How the Cisco Enterprise Agreement Simplifies Software Management

Enterprises are recognizing that the traditional data center model is no longer viable. It lacks flexibility and efficiency. Management is too time-consuming and complex. The focus is on hardware instead of applications and the delivery of business services, where the true value of IT lies.

The need for more agility, flexibility and management simplicity has given rise to software-defined architectures. In this model, software is used to define policies, which are intelligently applied to allocate IT resources based on current business need. The shift from hardware-centric to software-defined architecture has left some hardware vendors at a crossroads. Adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Five years ago, Cisco began sending signals that it was evolving into a software company.

In June 2013, Cisco first announced its vision for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which is Cisco’s approach to software-defined networking. The goals of Cisco ACI are to automate IT workflows and resource allocation, support DevOps, accelerate application deployment, and consistently apply policies across the network.

Next came Cisco HyperFlex, a hyper-convergence solution. HyperFlex combines the software-defined networking and computing of Cisco Unified Computing System with software-defined storage and security capabilities to increase efficiency and enable centralized management.

Any doubts about Cisco’s metamorphosis were quashed in 2016 when Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins came right out and said that Cisco had begun a journey toward becoming a software company. Although Cisco still sells hardware, its long-term future is clearly with software.

This point was reinforced in May 2017 when Cisco introduced the Cisco Enterprise Agreement, a universal, enterprise-wide software product and services agreement. Rather than managing multiple licenses and contracts and dealing with compliance headaches, organizations can use the Cisco Enterprise Agreement to purchase, deploy and update software in a much simpler way.

Available in three- and five-year contracts, Cisco Enterprise Agreement applies to Cisco collaboration software such as Spark, Cisco ONE Software for infrastructure, and Cisco security software. You can purchase single software licenses or save money and take advantage of favorable terms by purchasing software in predetermined bundles.

Cisco Enterprise Agreement includes software for on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments.

Cisco Enterprise Agreement also rewards growth with its unique True Forward provision. Traditionally, software vendors periodically review software usage and retroactively bill companies for over-usage. Cisco’s True Forward provision provides a 20 percent growth allowance – 20 percent extra software and software support – that organizations experiencing unexpected growth can use without purchasing additional software. If you grow beyond that 20 percent allowance, Cisco will revise your contract at the beginning of the next billing period instead of sending you a punitive, retroactive bill for overuse.

Sequel Renewal Services allow you to easily track and manage software licenses, service contracts and product warranties through a secure, customized portal. Rather than manually managing vendor information on spreadsheets and stacks of paper, we automate the process and provide visibility through a single pane of glass. Let us show you how we can integrate and manage the Cisco Enterprise Agreement through the Sequel Renewal Services portal.

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