Cisco Enterprise Agreements. Q&A with Cisco Head of Software Sales, Nicola Lumsdon

The evolution of EAs and the impact on the market

Category: Insights

23rd November 2023

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Purchase and consume Cisco software through an Enterprise Agreement.

Will Lawrence-Mills, a business solutions consultant at Camworth, met with Nicola Lumsdon, who heads the Software Sales team for the UK and Ireland at Cisco to discuss the evolution of EAs and the impact on the market.

Question: How has the Cisco Enterprise Agreement evolved over the last five years?

Nicola Lumsdon explained that Cisco has shifted from a perpetual licensing model to a software subscription model, making software more accessible to a broader market. The EA program has evolved to include different levels of subscriptions, such as Essentials and Advantage license models in DNA and switching and wireless suites, expanding its addressable market.

Question: What factors are influencing the adoption of Cisco Enterprise Agreements?

Several factors are influencing the adoption of EAs, including the shift to cloud computing, a preference for subscription-based pricing models, increased focus on digital transformation, globalisation of businesses, and rapid technological advancement. These factors contribute to the demand for flexible and easily accessible software solutions.

Question: What does a Cisco Enterprise Agreement look like, and how has it changed in the last twelve months?

Nicola Lumsdon describes EAs as a way to simplify and consolidate software purchasing for customers. The EA program has evolved, with the latest version being EA 3.0. It is structured into different portfolios, each containing suites that make up a solution. The program offers more flexibility, accessibility, and lower barriers to entry, making it more attractive to a larger market.

Question: What challenges do organisations face with software licensing that Enterprise Agreements address?

Managing multiple contracts, vendors, and subscription end dates is complex. Enterprise Agreements streamline the process by consolidating software under one contract, one end date, and one set of terms. This simplification helps reduce the complexity and ensures compliance with license renewals.

Question: What benefits do customers gain from Cisco Enterprise Agreements?

Customers benefit from operational efficiency, simplified consumption through the EA Workspace portal, and financial savings. Enterprise Agreements offer increased discounts with larger purchases, ramp discounts for early deployment, and a not-to-exceed pricing model, providing financial predictability with fixed license prices throughout the agreement term.

Question: What types of organisations find Cisco Enterprise Agreements relevant?

Enterprise Agreements are relevant to organisations across various industries and sectors, including financial services, commercial businesses, public sector entities, hospitals, trusts, retailers, and more. The flexibility and benefits of EAs make them suitable for a wide range of customers.

Question: Why is it important for organisations to choose an experienced partner for Cisco Enterprise Agreements?

Partners must undergo accreditation to transact EAs, demonstrating their expertise and skill set. Experienced partners, like Camworth, play a crucial role in navigating the complexity of customers’ software estates, scoping propositions, and ensuring successful deployment and adoption of EAs. Cisco trusts partners to simplify the process for customers.

Question: What is the lifecycle perspective in Cisco Enterprise Agreements, and how does Camworth support it?

Camworth’s lifecycle services go beyond the initial transaction. Will Lawrence-Mills from Camworth discuss the services which include onboarding sessions, quarterly reviews, and true forward billing. Camworth helps customers maximise the benefits of EAs throughout the agreement term by adapting to their changing business needs and providing ongoing support.

Question: How can organisations get started with the Cisco Enterprise Agreement process?

To initiate the process, organisations can engage with Camworth, expressing interest in EA agreements. The starting point involves providing a letter of authorisation for access to software licensing information and user access to a smart account. Camworth then conducts a thorough analysis, leading to the creation of a business case and ROI evaluation, helping organisations determine if an EA is the right fit.

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