Whether you're thinking of specializing in working with Cisco products or just broadening your overall skill-set, the ubiquity of Cisco's products and services makes the company's IT certifications an important part of developing your basic skills as an IT professional.
On May 29, 2013, Cisco announced the new CCIE Collaboration track (based on the CCIE Voice cert). A lot of CCIEs have felt like the CCIE Voice cert needed a new blueprint for a while and were initially excited by this news. But then they read this on the Cisco site:
CCIE Voice will be retiring and the new CCIE Collaboration will become the standard for telecom, unified communications, and video professionals. The CCIE Voice certification will be retired as of February 14, 2014.
This alarmed CCIEs because it meant that if you had a CCIE Voice, you would remain a CCIE Voice and if you wanted to be recognized as a CCIE Collaboration you'd have to go through the whole lab process again.
In addition, many people thought the problem lay in perception. The CCIE voice certs weren't going away—you could keep them indefinitely if you renew every two years. The problem was that since the CCIE Voice would be "retired," on resumes it would look like old and arcane in comparison to the CCIE Collaboration track.
Here's a good discussion that appeared on the issues people were having with the change.
But in a move that seems unprecedented in the tech world, Cisco listened to the feedback from CCIEs and decided to rethink the CCIE Collaboration requirements. Here's the announcement on the Cisco site:
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.
Let this be a lesson for other companies on how to take direction from their partners and customers.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.