Big changes are upon us when it comes to Cisco licensing. On Jan. 23, 2021, everything will change with Cisco Unified Communications Manager licenses. For some organizations, this will be a moment to celebrate, given the detailed complexity of Cisco’s reporting. Who hasn’t struggled at times to figure out what your organization owns, what’s covered and whether or not that’s reflected in the Cisco report?
You can say goodbye to perpetual license purchases and multiyear support contract renewals. No more deciphering what type of license you need based on the phone model you plan to buy. No more reviewing your Prime License Manager to see if you even need licenses. No more wading through the PLM output. Cisco has finally simplified its license consumption model.
Unpacking Cisco Flex
Cisco’s new Flex licensing is a subscription model for calling, meetings and contact center workloads. It allows for different subscription models based on your organization’s requirements, as well as different terms lengths. They may be purchased together or separately. This is great news because it allows you to align budgetary spend with just the right plan.
If your organization is not yet ready to make a full switch to a subscription licensing model, that’s OK. You can keep your licensing as it is. If you need new licensing after the January 23, 2021, date, those new licenses will be purchased as a subscription and you’ll then be operating in a blended license model.
Unless you decide to buy a multiyear support plan for the last time in January, your organization should be planning to implement this new license model and budget. Keep in mind that this financial model may impact how you allocated license spend as Flex agreements will be OPEX rather than CAPEX.
Reviewing the Flex Options
If you’re already a CDW customer and ready to take the plunge, here is where you can get started:
- Contact your CDW Account Manager
- Provide the following details:
- Prime License Manager
- Cisco Letter of Authorization (if applicable, your account manager will send to you)
- Start thinking about your 3- and 5-year Collaboration growth plan
CDW will work with you to determine the best fit and most cost-effective model for your organization’s particular needs. For your convenience, here is a summary of the various workloads and their Flex options. (Cisco’s website is the ultimate authority.)
- Webex Calling in Cisco Cloud
- Unified Communications Manager Cloud in Cisco Cloud
- Hosted Unified Communications in CDW Cloud
- Hybrid – move to the cloud at your own pace
Note: CallManager (CUCM) options provide you with Emergency Responder (among other entitlements), so you can be compliant with RAY BAUM’s Act Phase 1, which goes into effect Jan. 6, 2021.
There’s a lot of new functionality added to Webex, such as noise reduction or transcription. Plus, you can add on Webex Assistant (voice-driven virtual assistant), additional storage and more.
Keep in mind, when you purchase a Flex Meetings agreement, all four Webex Centers are included:
- Webex Meetings: the standard meetings you know and love
- Webex Training Center: controls for the host, for easier group management
- Webex Event Center: 1,000 or 3,000 attendees
- Webex Support Center: for your IT Service Desk
Subscription and Licensing Options:
- Enterprise Agreement: This starts at 250 knowledge workers (employees with a phone, Unity voicemail, and can schedule Webex meetings). All your knowledge workers have access to all four Webex centers, if your site administrator allows it.
- Named User: Starts at one knowledge worker
- Active User: This is the same as Enterprise, except you are billed for 15 percent of your knowledge worker-count minimum, and any additional users are tallied in months 9, 10 and 11, then true forwarded. Basically, any user above the 15 percent who hosts a meeting in months 9, 10 and 11 is considered a new user, and will be added to the contract.
Note: CallManager (CUCM) options provide you with Emergency Responder (among other entitlements), so you can be compliant with RAY BAUM’s Act Phase 1, which goes into effect January 6, 2021.
Contact Center Workloads
Gone are the days when your contact center agents all have to be on the same license tier. Flex Contact Center allows mixed mode.
Deployment Options for Express, Packaged and Enterprise:
- Webex Contact Center in Cisco Cloud
- Hosted Unified Communications in CDW Cloud
- Premium: This is required for the administrator, supervisor and any agent requiring omnichannel (such as email and chat).
Getting Started with Cisco Flex
CDW will happily work with you to determine the best fit and most cost-effective model for your organization’s needs. We can help you find the right solution for your organization today and for tomorrow. Here’s how you can get started with us:
- Request a Collaboration Workshop. Learn how CDW can help you find the right cloud collaboration tools for your organizations.
- Lay the groundwork for the successful adoption of your new collaboration technology by your end users.
- If you are not a CDW customer yet, reach out to our sales team.
- If you are already a CDW customer, call your CDW account manager, who will schedule a meeting with your CDW Collaboration inside solution architect (ISA).