Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The CCIE WINS its Voice Back!

As noted in my blog entry "Cisco Needs Its Voice Back", Cisco announced the new CCIE Collaboration track blueprint on May 29th. The community of engineers that live and breath the Cisco UC/Collaboration portfolio were happy to see the CCIE Voice track evolve to the next level. This was welcome news because we (the engineers) have been doing UC/Collaboration for years and have been waiting for the IE track to catch up. 

Of course, the news came with a huge downside. The CCIE Voice certification was being retired and not renamed. IOW, all of the engineers who make the Cisco's UC/Collaboration solution what it is would be left behind.

Starting the day of the announcement, the CCIE Voice community and our supporters started to speak out against the change. We leveraged social media and Cisco's community portals to make our opinion heard. We started a petition to centrally document our position. Folks at the Cisco Partner Summit in Boston and the Cisco Collaboration 10 PBT in San Jose spoke out and gave our movement a face (or many faces?).

Today, Cisco demonstrated an outstanding level of integrity and commitment to their brand and our community. The official announcement is not out yet but Jim Duffy from Network World has reported that Cisco will be providing CCIE Voice engineers a reasonable migration path.  

Cisco's official statement:

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.
This is outstanding news for the CCIE Voice community.

Color Me Impressed

The original announcement came out on May 29th and within 24 hours we bore witness to the power of social media. When we started to push back I had no idea that we would get over 1,000 names on the petition. I was floored to see a discussion thread on the topic in the PBT community reach 9,700 views (in a little over 48 hours). 

I am impressed by the fact that our community rallied behind a core message, kept things civil, and used positivity to move our message up the management chain within Cisco. Honestly, right now, at this moment I am pretty damn proud to be part of a community that refused to roll over, made a stand, and combined efforts to make sure our VOICE was heard.

I'd like to extend my humble appreciation and my respect to each and everyone of you who helped put this change into effect. I'd also like to give a nod to Cisco Systems for listening to their user and partner community. The level of integrity you have demonstrated here is inspirational. You have successfully reinforced my brand loyalty.

Thanks for reading. If you have time, post a comment!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Where's The Video In the "New" CCIE Collaboration?

As noted in my blog entry "CCIE Needs Its Voice Back", Cisco recently announced a new CCIE track: CCIE Collaboration AND they announced they would be retiring the CCIE Voice. This means that all certified Voice IEs are also retired.

Over the past week, the Voice IE community has stepped up and made their "VOICE" heard. We have been active in Twitter, Facebook, the Learning Network, and several Cisco online communities. I have been wading through the various threads and noted that there is a common misconception from those that support the retirement of the Voice IE. That misconception takes various forms of the argument: CCIE Voice is just voice and the new exam is much more. One of the commonly quoted "NEW" technologies is video.

There are several people who have said that the new IE is more than voice because it adds video and this creates a whole new paradigm. I see this response and I am honestly a little confused. I look at the new blueprint and the new equipment list and I have to ask: "Where is the video?"