Cisco offers collaboration (or voice) certifications at the associate, professional, and expert levels. Therefore, many CCIE Collaboration candidates will have earned the corresponding associate and professional level certifications and anticipate they might be ready to take the CCIE Collaboration Written exam. However, some of the content appearing on the CCIE Voice Written exam is not in associate or professional level curriculums.
As of this writing (September 2014), the current associate and professional level certifications are CCNA Voice (based on the ICOMM course material) and CCNP Voice (based on the CVOICE, CIPT1, CIPT2, TVOICE, and CAPPS course material). These certifications are based on version 8 of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM). However, these exams were introduced in October 2010. Therefore, Cisco is likely to update these certification tracks in the near future. The updated tracks will probably be based on the current CUCM version (version 10.5 as of this writing). However, the CCIE Collaboration Written exam is based on version 9.1 of CUCM. Therefore, associate or professional level course materials will vary in their value in preparing for the CCIE Collaboration Written exam, depending on when those materials were released. However, completing any version of the voice/collaboration associate and professional certification tracks is hugely beneficial to candidates of the CCIE Collaboration Written exam.
Major trouble spots for such candidates are often topic areas to which they have not yet been exposed. For example, consider the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) product. Although UCCX is a topic on the CCIE Collaboration Written exam, it is not covered in the associate or professional level tracks. Therefore, CCIE Collaboration Written exam candidates should familiarize themselves with the CCIE Collaboration Written exam blueprint (http://bit.ly/400-051) to determine the topics for which they need to be prepared.