After a huge outcry by many on Twitter, Facebook and even a Change.org petition with currently almost 1,200 signatures gathered in less than a week, Cisco seems to have recanted their position, and will be allowing current CCIE Voice certified individuals, as well as those that certify before the February 14, 2014 switchover date, to migrate to the new CCIE Collaboration, simply by taking and passing the new CCIE Collaboration Written exam, which will debut on November 21, 2013.

Here is the official statement from Cisco.

To all of our CCIE Voice professionals. Here is a statement from Fred Weiller, Director of Marketing at 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.”

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

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35 Responses to “CCIE Voice Engineers Need Only Pass New Written to Become CCIE Collaboration Certified”

  1. Stephen Wright says:

    This is great news, thanks to John Welsh, William Bell, INE etc for promoting the cause. Glad to see that Cisco do listen (sometimes) to the community.

  2. cisco voice engineer says:

    Voice track – CCNA, CCNP – nothing in the end.
    Video track – CCNA, nothing else. (Just created)
    Collaboration track – CCIE only (just created, 95% voice – 5% video)

    Is it looking messy only in my head or it is really so?

    What is the future of Voice track? Why creating collaboration if there are Voice and Video tracks? Can certification experts explain this to me? (I’m just an engineer and having troubles here reading between the lines)

    CCIE Collaboration = 90% of CCIE Voice. Get your seconds CCIE in one week!
    (I understand that having CCIE is not a goal of life but just the possibility to get second one that way is a little bit unexplainable)

    Feeling disappointment.

    • With the recent news, here is basically what this means.
      CCIE Voice gets a blueprint update to CCIE Voice v4, but in the same time, changes it’s name to CCIE Collaboration. Cisco has changed the name of a CCIE certification before -CCIE Communications and Services became CCIE Service Provider. What is different in this new name change is that those holding the cert must pass a written exam. Other than that, you will see the retirement of CCNA and CCNP Voice as Cisco comes out with CCNA and CCNP Collaboration exams, probably later this year.

      As for CCNA Video, this one is still up in the air to see what happens. There is a lot on that exam that they don’t test anywhere else, like VMS/Expressway/MCUs, DMS and IP Video Surveillance.

      • cisco voice engineer says:

        Thank you for a clarification. At some point I understand that this is just a name change, but something inside me is asking to finish Voice track (have CCNA, CCVP and CCIE exam) by going for CCIE Voice lab. But I will have only one shot there). Does retirement of Voice track mean that Cisco will rename my orginal CCVP one more time: CCVP=>CCNP Voice => CCNP Collaboration?

        Thank you,

    • Steve Snodgrass says:

      This is pure speculation on my part, but I think it could make sense for Cisco to continue having separate CCNA Voice and CCNA Video certs, which both feed into an updated CCNP Collaboration cert, then up to CCIE Collaboration. That gives them the ability to cover a bit more material at the CCNA level, plus it lets people enter the CCNA track in bite-size chunks, sort of like CCENT does.

  3. Ash says:

    That’s a great news and such a relief. I think my tweets, posts, online petition did work and its good that Cisco does listen to us. I am happy to go for a written exam to upgrade my CCIE Voice to CCIE Collab. To be honest most of us Voice people are already working on Collab. products in our day to day job so it wouldn’t be that difficult to pass the exam. I am currently preparing for CCNA Video and I am seriously looking forward for a CCNP Video and a CCIE Video track :)

  4. terrence b says:

    This is great news. My motivation for studying took a dive when I heard the news.

  5. Cliff says:

    This is great news! If they didn’t fix this it would have been a disaster.

  6. Hector says:

    eeeehhhh!!!! great news!!!

  7. TARUN GANDHI says:

    This is really a great news for VOICE candidates who have already got their ccie voice certifications….Thanks for all of community members who supported in this matter…………….

  8. Rob says:

    This is great news… For a moment there I was considering turning to the dark side.. (Lync!!)

  9. Zafar says:

    Excellent news. For someone (myself) who has recently passed the CCIE voice lab, it sure is a huge relief. I am glad Cisco reconsidered and changed their decision to allow current ccie voice holders to transition to collab by taking a written exam.

  10. akash says:

    thanks everyone who participated in providing the feedback to Cisco.

  11. Madhu says:

    By taking CCIE Collaboration written exam will the existing CCIE Voice are converted to CCIE Collaboration or they will be dual CCIEs ??

    I’m sorry if it is a dumb question to ask!

    • It’s a good question, and one that hasn’t been answered just yet. I would imagine your CCIE Voice would be converted to a CCIE Collaboration – but we’ll see!
      I think most other non-Voice IE’s would pitch a huge (justifiable) fit if Voice IE’s became duals just by passing a written exam.

      • StefanoS says:

        By using “…will now be able to migrate…” I think they mean just this… migrate the current voice to collaboration CCIE. So if someone take the Collaboration lab also will be a double CCIE?

  12. AndiS says:

    That’s call ” already given a kidney, but still asking for “heart” :)

  13. mohamed says:

    Hi Mark,

    For those wo havent already taken either a ccie voice/ or colloboration lab?
    What do you suggest?
    As i stated earlier i already have a ccie voice v3 based home lab.
    Doing good, my plan was to keep going on and do the ccie voice lab somewhere beginning February 2014.

    If i pass i can then decide to do later a ccie colloboration written exam to be tuned as well.
    If i fail my ccie voice lab exam i need to rebuild my ccie voice lab based to v4 with a little bit extra of study and new material

    Am i right?
    Does this sound realistic?


    • It sounds correct, and I think it is a good plan to continue with IE Voice v3 for now, as you still have ~6 months of study and ~2 months of test attempts, with variance as needed in that schedule. If you do happen to not get through it in that time, you should have a good mastery of the v3 concepts, which 100% carry over with the exception of H.323 RAS/GK (very good to know anyhow). Then you can tack on another 15-20% of needed everyday knowledge anyhow, and attempt the v4 / IE Collaboration lab. I did this sort of “crossover” on my Security attempt, and passed on my first attempt at the newer Security blueprint – so I know that it can be done without issue.

      • Mohamed says:

        Hi mark that sounds good!
        6 months of study then do lab exam in December
        otherwise if i fail schedule again before February 13.

        wish me the best!
        deadline the clock is ticking

  14. Mike Arsenault says:

    Hey Mark,

    Will there be additional seats allocated in the ramp up to the deadline?
    I for one am not quite ready to book my lab exam so I am worried that I may find myself without a seat if I book say in Dec 2013 for a February exam. I o

    • There won’t be any additional seats added to the CCIE Voice lab testing locations, no. However, at present, there are still many, many seats open. Also, we do still have 2 seats open in our September Seattle IE Voice bootcamp.

  15. Don says:

    I do not see a CCIE collaboration course offered by INE. Does anyone know when they will offer the course.

  16. azhar says:

    hi sir i am just starting ccie voice in pak but just checked that the ccie voice is retiring in feb2014 so what u recomend for me should i leave it for few months n when the new ccie coloboration come to the market then i go for it .
    suggest it for me i am totally confused thanx

    • Keep studying, as the vast amount of core concepts stay the same. You can take the Voice lab and still become a Collab with only a written, so it doesn’t matter when you take the lab. Take it when you are ready.

  17. Sam says:

    Hi Mark,

    Does CCIE Collaboration written (instead of CCIE voice written) an alternative pre-requisite to the CCIE voice track? I’m planning to take the ccie voice lab this December, and if possible just bypass the ccie voice written.

    • It does qualify, but it doesn’t go live until 20 Nov. Just bear in mind that dates fill up very quickly for lab seats as the last dates for taking the exam draw near. Meaning if you wait until Nov to take the Collab written exam, there may not be many seats left in Dec for the lab exam.

  18. azhar says:

    hi sir
    hope u will be fine n i am sorry if my Q is a bit stupid.sir as i told u i am studying towards my ccnp R&S n voice.as the voice track is retiring soon is it possible if i set for the voice written exame then how much time period i have to pass the collaboration lab to become a ccie collaboration thanx for ur reply


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