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Understand Cisco’s Enterprise Agreement for Software

Before you jump into an ELA, learn the pros and cons of Cisco's EA and make an informed decision.

  • You’ve bought Cisco gear for years that included a software component. Now Cisco has decoupled the software from the hardware, and you need to figure out what software licenses are required and how many.
  • You don’t really know what Cisco gear you own, what has ongoing software maintenance, and what is covered under your SmartNet contracts.
  • You and your team need to fully understand the Cisco One Enterprise Agreement and enrollment structure to be able to maximize any benefits and cost savings of the program.
  • You need to understand how the new software portal works for managing and provisioning the software and who should have access to it.
  • You are uncertain of the risks, costs, and benefits involved if you migrate to the new software agreement.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Focus on what’s best for you. A new software license agreement can have several benefits and potential cost savings, but on the other hand it can mean uncertainty and loss of perpetual licenses. CapEx vs. OpEx has different appeal for different organizations. Disruptive change to IT departments can have both positive and sometimes negative results, depending on how it is implemented.
  • Educate yourself. Learn and understand the how the Cisco EA works, the enrollment structure, the value of software suites, the minimum spend requirements, the benefits of redeploying software, and the time saved with the management portal. Are you ready to give up your perpetual license position to gain the OpEx advantage?
  • Consider the overall picture. The Cisco EA has several modern licensing benefits and potential savings. However, reviewing your options in the ELA and choosing wisely within enrollments and support requirements will ultimately govern your ROI. Also consider the timing: are you near a hardware refresh or SmartNet renewal? Is software compliance a challenge or concern to the organization?

Impact and Result

  • Understand how the Cisco EA works, the structure, and the potential benefits and savings.
  • A summary inventory of your Cisco infrastructure, both hardware and software.
  • Knowledge to decide on the value and savings of transitioning to an ELA.
  • How to effectively work with Cisco and its partners to secure a right-sized and right-priced software agreement that is best for your organization.

Understand Cisco’s Enterprise Agreement for Software Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out how Cisco’s software agreement works, its benefits short and long term, cost savings, and compliance. Learn how the channel works and how to negotiate the best deal for your organization.

1. Organize

Understand your current Cisco hardware and software position.

2. Evaluate

Gain a complete understanding of the Cisco EA structure, enrollment components, and support options.

3. Establish

Establish your basic licensing requirements by aligning your current assets to the new enrollment and support options.

4. Purchase and manage

Understand the Cisco channel, choose a partner, negotiate the deal, and then manage your software going forward through the Cisco EA Workspace portal.

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About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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Overall Impact

Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

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What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Organize
  • Call #1 - Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.

Guided Implementation #2 - Organize
  • Call #1 - Gather and assess current Cisco inventory assets.
  • Call #2 - Review Cisco Inventory Workbook.

Guided Implementation #3 - Establish
  • Call #1 - Review ELA and enrollment structure, suites, and support options.
  • Call #2 - Map current inventory to the enrollments and choose support levels.

Guided Implementation #4 - Purchase and manage
  • Call #1 - Discuss purchasing options and portal management.
  • Call #2 - Review basic agreement terms, discuss negotiation strategy.


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