Cisco Streamlines UC Licensing Schema
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has reduced the complexity of its unified communications licensing, shifting to a user-centric model and increasing the amount of features included with each license.
In a company blog, Roberto De La Mora, senior director, Unified Communications Platforms & Endpoints, Worldwide Collaboration Solutions Marketing, spelled out the new direction, including software-only licensing and the aligning of licenses for three types of users: office worker, information worker and power user.
“The old licensing scheme was the ultimate Chinese menu,” said Richard McLeod, senior director of Business Development at Cisco. “Now we’re offering three user-type bundles, all with Jabber at the foundation. In essence, Jabber has become the new dial tone.” Additionally, all three bundles come pervasive video-enabled.
Under the new licensing model, office workers are able to choose from a single-device license at $210 or dual-device license at $295, which works with any type of endpoint — be it phone, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. Information worker licenses are priced at $325 and includes Cisco’s Unity Connection unified messaging technology. What’s more, the license applies to the multiple devices information workers use regularly, from their desktop phone to their home or branch office phones.
The power user license is geared for the “road warriors” who need advanced unified communications functionality access via multiple devices as well as real-time collaboration. As such, the power user license, priced at $500, includes WebEx Social and WebEx conferencing.
The new licensing model is effective with the 9.0 release of Cisco’s Unified Communications technology, which includes the Enterprise License Manager (ELM), software that McLeod said can help partners more easily manage the licensing process for their customers. “It gives a new level of license management compliance and reporting — it’s not tied to a particular server, and it can go over multiple clusters and apps to do dynamic deployments and assignments of new user licenses,” he said. “It streamlines deployments and upgrades, reduces costs and increases VARs’ bottom lines – I really think we’ve changed the game here with this.
“The new bundles and ELM combined will make it more easier for partners to sell this,” McLeod continued. “We’re now speaking in ways customers can understand.”