Cisco Enterprise Agreement (EA) is a software buying program that digitizes and simplifies license management for Cisco suite customers. Enterprise agreements are used to issue large companies licensing to use software applications. With Cisco EA, rather than purchasing software products on an individual basis, an organization would pay an upfront, fixed fee to encompass all of its purchases of a product suite or suites over a period of time. This makes it easier for Cisco customers to buy, consume and manage software licenses through their Cisco Workspace online portal.
Currently, Cisco Enterprise Agreement is offered in either a three or five-year contract term. Pricing for each agreement varies and is dependent on the number of authorized users and devices.
The following Cisco software suites are eligible for inclusion in a Cisco Enterprise Agreement:
- Cisco ONE Software which contains switching, wireless, WAN, data center networking and data center cloud computing technologies.
- Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan which includes the Cisco Spark Flex Plan, Cisco Unified Communications Suite, Cisco Meeting Serve add-on Suite and Cisco WebEx On-Premises Suite.
- Cisco Security Suite.
One of the unique features of Cisco's EA is the "True Forward" program. This provision states that the enterprise is entitled to a 20% growth allowance. Instead of charging extra for use outside of the license agreement, True Forward will not penalize a company for unforeseen growth and expansion as long as it does not exceed 120%.
Benefits of Cisco Enterprise Agreement
- Simplifies licensing into a single agreement for an entire company.
- Condenses multiple software SKUs into one suite.
- Is able to scale to meet changing needs, updates and upgrades.
- The fixed price for the agreement makes budgeting more predictable and should be less than a unit by unit basis.
- More software can be added without incurring additional charges within a 20% growth allowance, known as the True Forward feature.