It’s no surprise Cisco is quickly transforming its business to include more software and recurring revenue solutions. As we continue to accelerate this transition, we’re going to take the opportunity to update our tools and processes to deliver the quality, performance, and integrity that our customers rely on and – as always – taking our partners’ business interests into account.

Today we launched new Cisco Product Activation Key (PAK) registration and validation processes.  The updates to our systems will protect the integrity of our brand, product offerings, customers, and you, our valued partners. These steps will enable us to further enhance the digital platforms needed for our customers’ future as well as our own.

These changes mean that new PAK certificates will appear slightly different, additional information will be required at registration, and owner validation steps may be required at the time of activation for select PAKs. The process changes may require replacement of select PAKs that were generated prior to September 2017.

We anticipate a minimal amount of disruption associated with these changes. We also recognize you may have questions and encourage you to visit our FAQ that provides more details and information about the process.

Additionally, this may be a good time to review your own internal processes and ensure they’re up-to-date and comply with Cisco’s requirements. These may include the following considerations:

  • Public Email Domains: Moving forward, employees of Partners will be required to use their employers’ assigned email address; personal emails will no longer be accepted. If an employee leaves the company, their supplied email address should be terminated immediately.
  • Employee Credential Management: Once an employee of a Partner is no longer active, their account needs to be terminated immediately; the Partner will be responsible for any activity performed by their employees.
  • Password Management: To access Cisco tooling, Partners are encouraged to revalidate their employees by asking them to renew their passwords every six months.
  • Use of CAPTCHA’s: To limit the number of queries generated on Cisco’s License Tooling (and the amount of information released), Cisco is exploring implementing EoDB with its security of tooling and data.

While we anticipate a minimal amount of disruption associated with these changes, we recognize even small changes can be a nuisance. But considering how we’re transforming our business and creating even more opportunities for partners to help our customers, these are small trade-offs that put us on par with industry best-practices and ensure the integrity of our processes.

Thank you for your continued partnership and confidence in Cisco.


Nirav Sheth