Today (about 20 min ago) I heard a rumor that our wait is over. I don't have details yet but what I have heard from two reliable sources is that the CCIE Voice is going to be renamed to CCIE Collaboration. This updated CCIE track will be available starting November 13, 2013.
Details are sparse at the present moment. A quote on the INE blog site says that the new blueprint will include voice, video, and IM/Presence. I'd expect SIP will be a central theme and I sure as hell hope that Frame-Relay gets dropped (I'd be surprised if it didn't).
Traditionally, Cisco offers lab seats for 6 months under a newly retired blue print. I assume this policy will continue with the new CCIE Voice, errh Collaboration blue print coming to light. My advice? Don't freak and if you have been putting off picking a date for your IE voice exam, schedule it. Then get back to focusing on doing the job you set out to do. Don't let this throw you off your game.
The rumor was confirmed and there is a new CCIE Collaboration track. The CCIE Voice track has been expired and any existing Voice IE remains a Voice IE. Cisco's current position is they will not rename the IE. You can get the full program information here.
Timeline for Exam Changes
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.
The CCIE Collaboration Written exam availability begins November 21, 2013.
The CCIE Collaboration Lab exam availability begins February 14, 2014.
Does My IE Voice Become an IE Collaboration?
No. Your IE Voice remains active and you can keep renewing your certification using Cisco's standard process. But the voice is retired. I don't agree with Cisco's decision to simply retire the IE voice. I believe it should have been a simple rename akin to how they handled the CCIE Communications and Services to CCIE Service Provider. My argument can be found here.
Thanks for reading. If you have time, post a comment!