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An Introduction to Cisco Smart Accounts

  • 11 September, 2019

Cisco, Cisco Licensing Explained, Enterprise Agreements, Licenses

If you’ve come to this article you’ve probably heard about this topic but have no idea what a Cisco Smart Account is or how they work. Well, don’t worry because in this article we’ll be going back to the basics of Cisco Smart Accounts to help you fully understand them and the immense value they can bring to an organisation.

The second part of this article that covers the benefits of Cisco Smart Accounts can be found here.

What is a Cisco Smart Account?

Essentially, a Cisco Smart Account is a container that allows you to organise every license and agreement that exists within your entire organisation into one centralised place. It’s an easy-to-use way of taking back control of all your active investments that have ever been made with Cisco to provide full visibility and control.

It also gives you the ability to strictly control the access that your specific employees and users have to these assets by setting permissions.

Smart Accounts are already mandatory for many popular Cisco products and a point worth mentioning is that you must already have a Smart Account to order and receive Smart License products.

They also give great visibility into the history of licensing procurement in your firm as you can see below. This shows you which license it is, when it was acquired and who did the procurement.

Cisco smart account example activity

Types of Cisco Smart Account

There are two types of Cisco Smart Account, a Customer Smart Account and a Partner Holding Account.

Customer Smart Account

This is where all the customer’s licenses are deposited and organised. This can be managed directly by the customer or the partner, or both!

Partner Holding Account

This account cannot be accessed by a customer. It’s used by a partner or distributor to temporarily store an order until the customer Smart Account is known. Licenses can only be used and consumed while in a customer Smart Account.

Free Cisco Licensing Cheat Sheet

What are Virtual Accounts?

Within the Cisco Smart Account, you can configure sub-sections called virtual accounts. This is where you can separate and organise the licensing and users based on parameters of your choice.

This is how you can set policies on which departments or employees can see which parts of the smart account.

How to organise a Smart Account with Virtual Accounts

You have the option to organise your Smart Account in any way that makes your life easier and meets your organisations legal and functional needs. However, some of the most popular methods we’ve seen of distinguishing assets are:

  • By Location
  • By Technology Group
  • By Business Department
  • By Reporting Structure

As an organisation, you should always ensure that you only have one existing Smart Account. This is because you can transfer licenses to and from different virtual accounts but it’s impossible between Smart Accounts.

Roles within a Cisco Smart Account

There are many advantages that come with a Cisco Smart Account in relation to ease of management, productivity, visibility, control, compliance, and even financial savings. Here are a few ways that Smart Accounts will help.

Smart Account Approver

Responsible for approving the Smart Licensing Agreement Terms of Service.

Smart Account Admin

The Smart Account Admin can create and manage both the Smart and Virtual Accounts. They can also provide user access and remove users.

Smart Account User

They can manage license within a specific Virtual Account. They cannot, however, manage or remove users.

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