Co-Authors: Frank Palumbo, SVP, Global Data Center Sales and Kristine A. Snow, President, Cisco Capital

Digital transformation is no future state. It’s happening now. In fact, according to Gartner there are 125,000 enterprises in the U.S. alone that are now launching digital transformation projects involving companies of all sizes from nimble startups to global conglomerates. For the largest enterprises, the challenges will be profound, impacting virtually all aspects of their technology practices. And this first and foremost includes its mission-critical core – the data center.

With the immense proliferation and increasingly distributed nature of data, devices, and applications, coupled with the need for real-time decisions and security, the data center has never been more important or has seen a more daunting challenge. How do you manage this complexity?

The answer is – the network. The network is the single source of truth. And it’s everywhere the applications and devices are—from the data center to the private and public cloud, all the way to the edge. Far from being mere plumbing, the network is the strategic asset and competitive differentiator.

The advent of flexible financial structures

As the data center professionals tackle the formidable challenges they face, the last thing they want to worry about is financial limitations. That’s where Cisco Capital comes in.

Up-front cash and capital can limit the flexibility organizations need when facing the pressure to scale at a moment’s notice. Supporting seasonal spikes or rapid shifts is a huge obstacle from a technological perspective, but new, adaptive financial structures provide solutions by creating agility within organizations.

With customers repeatedly returning to us with stories about scaling challenges and internal flexibility limitations, we began to ask ourselves how we could improve financial structures to help organizations stay more competitive, nimble and innovative.

Ultimately, the only answer that made sense was utilization-based models. Subscription models provide the flexibility that consumers want and the liquid agility that organizations need to stay competitive.

Open Pay – a unique financial structure tailored to individual customer needs

 By working with engineers, product teams and partnering closely with customers, our team developed Open Pay, a new type of financial structure that can be tailored to individual customer needs and meet peak network demands. Open Pay provides a more responsive, agile way for organizations to meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry by paying for capacity as it is needed.

Open Pay is unique in that it takes a metered approach to monitoring usage – a technical feat that only Cisco has been able to employ for converged infrastructure, storage, routing and switching solutions.

Now, organizations can better align infrastructure costs to actual usage – saving time and money while increasing operating efficiency. With Open Pay, organizations can prepare for both anticipated and unexpected demand spikes with less risk and increased flexibility.

A welcome change in Technology Financing

Open Pay represents a much bigger shift in the way companies and customers are interacting with technology. Rather than investing large amounts of capital into data center technology that requires updating and prevents flexibility, organizations can now access the technology as needed.

There are other variants of this structure, but Open Pay is the most robust model of its kind to charge based on metered usage of both compute and storage. We’re excited to help the next generation of technology-based organizations flourish. We’re just getting started, and will be adding additional product lines to the Open Pay program, and companies are increasingly adopting this flexible payment model to free up resources and drive agility from within.

As technological innovation accelerates at an exponential rate, organizations can now leverage this financial strategy as a means of not only exceeding their business objectives, but also propelling themselves ahead of the competition.


Frank Palumbo

Senior Vice President

Global Data Center Sales