Cisco recently announced some significant changes to the CCNA Voice and CCNP Voice certifications, and if it’s any indicator from what we saw when the CCIE Voice was retired about a year ago, people are going to have some questions. I was able to arrange an interview with some of the key individuals at Cisco involved with and responsible for these changes, and they were gracious enough to walk me through this. Sorry it’s taken so long for this posting to come to fruition, I wanted to make sure to get it right – bad information, particularly on a topic like this is not something we need to spread.
The short and skinny of it is this – the CCNA Voice, CCNA Video, and CCNP Voice certifications are each being retired. The CCNA Voice and CCNA Video certifications will officially retire on August 14th 2015., and a future date will be announced for the CCNP Voice. As somebody who has pursued a number of Cisco certification tracks over the years, there have only been a small number of times when I’ve seen Cisco actually ‘retire’ an entire certification, but times are changing, and this time the name of the game is ‘Collaboration’. It’s no secret that as technology changes and advances, the need to hone and expand our skills arises. With an ever-increasing saturation of collaboration technologies in our everyday life, these new skills are going to be increasingly important to those of us deploying and supporting these technologies.
So lets start off by talking about what ‘retired’ means in terms of these certifications. When you fulfilled all the requirements to obtain your CCNA Voice, Video, or CCNP Voice certification, you achieved a certification that had a pre-defined ‘expiration date’, and in order to extend that expiration date, you had to go through a renewal process, which usually meant taking an updated exam, in many cases, the same one you had previously passed. With the retiring of a certification, you will no longer be able to renew that certification, but lets be clear about one thing – your holding of that certification ceases on a pre-determined date (typically this is a date 3 years after obtaining it). So if you successfully completed your CCNA Voice, and were told that it would be valid until December of 2015, you’re still good until that date, as you would have always been – it doesn’t cease to exist on August 14th, the certification simply goes into retirement, and you will be unable to renew it upon the arrival of your expiration anniversary date. Now that we’ve gotten the ‘retired’ thing out of the way, lets talk about how this affects people that currently hold these certifications.
If you already hold a valid CCNA Voice, in order to achieve a CCNA Collaboration you will need to pass the CIVND (210-065) exam, If you hold a valid CCNA Video, the learning objectives align with CCNA Collaboration and a CCNA Collaboration certification will be automatically granted. Likewise, if you happen to already hold both the CCNA Voice and CCNA Collaboration (and we are going to assume that you’ve taken both ICOMM (640-461) as well as VIVND (200-001) as part of that track) you have already met the requirements of the CCNA Collaboration and will be automatically granted this new certification (and probably have already, by the writing date of this post).
Similar to the CCNA Voice/Video to Collaboration migration, Cisco has mapped out a path to ‘convert’ your existing CCNP Voice certification into the CCNP Collaboration, and I have to give them a pat on the back for making this so simple. If you hold an active CCNP Voice certification, you simply need to take CIPTV2 (300-075) to achieve the CCNP Collaboration certification. Personally, I think that the CCNP Collaboration Exam Migration Tool could make this a little easier to understand, as it leads you to believe that it’s an exam-specific migration path – it’s not. If you have a CCNP Voice, and its current, you can simply take CIPTV2 (300-075) and you will convert to a CCNP Collaboration. What a mouthful! And for those of you pursuing the CCIE Collaboration, sorry guys, passing the CCIE Collaboration Written exam does NOT turn your CCNP Voice into a CCNP Collaboration.
So there you have it, in a nutshell. I think that Cisco is doing the right thing by updating their exams, and the timing is certainly right. I would encourage anybody pursuing their Collaboration related certifications to take a look at the following links, as they will certainly help you throughout this process. Hopefully I have helped to de-mystify the changes and help you understand what this means to you (I certainly learned a lot). Special thanks to Lauren Friedman at Cisco for putting me in touch with some really smart people to help explain the changes and the roadmap to me! Happy studying, and good luck on those exams! Speaking of studying, I have word from Cisco Press that they will have Official Cert Guides for the 2 CCNA Collaboration exams & Foundation Learning Guides for all 4 CCNP Collaboration exams in 2015.
Cisco Training and Certifications
Cisco CCNA Collaboration Exam Migration Tool
Cisco CCNP Collaboration Exam Migration Tool
Cisco Collaboration Certification Data Sheet