Cisco launches the ONE software suite

Cisco Systems executives promise that its Cisco ONE Software Suite will be “very sticky” for the channel.

Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment) comes in the form of a software licensing program that provides flexibility for customers to acquire the latest software for infrastructure.

What Cisco is trying to eliminate from its previous model is the a la carte method with separately priced products. Another sticking point for customers was the software license being tied to hardware. That is gone under the Cisco ONE program along with perpetual licensing for the lifetime of the product.

Under the new system, Cisco ONE covers data centre, WAN and network access software as a subscription, a Cisco first. And, later on this year Cisco ONE will offer perpetual licenses.

John Brigden, senior vice president of software strategy and operations for Cisco, said this is a whole new software strategy for the company.

“This helps Cisco transform to selling (business) outcomes instead of products. Software is not new at Cisco (Cisco is behind Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle in software revenue). We are transitioning from a technology focus to an end user experience focus, Brigden said.

Cisco ONE provides flexibility and drive greater deal sizes as well as more margin incentives through the Value Incentive Program (VIP), OIP, and TIP.

“It prevents multiple sales cycles for the channel partner because it is software tied to maintenance and support with SmartNet brings in a more predictable revenue stream,” Brigden said.

“This is very sticky for partners.”

Cisco also announced Cloud-Managed IT featuring Meraki technology. The Cloud-Managed IT offering includes centralized monitoring and management, network infrastructure, unified threat management and mobile management. What it offers is a SaaS model with operation consistency, streamlined feature delivery and automated management maintenance.

“We realized that cloud-managed IT is not limited to wireless and it can scale for the entire on-premise environment. This includes switching and routing along with advanced services like IWan and SDWan, and location analytics,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of enterprise products and solutions for Cisco.

For the channel, Meraki brings about the opportunity for capturing recurring revenue with cloud management licenses and managed services. It also expands a partner’s cloud managed portfolio with security, switching, wireless and enterprise mobility management.

“This makes the technology disappear,” said Soderbery. “Meraki is a single cloud suite for the enterprise networking stack. It has MDM, security switching and managed from a single point.”

Currently Cisco has 158 global partners delivering the Cloud-Managed IT solution.

“Partners can do more with Meraki and it can come down market into the mid-market and commercial with new types of MSPs that can serve part of the enterprise. This is a place where they could not reach before,” Soderbery added.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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