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Cisco Collaboration Enterprise Agreements: Understanding Collaboration Flex Plans

  • 20 March, 2019

Article, Cisco, Cisco Licensing Explained, Enterprise Agreements, Licenses, Unified Collaboration

Cisco Enterprise Agreements are a way for businesses to collate all the licensing required to use multiple collaboration platforms into a single contract. This article will focus on the Collaboration Enterprise Agreements that are, as you might guess, related to Cisco Collaboration products. The Cisco Collaboration Enterprise Agreement might also be communicated as a “Flex Plan” thus if you see that wording, you’ll now be aware of their interchangeable nature.

The Collaboration Enterprise Agreement/Flex Plan can be broken up in a specific part of a combination of its components:


Meetings Flex Plan with Active Users


Enterprise Calling Flex Plan


Cisco Contact Center Flex Plan Enterprise Agreement

Important Note: Different components above can be combined into a single contract.

We will examine each one in more detail with a typical use case so you can visualise the alignment to your organisation.

“Knowledge Worker:” Before we dive deeper, it’s important that we take a minute to learn this term as it’ll be a key determining factor for many Cisco Enterprise Agreement elements, not just limited to the Collaboration Enterprise Agreement. A “Knowledge Worker” is anyone in the company who will be impacted by the service. This makes it easier to determine your Knowledge Worker counter across different architectures.

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Collaboration Enterprise Agreements - The Plans

Plan 1: Meetings Flex Plan with Active Users

Webex Meetings for all

This is a great option for companies using Webex Meetings for either a handful or a large set of clients. The “Meetings Flex Plan with Active Users” allows you to enable Webex Meetings for all your knowledge workers with having to do the administration overhead of assigning/un-assigning privileges and going through a procurement process to add new users. You also get entitlement to cloud register video endpoints such as Webex Boards, Room Kits and other devices. This further reduces licensing complexity and provide great costs savings. A minimum of 40 active user and 250 knowledge workers is needed to engage in the Meetings Flex Plan with Active Users.

cisco collaboration enterprise agreement

Webex Teams for all

Similarly to how Webex Meetings will be available for all knowledge workers, Webex Teams will be also. Cisco Webex Teams can significantly accelerate the ability to communicate with your employees, partners and customers. A next generation, chat, file sharing, video and meeting platform, it takes care of all “non-email” communications you could need from any device. Compared to the free version which anyone can download, the Cisco Flex Plan edition gives you full compliance and control over your users. This lets you determine their ability to speak to people outside the organisation, privacy, file sharing limitations and other policies.

Cost and transition

Existing subscriptions can be eligible for a rebate thus eliminating the anxiety around trying to align timing when different contracts expire. Since these are back end changes, there is no impact whatsoever to your existing user base or your management portal. The additional headroom and expanded feature set are simply enabled for you to use when ready.

ea workspace cisco collaboration enterprise agreement

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Plan 2: Enterprise Calling Flex Plan

The Enterprise Calling Collaboration Enterprise Agreement takes your existing on-premise perpetually licensed Unified Collaboration estate and converts it into a subscription-based model. You get a rebate for your perpetual licenses and your pending SWSS towards your EA. The minimum user count is 250 knowledge workers to qualify for an Enterprise Calling Flex Plan (Collaboration Enterprise Agreement).

What you get

The Enterprise Calling Flex Plan option gives full access to the entire on-premise Unified Collaboration suite such as Communications Manager (CUCM), Unity (Voicemail), Instant Messaging and Presence (Jabber), Expressway and multiple other features.

The process

Your UC licenses (CULW, UCL, VM etc) along with your Software Subscription Services (SWSS) are converted into a single subscription model typically tied to a minimum 3yr or 5yr model.

Full features for all users

Rather than having to split up your user base across various license schemes, the Enterprise Calling Flex Plan provides all users with the feature set equivalent of Cisco Unified Workspace License Standard Edition (CUWL Standard). This creates feature parity across the board making it a lot simpler to promote new features and adoption of service across the organization. We have repeatedly witnessed disparate licensing leading to a lot of additional costs and barriers to modernization. This goes a long way to alleviate those concerns.

all features cisco collaboration enterprise agreement

Plan 3: Cisco Contact Center Flex Plan Enterprise Agreement

The Contact Center Collaboration Enterprise Agreement (Flex Plan) is a great story for those companies with a robust customer service platform. There is no minimum entry point for the number of concurrent agents and the platforms can be varied between Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX), Packaged Contact Center Enterprise (PCCE) and Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE). This gives a well-rounded set of options for an organisation and importantly allows them to fluidly move between the platform.

Mobility across platforms

In the past, you had to pick your flavour of the Contact Center platform upfront and stick to it. This created a costly transition and those larger organisation with multiple lines of business would often find themselves in a tug-of-war of compromises. With the Contact Center EA, you get access to the full range of Contact Center platforms and can deploy multiple sets or migrate across platform without having to relicense and go through a long procurement cycle.

Splitting up the work

Another common challenge was picking an execution venue and sticking with it. The options were; on-premise, Hosted Collaboration Suite (HCS) through a service provider, or a Cisco Partner hosted platform. Each had its pros and cons. Those options still exist but there’s a tangible difference by going to a Contact Center Collaboration Enterprise Agreement. You can mix and match at will between any of those options. You might choose to keep non-critical operations on a hosted platform but highly sensitive and compliance focused operations on-premise, or vice versa.

Contact Center enhancements

Product packaged such as recording, Workforce Management (WFM), Workforce Optimisation (WFO) along with multiple tools and analytics platforms can be bundled into the same Collaboration Enterprise Agreement. This allows your entire suite of tools and products to be nicely bundled into a single contract.

contact center centre call


Years of “in the field” lessons have led to a well-executed set of options that cover a large spectrum of use cases in 3 easy to understand options. The three options can also be bundled or remain separate depending on a company’s usage and goals and business units. The costs savings and streamlining of operations will be quickly realised regardless of the choice made. Having the full feature set available allows an organisation the freedom to build out adequate test labs.

Unrestricted access to the full suite of products within the respective agreement gives the flexibility of deploying across multiple platforms. The rebate of existing license eliminates the need of trying to find the perfect time to make the transition. The Cisco suite of Collaboration Enterprise Agreements are the easiest way to consume the vast range of Cisco Unified Communications suite of products in the most flexible manner.

The process to transition is simpler than you’d imagine. At Tesrex, we specialise in aligning these types of contracts. What we simply need from you is one meeting to discuss your goals, determine which Cisco Collaboration Enterprise Agreements you’re best suited for and so we can start putting together a financial summary. The summary will consist of your current footprint with Cisco, the rebate breakdown (if applicable), the cost of the EA and the financing options possible to best suit your budget.

Your involvement is minimal and there is not any additional burden on your staff. We’ll perform all of the background work and come back to you with actionable findings. Once executed, you’ll have access to your licensing portal and can carry on as usual while realising the costs savings and operational benefits.

Please click here if you would like to discuss anything you have read in this article or are looking to begin your journey towards a Cisco Collaboration Enterprise Agreement.

cisco licenses enterprise agreement

This is the third article in our series regarding Cisco Licensing and Cisco Enterprise Agreements.

Part one is an overview of Cisco Licensing.

Part two is an in-depth look at the concept of Cisco Enterprise Agreements.

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