Secure, Interoperable Asset and Entitlement Management Platform Built on Smart Accounts
Co-authored by Ray Schnulle, Business Architect
How can I get full visibility into all IT assets that I own and use?
How can I control and centralize access to my IT assets and entitlements?
How do I manage my IT assets and associated entitlements in a cost-effective way?
I already have an ITAM solution to manage all my procured assets from multiple vendors, can I integrate with Cisco for the investments we have made with Cisco?
How do I automate license deployments and management from our environment with Cisco’s cloud-based licensing platform?
These are questions that I hear from IT managers and administrators every day. That’s why I am happy to tell you about our secure interoperable asset and entitlement management platform —My Cisco Entitlements (MCE). Based on the principle of transparency, standards and security, My Cisco Entitlements provides a convenient platform for customers and partners to manage all their post-sales Cisco IT assets and entitlements.
Smart Accounts – The Foundation of MCE
Smart Accounts and ISO Compliant Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provides the foundation for MCE. Cisco Smart Accounts were initially created as a time-saving way for customers to organize, use, and manage their Smart Licenses and associated entitlements. MCE extends the concept of Smart Accounts to manage all of Cisco licenses, devices, services, and subscriptions. For Cisco, this is the first time we connect the services and licensing worlds. It brings together license deployment information such as serial numbers with service product identifiers.
Benefits of MCE—Full Visibility, Centralized User Access, and Actionable Insights
When MCE connects services and licensing together, it provides benefits such as full visibility to all assets and entitlements, centralized user access management, and simplified install base reconciliation. Smart Account admins can control access on who views and manages assets.
The MCE dashboard summarizes the health of your products and services. It identifies risk areas such as upcoming Contract Expiration and Last Date of Support (LDoS) dates. For a specific insight, you drill down and view details. Then you can export and act based on this information.
By providing multiple interconnected views, MCE simplifies install base discovery and reconciliation. The “Devices” view captures all of the service coverage and related telemetry data. In addition, users can view all of the licenses deployed on that device enabling them to initiate device-led operations such as license rehosts.
We’ve normalized a “License” feature-based view across classic, smart and cloud licenses. No matter how you purchased the license – individual or bundled in an Enterprise Agreement – you will see it in one inventory. You have the ability to see the service coverage or subscription, as well as all of the devices where that license has been deployed.
The “Service and Subscriptions” view captures all of your technical support contracts and software subscriptions in one inventory. You can also view links to the licenses or devices covered in any contract. Using various views and functionalities like global search, users can quickly search across device, licenses, services, and subscriptions to find all related data for their search term.
Automation and Scale with APIs
While we’ve built these experiences for online access, we recognize that automation of the tasks required to keep your records in sync with Cisco needs to scale. Customers and partners are increasingly adopting IT Asset Management Systems to automate tasks in maintaining compliance across vendors. These tools manage entitlements from Enterprise Agreements, purchases, and other records to automatically determine and optimize assets and entitlement positions against discovered hardware and software.
To execute these tasks in a cost-effective way, MCE will allow all operations available online to be executed with ISO standards-based APIs. Using the same secure Smart Account, customers and partners will be able to maintain their investments in multi-vendor IT Asset Management solutions without the redundant and manual operations to keep them in sync.
MCE allows integration of all online functionalities to be executed with ISO standards-based APIs. MCE also provides service automation platforms for license generation, consumption, and reporting. In the future, we will offer MACDs (Move Add Change Delete) for service SLA management. Integration for Partner Support Services (PSS) to route cases to partners will also be available.
Cisco offers a number of Smart Account and Smart Licensing related APIs including Smart Account Search, Create and Delete, Validation of User Access, License Consumption, Usage, Alerts and Management, and Device Management.
MCE will offer APIs for:
- IEC/ISO 19770 Compliant XML for software, hardware and agreements
- Smart Account structure and user access management
- Asset Management (MACDs)
- Direct transaction processing such as Download SW, Case Open, License, SaaS Consumption Management
MCE delivers on our vision for secure, interoperable Asset and Entitlement Management with customers and partners. I look forward to sharing more in the future as we continue to evolve our capabilities. Stay tuned and be sure to check out www.cisco.com/go/mce to learn more.