CUC, UCCX ) version 7 based.

            What do you suggest?
            Which plan would benefit me better.

            If i go for the CCIE collaboration then this mean i will have to update some new materials.
            So it wil cost me more.

          • Your hardware will serve you well for studying some of what you need, and then you can rent rack time for the rest of what you need in terms of video, CME v9.1, etc. Your 7960 will do you no good anymore. 7961 won’t do iLBC or iSAC. Your servers you can simply rebuild with newer v9.x versions. I would suggest you continue to study the INE materials that you have now, and then as we release new stuff, begin to study that as well since it won’t cost you anything additional to do so.

  5. Steve Snodgrass says:

    One more question Mark – are you still doing the collaboration bootcamp in October, and do you expect there to be any additional collaboration bootcamps between October and February? Oops, I guess that was two more questions. :)

    • The bootcamp in October is -at this point- still focused on CCIE Voice v3 as there will still be 4 months between then and the changeover date to pass that version of the exam. If we end up having everyone that is registered for that bootcamp wanting it to be a Collaboration (aka CCIE Voice v4) bootcamp, then we will evaluate that as we get closer and make the official announcement of the intended change.

      • Steve Snodgrass says:

        Oh, OK, I thought the October bootcamp was added specifically because of the new collaboration track per one of your earlier blog posts. Otherwise it seems a little odd that you have nearly back-to-back September/October bootcamps.

  6. Semyon Taskin says:

    Dont think it is quite fair to retire Voice. Rename would be more appropriate.

  7. Michael says:


    What does this mean for CCIE Voice candidates? Do you retain your Voice status after the exam retires?

    Another aspect of this change that I see is that it will easily be out of reach for the average candidate’s budget. For example, a 2811 can be had for under $400 while the 2921 looks to be $1300 – $1700 in the gray market. True, you can use rack rentals, but a home lab is just so much more convenient!

    Lastly, could you comment on INE’s plans for an upgrade path out of the CCIE Voice material into the new workbooks and other materials? Because it is technically a new track, is this a start from scratch scenario?

    • Yes, you do retain it. Once you have any CCIE, you never loose it. A CCIE Voice may always call themselves a CCIE Voice, provided they take any CCIE Written exam every two years.
      As for the lab gear, it’s still a bargain compared to the $1.1M price tag on a CCIE Data Center rack. ;-)
      Our workbooks are undergoing an entire change- yes. Now bear in mind that 80% of the content of the new exam is still the same (dial plan doesn’t go away or change, we just get added components). Regions do work a bit differently now, as do locations, and so yes, for those and many other reasons – such as migrating to our new online workbook format – we will be completely reworking both the content and the delivery.

      • Michael says:

        Any advice for people looking to start their studies today?

        Assuming some level of knowledge, do you think it is practical to start now, sit a bootcamp by November, and take a few attempts before the lab retires?

      • M George says:

        In an year’s time, we will see Job titles like , could be a CCIE voice but preferrable CCIE collaboration . With just one announcement, Cisco made Voice IE equivalent to an NP certification.

  8. William Bell says:

    Personally, I fall into the camp of not being happy with Cisco. It doesn’t make sense, particularly if 75-80% of the new blueprint is the same as v3.0. Thinking on some of the other IE tracks that were retired, I have a hard time putting my finger on why the IE voice would go the way of the IE ISP Dial or IE WAN Switching.

    It is particularly annoying when you think about how many changes the CCIE R&S has undergone between successive versions.

    I have a hard time seeing the logic in this decision. Maybe if we could see all of the data points Cisco used to come to this conclusion we would see some thread of logic. Perhaps they are trying to drum up business from folks who have the IE voice and would find a double IE appealing. People who just put their family and bank accounts through the IE journey may not be so easily motivated? Who knows.

    In the near term I would think that there would be a fair number of IE voice candidates who will put their plans on hold. I guess that depends where you are in the process. Would that be a hit to Cisco’s revenue machine? I’ll hazard a guess they thought about that and concluded they didn’t care.

    Is the “double IE” upside really a draw when we are talking about an upgrade to an existing track? I mean if you had a double IE in Voice + R&S, I get that. A double IE in Voice + “More Voice w/some video and IM/Presence”? Really?

    For me, this decision has a negative affect on my brand loyalty and I will have to take some time to process the news.


    • Juan Carlos Anzola says:

      William, I cound’t agree more with you.

      This is a stupid decision, i still can’t believe it.

      We have to remember that people that take decisions and set salaries will not look at the new blueprint and realize it’s almost the same. They will think Voice is just an obsolete certification.

    • Nicolas MICHEL says:

      Hey Bill

      If you were involved in Politics, I am sure you would be President of the United Stated :)
      I cannot agree more …
      I am actually in the middle of my CCIE Voice journey … I am unsure wether I will pass this one or not … I guess I will but what is the point of having a CCIE that is retired in a few months ??

      :( (


  9. M George says:

    This is quite ridiculous ! All other tracks (RS/SP) have gone through massive changes but they were retained. Even Security CCIE track has recently gone through 50% more overlap (ISE/WSA/ACS/WLC/AP & what not is new) but they didn’t rename it & retire old one. If you look at CCIE Collaboration equipment list & topics, you won’t find any significant different other than TP/Jabber/InterCluster stuff which is like 15%-20% new stuff. It’s so pathetic on cisco’s part that they didn’t value the years hardwork & effort of engineers to attain Voice CCIE. I know guys who sat lab like 7 times, some even 10 times to pass. & when they have finally passed this extremely tough lab, you are throwing their CCIE number in gutter by retiring a CCIE certification. Will people go for CCIE Voice lab now ? Probably NOT & i bet this will be only track for which there won’t be rush to complete certification.

    it’s an extremely disappointing thing what Cisco has done. Cisco should protect investment made by tens of hundreds of engineers for years rather than giving them a retired track. For a guy who passed lab on 7th attempt recently & is a Voice CCIE , will Cisco give him free vouchers 7 times to sit Collaboration CCIE now ? Morally , they should. Practically, they won’t.

    It doesn’t make sense to me . Does it make sense to anyone among you ? If so, please explain how.

    • Ash says:

      I am a CCIE Voice, passed in 2nd attempt and to be honest I cannot agree more what you have said! for me this has just become a money business for Cisco so that us CCIE Voice pay again and go for another lab! why? I am not planning for CCIE Collab at all. I am good with my CCIE Voice.

  10. Chris Racaza says:

    This is really confusing. A new track has been introduced on the Expert level that might seems an upgrade or re-alignment of the Voice track but Cisco never put an associate nor professional level side of thing.

  11. Benjamin Wright says:

    My question is that I recently purchased INE CCIE Voice boot camp package and manage to secure a full voice lab but only started the CCNP Voice. I know I won’t be ready for the lab by February 2014 due to my current deployed status but would you suggest to continue with the CCIE Voice studies and current equipment until you guys come out with a remote lab and then start in with the collaboration track?

    I figure I can repurpose my equipment for R/S and attempted that since I’m closer to CCIE R/S (already passed the written) now than CCIE Voice.

    Also what happens to my CCIE Voice boot camp I purchased will it become CCIE Collaboration?

    • Yes, continue with your studies because, as I mention in various other comments on this page, the newer material is only about 15-20% worth of new content that has to be learnt and practiced. The existing material will give you a very, very solid and necessary foundation and even hit home on many of the finer points that are very prevalent in the new Collab blueprint. The current CCIE Voice bootcamps that we have on the schedule are staying as just that – CCIE Voice. We are adding one 10-day bootcamp for early December that will be strictly the CCIE Collaboration blueprint. More will be posted shortly for 2014.

  12. ccievoice says:

    Hi Mark,

    Is that officially announce that the exiting CCIE VOICE candidate should re-take CCIE Collaboration exam to become CCIE Collaboration ?


  13. Ashfaq says:

    I have recently cleared my ccie and now this news it freaks me out and also even upsets me ..
    will this have an effect on my future job as ccie voice is expiring ??
    will companies hire guys who are ccie voice certified ??

  14. Stephen Wright says:

    I am about to take my first lab attempt in 3 weeks having spent some 800 hours over the last 5 months working towards CCIE voice so this news is a bit disheartening. However I do agree with Mark that there will still be huge amount of value for people who hold CCIE voice. For one the name “CCIE Collaboration” sucks.
    Having got my CCIE SP many years ago and re-certified with all manner of written tracks, I have learnt that nothing stands still in terms of certification. I think the real thing to bear in mind is that you don’t lose your existing CCIE Voice certification unlike many other lower level certifications (been there done that!). If I fail on my first attempt (highly likely based on how hard people report this lab to be) then I would most likely still go back again for a 2nd and 3rd shot at the v3 lab with the added bonus that there may be more places available. Still not the news I wanted to hear.

  15. Reddy says:

    Hi Mark,

    I bought INE’s CCIE voice v3 workbooks and videos 8months ago, am not sure that i can complete my preparation by feb 2014. what is the migration plan for getting new materials ? Do i have to buy with full price or going to be some discount for the existing customers ?

  16. weicong says:

    Hi Mark/INE, are we still going to get the lifetime update for the CCIE voice products we’ve purchased? since now it has been renamed to collaboration!

  17. Juan says:

    yeah – think about brand loyalty again now…
    Time to open eyes and face the facts. I will for sure.

    Just 1 yr with a number and now retiring this…what a bad joke this is

  18. Brian says:

    I think enough current CCIE Voice candidates need to voice their opinion on how ridiculous this is. I know they are giving us the chance to “keep” our CCIE voice certification if we keep taking written exams but you can’t tell me this doesn’t devalue the certification that I spent countless hours on less than two years ago. The material looks like just a version change with the logical changes I would expect for the voice track. Thoughts and opinions on the best contact location for current CCIE Voice holders to bombard Cisco with complaints?

  19. Michael says:

    As i noted on the previous article, this is clearly a marketing decision and has nothing to do with the technology. Very bad move to dismiss the Voice cert and introduce a new exam with just only 10-15% new material. As some people already said, other certifications have gone through major overhauls and yet didn’t get replaced. This is a change for change’s sake. They’re leaving us dead cold because some manager thought collaboration is the latest catchy term in the industry. The good thing is they’re introducing new equipment – btw this will probably be the death of the home lab and will certainly save lots of people from the mistake of owning one – but even here they mess things up; we have UCS, 3925, 3750X, video phones and…frame relay?!? Personally I won’t be pursuing collaboration and instead jump on the DC wagon

  20. Dan Phoenix says:

    I have a CCIE Voice and it made sense when Cisco was a “Voice” company…. But the focus is now on Collaboration as a whole so it makes sense for the CCIE to evolve as well. Its tough to say, should Cisco grandfather in a Collaboration CCIE for me? Probably not as Im certified in voice not collab. Will I be taking the new CCIE Collaboration? Probably not as I took the Voice 7 years ago and I would have to start all over again on the lab studying. I will probably continue studying for the CCDE in hopes that its not retired soon as well….

  21. Mohamed Saad says:

    Hey Mark
    this means that CCNP Voice 8 will be valid and will not change also
    I’m in the middle of it and still got 3 tracks to exam
    I want to know is there going to be new CCNP Vocie 9 or we will continue with the current …
    please confirm

  22. Hans says:

    They still can add / remove things. Even in the middle of the new track. Remember the Lab questions format?

  23. Terrence B says:

    I knew the storm was coming last night. My 2 cents is that the change in name is good. I agree with that aspect of it. However I don’t agree that the old voice track guys/gals should be left out in the cold. They should be able to take a cross over exam and get the new name. Lets be honest we do know of some older IE’s who haven’t stayed fresh, but still carry that “CCIE” weight around. If they decided to do this across all tracks I would be on-board, but to single out voice it sucks. I’m only a few weeks into my lab prep so this doesn’t’ affect me much, but as a person who works for a partner this does change things. As time goes on using CCIE Voice for partner status will go away and there will be no choice, but to have the “collaboration” types on board.

    • Well stated Terrence, and I agree with most of what you said, however if they were to require older Voice IEs to do some sort of a “crossover” exam to become CCIE Collab, then they would have to apply that same metric to CCIE Security, and CCIE Routing and Switching – the latter of which is 20 years old and by a vast, vast margin has the most people whom have not truly stayed up to date.

      • Juan Carlos Anzola says:

        Mark, given the lack of logic behind this decision. Do you see by any chance that Cisco could rectify and change that?

        • Only if a LOT of people were very vocal on FB and Twitter (Twitter especially) to @LearningAtCisco.

          • William Bell says:

            Exactly. A very similar thread is happening in other places as well. If you want Cisco to make a change you need to have a message and be persistent. Twitter, FB, etc. are all good mediums. If going to Live then there is some additional opportunity there.

            The IE voice community is actually small but if enough people speak up and have a consistent message then you can make something happen. It would certainly have a better chance then doing nothing. The message is key. Cisco won’t recant their statement now. They may be willing to adjust and provide a way for the IE voice to upgrade without doing a full lab.

            I would normally include the Cisco online community in the list of viable mediums. However, apparently, they didn’t like some comments people posted and disabled comments.


            That is quite ironic. The Collaboration cert in a Collaboration community curtailing the ability to Collaborate.

            -Bill (@ucguerrilla)

  24. Roy R says:

    Will CCIE Voice VOD training be upgraded to CCIE Collaboration for free? or will there be a cost?

  25. YS says:

    No knowledge gained is lost :-) , you can do CCIE Voice before it becomes obsolete and then you can do CCIE collaboration as well :-)

    • Excellent perspective on this. While I don’t agree with their decision, I do very much agree with this response to it. We can’t change what is, but we can control how we respond to it. Two-for-one CCIE with only incremental knowledge learning!

  26. Jaime10 says:

    It seems a more marketing decision because from a technical or logical point of view it does not make sense at all.

    I think that they are making a mistake. I dont know but for the future I could think two times things before I spend all the time and money that a CCIE requires. Maybe people could be concerned about that in other tracks for the future. I would understand to pass the written to learn new concepts but the lab again with jusy a few new topics?

    Is there any possibility to change this decision?


  27. Juan Carlos Anzola says:

    Hey Guys,

    I don’t know if everyone is as upset as i am about this. I have shared some facts with @LearningAtCisco both in Twitter and Facebook, but still not strong arguments (because there are none).

    I was taking a look at the blueprint change from v2 to v3. That was a big change. and this did not happened.

  28. Marco says:

    At the moment it is very frustating.
    A lot of us has spend so much time and money in this exam.
    I hope that Cisco will recognize that this decision is not the best one.
    Even if you can say in a few years “I’m a CCIE” but if there is a company which get a gold partner status or not than a ccie voice will no longer count. And so the salary for a CCIE voice will not be the same as a CCIE Collaboration.

    I know that there a changes in all of the tracks over the time, but what cisco tells me today is if pass the exam today oder in the next months it will be less worth than in 9 months.
    I hope that they will reconsider what theyactually do.

  29. Sean says:

    Anyone who can, please share your thoughts on twitter with Cisco @LearningAtCisco. We need to make more noise if we want anything to happen. Their are not enough people holding a CCIE voice for anyone to remain silent. We are a relatively small group. Also spread the word to anybody that this impacts.I realize this will probably not change anything but it is worth a few minutes of time to try as opposed to months of preparing again.

  30. Abel says:

    What can assure us cisco is not going to do this with every track later and is using the Voice IE group as a guinea pigs. Trust me, if this decision keep going and become a reality this is going to make a big gap of trust between me and cisco after almost 15 years of be a “Collaborator” in the Cisco Market. People in Avaya must be praying to their gods for a miracle like this.

    • Aaron D says:

      Not to mention Microsoft Lync. Some CCIEV may be so disenchanted by this that they decide to Resell Microsoft Lync. Why Not? It is now time to re-certify anyways…

  31. Mark says:

    This decision will very likely to a great deal of damage to the CCIE programme. Having done 2 CCIEs (including the voice track) I certainly won’t be investing all that effort and money into taking the new Collaboration track, just to say I have the latest & greatest. Technology moves on, it always will. It’s experience, approach and outlook that really counts.

    As has already been pointed out, what does this say to new candidates that are pursuing CCIE status, and companies who invest a great deal in staff. It’s in all our powers to retain CCIE status, but this has a feeling of 2nd class relegation about it.

  32. Marco says:

    it looks like even Learning Cisco is not claer what they are doing.
    why there is this document for CCIE Voice Lab v4.0 Equipment and Software List? I do not understand what Lab v4.0 means?

  33. ccie voice says:

    On the 10th anniversary year of the CCIE Voice certification,Cisco has announce death sentence to all CCIE VOICE folks out there.Its really hurts and make us cry as we have put lots of efforts money and time to achieve this valuable certification.Cisco kills the CCIE VOICE for the sake of revenue and with only 20% change to new blue print version 4 .So its the request to all the CCIE Voice guys to raise there voice on FB and Twitter to save CCIE VOICE certification life

  34. Jesse says:

    Go to twitter and provide some feed back to share by replying to this tweet:

  35. zain Fakhr says:

    i have booked my exam for Dec 15th. i am going to prepare for the lab. Should i go for it or not ??

    My company is cisco gold partner they need the certifications to become partner. So i should go for it or not ??

  36. Cliff says:

    If you guys don’t fight back now. They will eventually do the same thing to EVERY CCIE track.

  37. Shawn McDermott says:

    So I’m studying for the ccie voice…im screwed. If I fail the test in November I’ll basically be out of luck. I should just study and take the new test.

  38. CCIE Voice says:

    I want to vote for save CCIE Voice,

    Anyplace is official for voice ?


    • Brian says:

      500 views and 10 comments overnight

      I would assume passing it along and as many comments as possible would be good.

  39. Billy says:

    I am pleased that the new blueprint has been announced and I think the focus on collaboration is good and reflects the work that I am seeing these days.

    I have been put off even starting my studies because of the versions used in the v3, working all day on mostly 9.x and some 8.x and then trying to study 7.0 just seemed a huge waste of my time and (limited) brainpower! Now that it will be using current versions, it seems like the ideal time to take it on, another 2 years down the line and the version lag will become an additional mountain to climb again.

    With regards to the title, CCIE Collaboration, I think it reflects the ‘Unified’ nature of the products and Cisco’s direction, but leaving the people who have worked hard for their CCIE Voice out in the cold when the track is so similar does seem very harsh. With only 10% – 15% difference, surely passing the new CCIE Collaboration Written should be enough to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding to convert to the new title.

  40. Mark says:

    What is really needed here is for some large Cisco customers and partners to raise the issue with their account channels and put pressure on from that direction. Big money always gets results.

  41. mohamed says:

    I was wondering when will the new CCIE voice lab topology will be available?
    What about the workbooks, any updates yet?

    • I would expect to see something of a “loose” topology sample at Cisco Live during the 8-hour CCIE Voice Techtorial session. I do believe that one thing that will change big time about this exam is that they won’t keep the same topology on every lab in the pool of labs that make up the new track. Something that every other CCIE track does (different topologies for different labs in the pool). So what Cisco gives us at Cisco Live will truly be just that – a sample. We are working on updating the workbooks and will announce updates here on our blog as they progress. We will also be doing a beta-testing time first for all new labs, and I will announce here on the blog as well when those are ready for people to sign up for.

  42. [...] You can also read Mark Snow’s (@highspeedsnow) take on things at INE’s blog. [...]

  43. Shawn says:

    Horrible. Ill just wait to get my Collaboration. Waste of time and effort at this point in the game to get a CCIE voice.

  44. United says:

    So which is better to go for ccie security or ccie collaboration in terms of demand wise in market

  45. SilverSurfer says:


    You just announced a new Bootcamp in Seattle, Washington »
    Oct 7th – Oct 18th, 2013
    Also, you have two upcoming Bootcamps
    Sep 16th – Sep 27th, 2013 Seattle, Washington »
    Aug 19th – Aug 30th, 2013 London, United Kingdom »

    How will the retake policy work for students registering for these bootcamps now? Will they be given a free retake when you start running Collaboration bootcamps ?

    • The October bootcamp is being moved to the first two weeks of December, and will strictly cover the new v4 (err, Collaboration) blueprint. The other two are almost full of people still trying to finish up the CCIE Voice during the available testing period, and will remain focused on v3 blueprint.

      Our workbooks, videos and lab retake policy will be that of a simple upgrade from a v3 blueprint to a v4 blueprint – meaning that anyone who has purchased any of our existing CCIE Voice v3 blueprint materials will get the upgrades (or live class retakes) just as if this were a simple blueprint update to v4 (which it is, but I digress).

  46. Jose says:

    Hi, Mark I’m just about to start my CCIE Collaboration journey. I’m already a CCNP Voice.

    What is your recommendation as of now? Should I start watching the CCIE Voice videos and polish on those topics?

    What I mean, what your recommended training path for the people who are just starting? How should we start as there is not much info about specific training for this new lab who might have multiple clusters and so the strategies and what’s more important to learn might not be available in current training material out there.


    • I think that no matter which test you take, that you should go ahead and continue your pursuit of this track now. Reason is this: If you continue to study for the CCIE Voice, and end up taking the CCIE Collaboration, everything you are studying now in Voice will 100% go right into your preparation for the CCIE Collaboration. The new blueprint only contains about 15-20% newer material. It is *not* a dramatic shift from the Voice track in any way. That means that all your efforts will pay off, no matter whether you end up taking and passing the CCIE Voice before the Feb 13 deadline, or go on to study that additional 20% of material, and take and pass the CCIE Collaboration after Feb 14. The worst decision you can make is to sit idle and not do anything over the next 9 months.

  47. Oladeji Fagbewesa says:

    From what I have seen so far, I think there are more job in Security than Voice. With this development, I think I will go for CCIE Security instead. Mark Snow, can you please comment on this “in terms of demand wise in market”, since you are both CCIE in Security and Voice.

    • Security is kind of a fickle thing from a market perspective (and therefore where headcount for jobs are allocated). When threats are on the rise, so are security jobs. When people feel safe, jobs aren’t as prevalent. Right now – and for the past 2 years, with the BYOD growth phase, Security jobs have definitely been up. At the moment it’s a great time to be in Security. Problem is, predicting that market demand 12-18 months from now. By the way, don’t get me wrong, there is always the “need” for Security, but there is not always quite as much of a “perceived need”. Two very different things. At any rate, I am quite confident that either route you go, you will have great success finding gainful employment.

  48. CCIEV says:

    FYI – there is a petition going around to try and get a bridge or name change instead of a complete retirement of the older Voice track.

  49. William Bell says:

    My response to Cisco with info on how to keep the message going. Remember we are a small community. Be persistent, be polite, and stay on message. We have only 3 weeks until Live US.

    CCIE Needs its Voice Back

    -Bill (@ucguerrilla)

  50. Jyoti says:

    I had been studying hard to take IE Voice lab since last year. Going through INE Deep Dive and CoD advance. Scheduled and paid lab fee on 29th May(Sydney Time). Couple of hours later received news letter saying that CCIE is voice is going to be retired. What a “slap on my face”. This is what I though initially.. But now realized that This the perfect time to acquire double CCIE (Voice and Collaboration) with just little bit of extra study. Just have to wait until INE release Collaboration series of Video. Hopefully it is going to be soon.

  51. Maqsood says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am CCNP Voice certified and I was going to start CCIE Voice preparation, but this news came as a huge surprise as well as a shock for me.. Now I am totally confused whether to go for CCIE Voice or wait for CCIE Collaboration ??? Here are my few points…

    Advantages of going for CCIE Voice:

    1. Lab gear is already available so it is easy to practice without any hardware upgrade.

    2. Blue Print of CCIE collaboration is 80% same as CCIE Voice so we don’t have to read much more for CCIE collaboration and can easily get Dual-CCIE certified.

    3. Getting CCIE Collaboration certified will take much time as it will debut next year.

    Disadvantage of going for CCIE Voice:

    1. What is the use of getting Dual-CCIE certified when both CCIE Voice and CCIE collaboration are one and the same with few changes ??

    2. A CCIE Voice certified guy has to take CCIE Collaboration lab exam again to become CCIE Collaboration certified (Again paying lab exam fees, sitting for 8-hour lab, again going through the entire study materials etc)

    3. In the future, employers will hire a CCIE Collaboration certified guy because he will have more updated and extra knowledge than a CCIE Voice guy.

    4. When we can get certified in CCIE collaboration which is more updated one, why to get certified in CCIE Voice which no will ask in the future ?

    I am really confused what to do.. I will really appreciate if Mark Snow and others can advice me on this.. Thank You.

  52. Maqsood says:

    The above points are just my views. I had no intentions of hurting anyone who is already CCIE Voice certified or who are preparing to take the lab exam in the near future. Hope it will help someone who is as confused as me in deciding what to do :)

  53. Nathan g says:

    What’s the lower cost alternative routers we can use? 2911 or will a 28xx cover it? Will any virtualized servers work or should we be ready for UCS questions?

    • 2911 will be the lowest cost to get you the actual Collaboration experience with IOS 15.2. 2811 will allow you to test many Voice features, but very little in the way of video (mainly video over, not video termination). Also, 2811 only goes up to IOS 15.1(x)T. Any virtualized server should work for 99% of everything you need to do. This being a C-Series server (rack-mount pizza box server), it probably will not be integrated into a pair of Fabric Interconnects, and therefore probably not running under the grander UCSM. This is not to say that they couldn’t do this – they could, just seems a bit less likely. You certainly should be familiar with the web-based CIMC UI for the C-series. At any rate, even if they do have you do something with either the C-series CIMC, or the more common B-series UCSM, it would most likely not be worth more than just a few 2-3 maybe 4 points, and should not be the main focus of your studies, and so I wouldn’t be worried about purchasing a C200 or like server. A little video-based learning and some rack time should help you with that bit.

      • Nathan G says:

        Thanks for the reply. I hope to start my studies for the CCIE Collaboration soon. INE looks like the way to go. Will the product line support a dual CCIE track where I can get my Voice and Collaboration or once the Collaboration materials come out I be forced down that track?

        • We will not be removing any of our CCIE Voice materials, we will simply be adding all of the necessary CCIE Collaboration materials- much of which will overlap with the current CCIE Voice, but we will still re-develop them all on the current software versions of 9.x.

  54. Juan says:

    Hi, Mark.
    Y just finished my CCNP Voice Track, and Got the certification, I have to take one big decision, If go for the CCIE Collaboration Exam, or take the CCNP R&S Exam.

    I do now know much about R&S, and now I am working on a JOB for voice that does not even required you to get a certification to fulfill your role.

    I want to take the CCIE Colaboration for the following reasons.
    1.- 3 years only voice experience.
    2.- Rack lab on my job.
    3.- Just finished CCNP Voice and I have most of the concepts fresh on my mind.

    I want to take the CCNP R&S for the folowing reasons.
    1.- I just do not know much about R&S

    What do yo suggest? Go for CCIE Collab, or CCNP Normal.
    Do you thing I can achieve that certification (CCIE) in one year?

    Or you advise me to take CCNP R&S and the go for collab.

  55. Navneet says:

    And now this sounds like great news on

    “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.”

  56. JC.Bogard says:

    Is there a date as of yet for INE’s CCIE training to reflect this change?



  57. travis k says:

    is ccie collaboration include cisco video track..

  58. Sunjay says:

    Hey Mark…What is scope of CCIE Voice / collaboration in the future? As Cisco has got tough competition from Avaya & many claims that it is actually a better phone system than Cisco…On the other hand people say soft clients (Jabber, Lync) & SIP trunking are the next big thing and Microsoft is selling far better than Cisco. So is it better go for Microsoft Lync or invest time on CCIE Voice? Please let me know your thoughts on this…

  59. Natheer says:

    Mark I have build my ccie voice home lab exactly like ine topology , what I need to buy as of hardware for the collabration track.

  60. Sami says:

    Hi mark
    I am a ccie voice. If I take ccie collaboration written exam i will be a ccie collaboration, could u please let me know if cisco send me a new cirtificate with a badge and pledge ( full kit what in hit from Cisco when I cleared my lab )

    • If you have the CCIE Voice, and you take and pass the CCIE Collaboration Written and wish to now be called a CCIE Collaboration, you must start a Cisco Certification Support case. Once you have done that, and Cisco reports to you that they have successfully migrated your title, then you will be able to use that title and logo on your materials (business cards, email sig, etc). They will not send you a new plaque or certificate, since you have not completed any new certifications, only renewed into a new title. If you choose to also take and pass the CCIE Collaboration practical (lab) exam, then they will in fact send you a new plaque, and you will be able to call yourself both a CCIE Voice and CCIE Collaboration.

  61. MS says:

    Mark tell me should I go for CCIE Collaboration or not as I m already CCIE voice


Leave a Reply


CCIE Bloggers