Cisco Enterprise Agreements: Simplified the Softcat Way

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019
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By Marina Hardy
Cisco Customer Success Manager

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Choosing the right software can be a complex task, and in a time where the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing and developing, there is a need for ongoing improvements of network agility and maximising efficiency.  Cisco recognises the growing demand and has evolved their software offering to simplify and optimise intelligence across businesses. There is extensive information surrounding Cisco EA’s currently which can be difficult to comprehend, but here at Softcat, we like to keep things simple, so let’s take a look at the facts and see what works for you.

Cisco enterprise agreements can be a cost reducing and time saving three to five year buying programme to consolidate all your Cisco software purchases.  There are currently different enrolment options to cover their four architectures; datacentre, enterprise networking, collaboration and security, with a Meraki EA enrolment also now in its pilot phase.

How does it work? 

The Cisco Enterprise Agreement is ideal for organisations that want financial predictability, a simplified IT environment, or have a technology growth plan, allowing organisations to select from one or more enrolments to address business needs. The multiple enrolments covering Infrastructure, Security and Collaboration software, each with a number of products to choose from, each with unique benefits.

The DNA EA enrolment requires a subscription across either routing, wireless or switching. The Data Centre and security enrolments introduce a self-selection element: for Data Centre you pick two subscriptions and for Security, three subscriptions to suit your requirements from the listed products.  The collaboration enrolment works slightly differently as it is a flexible plan based on a minimum number of knowledge workers.

Cisco DNA Enrollment (WAN, Wireless and Switching) & Data Center Choice Enrollment Collaboration Enrollment & Security Choice

Weighing up the benefits

  • We are seeing much higher savings from Cisco EA’s over perpetual licensing.  In addition, Cisco will recognise your prior investments to consolidate existing software into an EA providing further cost saving to your organisation rather than transactional purchases.  It also makes budgeting easy with a three or five year fixed term.
  • If you are used to buying via an enterprise agreement you might be used to the term ‘true up’ whereby you would be billed for additional licences consumed in a previous quarter or year.  Cisco have introduced ‘true forward’ allowing you to scale up as much as needed without paying for those additional licences for that backdated period.  At anniversary you will only pay for those licences going forward, proving very beneficial for organisations with predicted growth.
  • At Softcat we see many organisations spending time tracking multiple Cisco licence renewals.  Co terming dates eases licence management, visibility and renewals with one expiry date saving you time and money on operational costs and simplifying your IT environment.
  • You will have access to the EA workspace which is a licences management and provisioning tool giving access to instant licence reservations without using Pand consumption reporting.  As well as making monitoring compliance easier, it shows which software features are being utilised, so on renewal you can reduce wasted costs, buying only the licences you need.
  • Softcat offer a Cisco Customer Success Manager aligned to your account as an additional resource to support you with software lifecycle adoption and enablement.

Is a Cisco Enterprise Agreement right for you? 

Cisco Enterprise Agreements allow great agility and can increase efficiency for your organisation, however there are some exceptions to consider.  We have a Cisco software team at Softcat ready to help you see if a Cisco EA is a suitable fit for your software needs. 

Finance available via Cisco easylease 0% Financing Program

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 If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with your Softcat account manager or send us a message using the link below.

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