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Cisco looks to 'extreme flexibility’ with enterprise agreement overhaul

Cisco looks to 'extreme flexibility’ with enterprise agreement overhaul

Known as EA 3.0, the new agreement offers single-contract access to Cisco’s portfolio and solutions.

Credit: Dreamstime

Cisco has unveiled its new enterprise agreement (EA) licensing model as part of its strategy to simplify channel software sales. 

The new agreement, dubbed EA 3.0, will amalgamate Cisco's product categories and offerings into one agreement that boasts "greater flexibility" for partners in terms of cross-selling, finance and business operations. 

Broken down, EA 3.0 will offer a single contract across five portfolios: applications infrastructure, networking infrastructure, collaboration, security and services.  

It will provide a lower minimum spend threshold "to make it easier for customers to access EA benefits". It will also allow multiple partners to sign a single agreement, with customers able to see all their licenses. 

Unveiled at Cisco Partner Summit 2021, the new agreement aims to help partners scale customers’ digital transformation initiatives, while driving software revenue growth for partners. 

“Cisco’s new enterprise agreement gives our customers and partners a powerful, simple and extremely flexible way to buy and consume our great software products,” said Gerri Elliott, EVP, chief customer and partner officer. 

“Our incredible partner ecosystem has already built a multi-billion-dollar software business but we’re clearly just getting started. Innovations like the ability to shift investments across the portfolio will help us better serve our customers, push further into our business transformation, and drive higher profitability for our partners.” 

Gerri Elliot (Cisco)Credit: Cisco
Gerri Elliot (Cisco)

In terms of financial upgrades, the new EA will offer networking customers a 'value shift' – a feature that allows them to move committed spend across Cisco DNA software and Meraki software.  

Customers and partners can activate licenses and manage future billing cycles adjusted for usage levels using the True Forward feature.  

Most crucially, Cisco Capital will now provide extended payments at no cost to customers for select EAs and a-la-carte software.  

"For Cisco partners, the complementary financing option mitigates credit and currency risk, features billing and collecting through Cisco Capital, and partners are paid upon the start of a customer’s contract," the vendor said. 

Meanwhile, the EA also aims to streamline licence procurement, which Cisco claims will offer "simple administration with one place to view, manage, and renew licenses".

The new Cisco EA is currently available through select partners with plans to expand partner availability in early 2022. The current EAs will remain available to customers and partners while the transition to the new Cisco EA takes place during the first half of 2022.   

As reported by ARN earlier this year, Cisco is moving into the execution phase of a multi-year channel evolution amid plans to position partners for accelerated growth aligned to four strategic pillars across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ). 

These areas consist of SD-WAN, software, managed services and customer success. 

This year also saw Cisco begin the transition to its revamped partner program, which aims to consolidate more than a dozen separate partner programs into one single program. 

Having created four key partner roles, Integrator, Provider, Developer and Advisor, Cisco tweaked the requirements for partners to achieve tier statuses, adding further steps and differentiation exercises. 


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