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Cisco Enterprise Agreement Q&A – Video

  • 25 June, 2019

Cisco, Cisco Licensing Explained, Enterprise Agreements, Videos

As we work with our customers, building out a Cisco Enterprise Agreement on their behalf, we hear the same kind of questions regularly. We thought it would be helpful to make a video that addresses some of these questions to help people understand Cisco Enterprise Agreements and the fantastic benefits they bring to businesses with an existing Cisco estate.

Below you can find the video and a transcript of the answers.

If you have any further questions on the topic of Cisco Enterprise Agreements, please leave a comment on the YouTube video and we’ll get back to you with an answer. Alternatively, you can contact us here.

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Cisco Enterprise Agreement Questions & Answers

What is a Cisco Enterprise Agreement?

A Cisco Enterprise Agreement is a single contract that takes all the software associated to a specific architecture and puts it into one contract for you to manage and consume from.

What is a Knowledge Worker?

A knowledge worker is an employee at the company who will be using a certain piece of hardware or software.

How does a Cisco Enterprise Agreement benefit me?

An Enterprise Agreement has a few areas of value. One is around licensing compliance, the ability to have everything in a single contract that terminates at the same date to make sure that you’re not over-licensed or under-licensed and you don’t have fragmented contracts across the organisation.

There’s also a combination of cost savings which comes from having a fixed model for pricing through the duration of the contract. You have the 20% growth factor that’s built in and the True- Forward mechanism does not penalise you for having growth in the organisation during the term of the contract.

How much money can I save with a Cisco Enterprise Agreement?

It’s subjective to the different organisations and where they are at their current state. However, we generally see numbers ranging from as low as 22% to as high as 34% over a prevalent, perpetual model.

Is there a minimum purchase requirement for eligibility?

The purchase requirements for an Enterprise Agreement fluctuate based on promotions at a given time. It’s hard to put an abstract on what that is but that’s where we can help you figure out what the current promotions and what the current entry points are for the Cisco Enterprise Agreements. After looking at your estate and what’s currently there.

Who are Cisco Enterprise Agreements most suitable for?

Enterprise Agreements can be for a different range of organisations. For example, the barrier to entry for a Meetings Flex Plan on the collaboration side, for Webex, is much lower than let’s say for Cisco ACI deployments in an organisation. So, it can vary based on architecture. The four architectures are Collaboration, DNA (which covers enterprise networking switching, routing, and SD Wan), Data Center (which covers things like ACI, Nexus, Tetration, Hyperflex and Insights), and on the Security side, you’ve got the entire security stack. From Next-Gen Firewalls to AMP, Stealthwatch, Umbrella, Cloudlock et cetera.

I have Cisco networking and Cisco security at my business. How would a Cisco Enteprise Agreement work for me?

In that situation where you have Cisco Networking and Cisco Security, those would be two different contracts because the contract is tied to the architecture. So, you would have one Cisco Enterprise Agreement for your security side and a separate Cisco Enterprise Agreement that’s specific to your networking side.

How long does it take to get started with a Cisco Enterprise Agreement?

The time can vary. For certain agreements, it’s been a couple of days from the time we engage to the time we are able to come back with something tangible for the customer to review. For our other customers who are a bit more fragmented and generally need some assistance in getting a lay-of-the-land that can take up to a couple of weeks. But that’s on the far end of it.

My licenses are scattered and unorganised. How can I get up to date to start the Cisco Enterprise Agreement?

There’s a couple of factors that can help with that. One is the letter of authorisation which allows us to work with Cisco and Cisco work with us to look at your estate as a whole. Then we’re able to look at everything at an architectural level and see what the current sprawl is for the different technology platforms.

We can complement that by a technology that Cisco has, called a Cisco Smart Collector. This is a virtual machine that will sit on your network and will go and scout and scan what Cisco devices are existent within your organisation. Then, we can take those two datasets, correlate those together, look for any discrepancies, manually review them with you and then come to a fair understanding of what we think we have.

What happens if I grow and want to increase my Cisco portfolio?

You can adopt new technologies and they will go into that particular contract. Let’s say a hypothetical example is you have a Cisco Security Choice Agreement that consists of Next-Gen Firewalls, Cisco Umbrella and AMP for Endpoints. And let’s say you are now at a maturation state in your organisation where you’d like to look at Stealthwatch. Once you make the decision to go with Stealthwatch, that would go right into your existing contract until the turn of that contract. There’s no penalty for you bringing certain technologies into the fold further down the road.

What is the difference between True-Up and True-Forward?

True-Up is a traditional industry standard. If you look at how traditional, non-Cisco Enterprise Agreements work, what you’ve used in between your renewal dates or in between your True-Up dates, which is a term that everyone is familiar with, you’d normally get charged for that. Let’s say your True-Up dates are January to January. What would happen is, if you started using additional products from March onwards, well, the vendor would normally come and say “Hey, you’ve been using this product for this amount of time and now we going to charge you for that to catch you back up and also charge you that going forward. That’s a True-Up which is very common in the industry.

With True-Forward, we notice what you’ve been using during that time window and we charge you that going forward only. So, we do not back-charge you for you having adopted additional technologies during that one year renewal, that True-up window.

cisco true froward

How do I manage the Cisco Enterprise Agreement when I'm set up?

Managing the EA is another area that simplifies operations and that’s done through two things called smart accounts and the EA workspace. The EA workspace is a single portal where you can see all your contracts, all your licensing that’s in use, all the software that’s being consumed by different devices, and you’re able to manage all of that. There, you’re able to generate additional software, you’re able to reclaim software, move it from one piece of hardware to another and that’s great.

Smart Accounts are accounts that you can use to look at the entire thing as a heirarchy. So, if you have an organisation with multiple sub-organisations, we create things called virtual accounts. So, maybe there is a pool of resources assigned to company X, a pool of resources assigned to company Y, however, the parent at the top-level can see the entire estate.  This significantly reduces the complexity in managing licensing across multiple entities.

How can Tesrex help me with my Cisco Enteprise Agreement?

It’s an area that we’ve developed a lot of expertise in, spent a lot of time with the Cisco Team, spent a lot of time with customers, and building very-defined processes. I mentioned earlier the speed element. We have taken our customers on this journey in a matter of days. Even the more complex situations are really a factor of weeks, not months or half a year or anything like that.

On top of that, every EA comes with what we call Accelerated Adoption in which we do a quarterly business review with your team to make sure that the technologies in the EA are being adopted and Deployed throughout the organisation. We’re also then looking at that and seeing if there’s other incentives and promotions coming up for additional products that could go underneath that EA.

What is my involvement, as a customer, in setting up a Cisco Enterprise Agreement through Tesrex?

The process is relatively simple for a customer. The thing that gets everything started is a letter of authorisation which allows us to look at things with Cisco at a company-wide view. So, that’s the first process. From there, when we come back to you with tangible results we can say “Hey, here’s the technologies that you have, here’s all these contracts that are tied to it, here’s stuff that’s not covered under contracts, here are the things that are under provision potentially. Then we correlate all that and ask you about it and what can be done. Where it stops for the customer is the validation of our work. We will go do all the heavy lifting.

If you have more questions about Cisco Enterprise Agreements and how they work, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here.

Want to talk to us?

Contact us today! We’d love to talk to you about how a Cisco Enterprise Agreement could benefit your business individually.