At the heart of Cisco’s software transformation initiative is the desire to simplify the overall end-to-end software lifecycle experience for customers and partners. The following three stages illustrate the core changes the company’s making:
Smart Accounts overview
- Presales simplicity. Offers are becoming more standard across Cisco product families, and software categories are grouped more logically. At the same time, users are given more choices in how to use hardware, software and services.
- Easier to purchase. Customers can now purchase most Cisco software products in a single location, download standalone or upgrade software electronically and manage their licenses using Smart Accounts.
- Automated renewals. Partners can create automated invoices based on buying program-specific offers, gain visibility into customers’ software use and adoption, and renew software and support in a single location.
A Smart Account is a Cisco service that organizes all Cisco software licenses in a central location and can be leveraged by multiple portals to enable your experience. Smart Accounts are necessary to ensure smooth quoting, ordering and license activation. Without Smart Accounts, a partner cannot fulfill its contractual obligations of license management.
Cisco is also moving away from a traditional licensing system and developing Smart Licensed products. A Smart License is similar to a software asset management (SAM) system, which answers two questions:
- What is it that I’ve purchased?
- What is it that I’m using?
By providing concise answers to the above questions, Cisco partners and customers can make more informed decisions about their investments with Cisco. Smart Licenses offer four advantages over traditional licenses. First, they provide users with a complete view of all their licenses and devices via software.cisco.com. Unlike traditional licenses, which require manual registration of every device through product access keys (PAK), Smart Licenses support self-registration, and they don’t require PAKs. Additionally, Smart Licenses are company-specific rather than device-specific, which makes them much more flexible than traditional licenses. And finally, Smart Licenses allow customers to “burst” and to move temporarily into an overusage situation, allowing licensing issues to be resolved later.
How can you use a Smart Account today?
Software licensing orders in CCW should be directly assigned to a specified Smart Account. Smart Accounts can be leveraged to centralize RMAs, License Transfers and Enterprise Agreements for a customer. Adding licenses to a Smart Account can prepare for a customer’s eventual migration to Smart Licensing.
Getting a Smart Account takes about five minutes. Log into Cisco Software Central with your cisco.com ID and initiate a request for a Smart Account by clicking Request a Smart Account under the Administration tile. You can also initiate a request for a Smart Account when ordering in CCW. Learn more about creating a Smart Account in this short video
, and create a Smart Account on software.cisco.com.