Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New CCIE Collaboration certification announced. CCIE Voice discontinued

   After some waiting for the announcement of the new version 4 of the CCIE Voice, we finally got a completely new certification called Collaboration.  I'm not sure what to think about this. I'm in a strange position right now. I've failed on my second attempt and was trying to figure out how to continue in the near future with my study and all. But it seems that this announcement changes everything (or not). Read my thoughts after the break.

   First of all some information from Cisco.com  about the new Expert certification. It seems that the certification is the v4 of the previous Voice. I don't know why they created a completely new certification. The 10 years old Voice certification might not be that descriptive title anymore for the video and voice collaboration product line. So they decided to retire the old one and replace it with one with a new name. It also seems, and you can see for your selves if you take a look of the header screenshot, that there's a small percent of the technologies that they have added for the new or removed from the old one.
   The main concept though is that even if you've already passed the Voice CCIE, you'll stay with this. It won't be upgraded automatically to the Collaboration one. So you'll need to pass again a Written and a Lab for the CCIE Collaboration. But you don't need me to describe the differences between the two. Cisco added plenty of information about this.
   You can also see what's new at a glance by reading this post http://goo.gl/g8Uwf at INE or this post http://goo.gl/upfx8 by IPX.

   The first reactions of the people already earned the Voice certification or the ones like me who study and already tried to pass the current v3 lab are not that positive. Some frustration is what I sense. I'll talk for my self. I don't know yet what to think of it. I put so much effort, had almost zero social life, spend less time with my family the last year in order to study and pass the exam. Now after the February of 2014, if I make it of course, I'll have an outdated and retired certification. The question is simple, should I go for it now or wait and try the Collaboration CCIE?
   Difficult decision. It's true that the new certification will be in "production" in 9 months. That's too far for now. I'll also need to pass the written exam. So I'll need a 15-20% more theoretical studying. This is not that easy as it looks. There is not much to earn in technology knowledge either. You still will be a CCIE for life though if you re-certify every two years. On the other hand there are some good points like since you earn the Voice certification, you'll be able with 5-6 months effort after that to try and pass Collaboration which will be identical and quite relevant except this 15-20% of the new subjects. Theoretically though since this is not that easy as it looks. We're talking for an expert certification. Of course you'll be a double CCIE with less effort than in any other case, for example passing the Voice CCIE and then go for the Security or the Data Center CCIE.
   Anyway this needs some thinking now. Difficult decision...

Cya,
Stefanos!