As Cisco continues to transition our portfolio towards a software centric, subscription-based model, we are constantly looking for ways to help our customers simplify their software management and get the most out of their investments. To do that, we announced the Cisco Enterprise Agreement (Cisco EA), the next stage in the evolution of our former ELA 2.0. This new single enterprise agreement for our entire software portfolio provides our customers with a better, more simplified way to take advantage of our best-in-class technology portfolio, and it unleashes the power of our partner network.
As companies leverage technology to drive business growth, they are increasingly challenged by the complexities of managing their software. A growing, unmanageable number of contracts (hundreds to thousands) for a variety of licenses from multiple vendors is indirectly leading to a 25 percent budget overspend by our customers. This complexity can also prevent visibility into software usage so companies are unsure if they are getting sufficient return on their investments. These problems often culminate in increased compliance risks for companies. More specifically 70 percent faced retroactive charges from software vendors in the last 12 months.
The Cisco EA provides our customers with a single co-terminated three- or five-year contract with enterprise-wide coverage across Cisco’s Infrastructure, Collaboration, and Security portfolios. In addition, the new Enterprise Agreement workspace portal provides the customer with self-service license fulfillment and a real-time consumption view. Customers select the suites their business needs today with the flexibility to add additional capabilities at any time. Their growth is easy to manage with 20 percent growth allowance and the industry’s first “Annual True-Forward” that allows unfettered growth with no retroactive charge.
What really excites me about this new Cisco EA is how it empowers our partner network to evolve towards more software oriented practices as well. You, our partners, have the unique opportunity to form strategic relationships with your customers to drive business outcomes and help guide them towards realizing the full value of the Cisco technology portfolio. With a simplified customer value proposition and lower minimum purchase requirements, not only will you be able to reach entirely new customers, but you will also have an interesting offer for a larger portion of your current customers. Additionally, the EA provides significant opportunities to build a Lifecycle Management practice and expand partner services. Leveraging Cisco EA’s unique Growth Allowance and True Forward features will also allow you to work with customers in developing a reliable strategic road map for growth with no unexpected retroactive charges.
The new Cisco EA plays a major role in Cisco’s move towards a software centric model. It provides our customers with ongoing value with a simple and flexible method for managing an end-to-end technology base that no other company can match. I can’t wait to see how our software practices grow together as we expand our customer base and generate more revenue through the Cisco Enterprise Agreement!
 Amy Konary, IDC, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/idc-software-licensing-pricing-predictions-2016-top-10-amy-konary
 Zeus, Kerravala, ZK Research