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How to Negotiate a Cisco Enterprise Agreement that Works for You

  • Network World
  • 2/8/2018
  • Ben Fox & Marc Lindsey

Cisco Enterprise agreements can provide long-term benefits and savings, but they must be scrutinized carefully case-by-case to see if they make sense.

Cisco Enterprise Agreements (“EAs”) are becoming an increasingly popular vehicle for purchasing and consuming software products and services from Cisco.

The general concept is that – rather than purchasing individual software products and associated software maintenance on a unit by unit basis – the enterprise pays Cisco an upfront fee to cover all of its purchases of a certain suite or suites of Cisco software products, plus the associated software maintenance, over an agreed period.  

The benefits to the customer are that the upfront fee for the suite or suites under the EA should be less than it would have paid to purchase the software licenses and support on a unit by unit basis, and the customer can acquire more software or service units to meet its business needs without incurring additional charges, provided that the total consumption remains within certain growth limits.  The benefit to Cisco is that it gets a lump-sum payment upfront for closing a sale for a substantial volume of business in a single transaction.

However, as with any new deal construct, there are various important criteria enterprise buyers must consider to realize the benefits they expect.  

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