It has been over two years since I last wrote about Cisco’s Enterprise Agreements (EA). It’s time for a refresher of Cisco’s lead software buying motion!

What has changed in the Cisco EA?

Let’s start off with what hasn’t changed. A Cisco EA still enables you access to world-class software solutions at great prices. And a Cisco EA relieves the burden of managing a portfolio of licenses for separate software solutions.

An EA Simplifies Procurement and Pricing
Figure 1: An EA Simplifies Procurement and Pricing

But now a single Cisco EA encompasses Cisco’s entire software portfolio, all under a single contract. A contract that can scale as rapidly as your business requires. An EA offers you the most seamless licensing construct for Cisco software, and most importantly, saves your business money by ensuring that you receive the best price for all of your Cisco software licenses. As you can see from Figure 2 below, Cisco has made the EA even more inclusive.

Single Contract Across Cisco's Entire Software Portfolio
Figure 2: Single Contract Across Cisco’s Entire Software Portfolio

The whole goal behind revamping EAs was to expand the breadth of Suites (individually named circles in Figure 3 below) eligible for inclusion in an EA.

Representation of Cisco Portfolios, Solutions and Suites eligible for inclusion in an EA
Figure 3: Representation of Cisco Portfolios, Solutions and Suites eligible for inclusion in an EA

The key takeaway is more products from more Cisco Portfolios (the five inner wedges) are covered within a single EA than ever before – further streamlining licensing!

Read on to learn of more changes and features Cisco has brought to market to address customer pain points, improve the software buying experience, and craft Solutions (collection of Suites connected by the dotted lines) for today’s business environment.

  • Easier Expansion: Flexible purchase options now include a partial commitment. You can now add Suites to an EA without the need to decommission non-Cisco hardware.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: Seamlessly add Security and Services Suites to any EA. Unlock the full breadth of these two Portfolios once you have committed to a single Suite in any Portfolio.
  • Unified Experience: An EA brings all Portfolios under a single T&C agreement with simplified legal terms which, among other things, aligns all termination dates with one another
  • Partner Flexibility: Choose from and work with multiple partners for your Cisco purchases within a single EA
  • Economic Advantage: Predictable pricing. True Forward eliminates retroactive billing. Value Shift between Solutions and within Suites permits license quantity adjustments on the fly.

As you can see, the latest iteration of Cisco’s EA really covers all the bases!


“The new Enterprise Agreement (EA) now spans across the entire Cisco product and service portfolio, where previously customers and partners had to manage multiple EAs, bringing together the full portfolio into one purchase agreement.”

– Practice Director and Senior Analyst Networking and Converged Infrastructure, ESG


What’s Value Shift and How Does It Work?

One of the groundbreaking features of Cisco EAs is enabling customers to effectively right-size purchased licenses. Think of Value Shift as a substantial improvement to license portability. Within a Portfolio, customers can shift the value of fully committed software from one Suite where licenses are being under-consumed to another Suite where licenses are being over-consumed. This is only available in an EA!

Prior to the launch of Value Shift, license portability was largely a function of crediting any extra licenses back and then repurchasing the licenses needed. This was an incredibly cumbersome and inefficient way to handle things. Not to mention being particularly customer unfriendly!

But with Value Shift, Cisco now has the ability to systematically weigh the over-consumption of licenses in one Suite against the under-consumption of licenses in a completely different Suite, within the same Solution. For example, if you are over-consuming $7500 worth Cisco DNA for SD-WAN and Routing licenses in your EA but have $8500 of under-consumed Cisco DNA Wireless licenses in the EA, no harm, no foul! Since Cisco DNA Software is the Solution both Suites belong to, it’s all good.

As of this writing, all intra-Solution Value Shifts are working in the EA framework. For example, the under-consumption of Umbrella licenses will systemically offset the over-consumption of Secure Firewall licenses in the Cloud & Network Security Solution.

Today, the only cross-Solution Value Shift permitted is between the Meraki Solution and the Cisco DNA Software Solution. For example, the under-consumption of Cisco DNA for Switching licenses will systematically offset the over-consumption of Meraki Vision licenses. But Cisco is hard at work to enable full cross-Suite Value Shift functionality within each Portfolio.


Get in touch with your Cisco Account Manager to explore

how a Cisco EA can revolutionize your technology spend!

Additional resources:

Cisco Enterprise Agreement Website

Cisco Enterprise Agreement Program Guide

Networking Infrastructure EA Portfolio Guide

Contact Cisco


Brian Loftus

Product Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking & Mobility