Cisco ONE for Access

Cisco ONE Software FAQ

  • Viewing Options

  • PDF (376.7 KB)
  • Feedback

General Questions

Q.    What is Cisco ONE Software?
A.     Cisco ONE Software is a new portfolio of software products that span the technology categories of data center and cloud, WAN, access, and security. Cisco ONE Software simplifies the way you purchase software licenses within these technology platforms.
Q.    Why is Cisco announcing Cisco ONE Software?
A.     Based on feedback from our customers and partners, Cisco is undergoing a transition. Instead of selling point software products and features, we will be selling software solutions that address the most relevant IT and business outcomes. We’ve designed these solutions to meet your needs for infrastructure software that delivers the same ongoing benefits as you have with modern application software. With our easy-to-consume, solution-oriented suites, Cisco ONE Software simplifies the buying process for customers who need to deliver a specific business outcome. Cisco ONE Software also provides access to ongoing innovation and software license portability, similar to the benefits offered by modern application software.
Q.    What are the financial benefits to buying Cisco ONE Software?
A.     Cisco ONE Software provides several financial advantages over the current licensing model:

   Licenses are portable between generations of hardware, eliminating the need to repurchase software when upgrading to new hardware.[1]

   Costs can be amortized over the lifetime of the software, and paid from the more flexible OpEx budget,
instead of the more strictly controlled CapEx budget.

   “Better together” pricing can provide lower initial costs and reduce your total cost of ownership (TCO) over the software lifecycle. In a typical unified access refresh use case, you could save 9% in software costs over a 5-year refresh lifecycle with Cisco ONE Software.

Q.    What are the operational benefits of buying Cisco ONE Software?
A.     Cisco ONE Software addresses many of the common headaches associated with purchasing and managing software:

   Today, you may have to choose from hundreds of SKUs to find the right software solution for your needs. Cisco ONE Software suites simplify that process into a 3x3 decision matrix:

     Determine which architecture model is needed: data center and cloud, WAN, or access model.

     Determine which tiered capabilities are required: Foundation, Advanced Applications, or Advanced Security, or a combination.

   Software licenses can be transferred across generations of hardware without requiring repurchase of the software.

   Licenses are self-managed through a customer-accessible licensing portal.

   Metering capabilities allow customers to easily see which licenses are in use and in which locations.

Q.    Will Cisco ONE Software run on third-party hardware?
A.     Cisco ONE Software contains some elements that run on purpose-built Cisco hardware, and some elements that are packaged to run on industry-standard x86 hardware as virtual appliances. The software elements packaged to run as virtual appliances can be run on any industry-standard x86 hardware that meets the requirements for the software.
Q.    Can you describe the before and after scenario for Cisco ONE Software from financial and operational perspectives?
A.     An example would be a unified access use case where a customer has 500 branches and a 5-year refresh cycle. Under the current a la carte model, the cost for annual hardware and software support, plus the cost for refreshing all branch hardware in the fifth year, would total approximately US$16 million. With the Cisco ONE Software model, costs over the same period would be US$14.5 million, for a savings of 9%.
Customers will receive other significant benefits in this example:

   Lower first-year start-up costs if the customer buys a subscription model

   Cost savings in the fifth year as a result of license portability

   Greater value because the product includes advanced capabilities that would cost more if licensed in the existing a la carte model

Q.    Each domain in the Cisco ONE Software model offers a Foundation product. What is Foundation and is it the same for all products?
A.     Foundation products are a collection of the most common software-licensed capabilities for each area of the network: data center and cloud, WAN, and access. Capabilities will differ depending on which area of the network is being addressed. In general, Foundation products deliver the capabilities that most customers need, including basic networking, security, and systems management.
Q.    Does the Foundation product include Cisco IOS ® Software, Cisco ® NX-OS Software, or other Cisco operating systems?
A.     No, the basic operating system for any purchased device is included with the cost of the hardware. Cisco ONE Software includes additional software licenses and capabilities that extend beyond what comes with the basic operating system.
Q.    Why are there separate Advanced Security products? Does that mean that Foundation products and other products are not secure?
A.     All Cisco ONE Software products offer integrated security at every layer. Advanced Security products provide more capabilities and typically run on standalone appliances, like Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) or Cisco Firepower devices. Customers should purchase Advanced Security products if they need this advanced functionality.
Q.    Each domain in the Cisco ONE Software model offers an Advanced Applications product. What is an Advanced Applications product, and are they the same for all domains?
A.     Advanced Applications for Cisco ONE Software address a broader range of customer use cases and differ by architecture. For example, the ability to deploy advanced voice and video solutions is enabled by the Cisco ONE WAN Collaboration product. Cisco ONE Advanced Mobility Services allows customers to customize their wireless environment to deliver a tailored experience, which is a valuable benefit for retail and branch offices.

Purchasing Questions

Q.    Will customers be required to buy all their Cisco software in this new model instead of being able to purchase software features a la carte?
A.     Cisco continues to offer you two ways to buy Cisco software. You can still purchase Cisco software features the way you always have, by purchasing hardware and then buying selected software capabilities to build a custom package. Cisco ONE Software offers a new consumption option that lets you buy a hardware platform and license the software separately. Cisco ONE Software products provide combinations of applications and features that address the most common business use cases at attractive prices. These give you improved deployment flexibility and portability to better support your business outcomes.
Q.    What if Cisco ONE Software requires me to purchase more than I need? I may prefer buying my software a la carte. How do you respond to this concern?
A.     You will still have the option to buy software a la carte. Cisco ONE Software is in addition to, rather than a replacement for the current model.
Q.    Do I have to buy a Foundation product to purchase Advanced Applications or Advanced Security products?
A.     It depends.

   All of the software in our Advanced Security products run on appliances and have no dependencies on the Foundation product. You can purchase them separately as long as you have the appropriate appliance as described above.

   The Cisco ONE WAN Collaboration product is available separately if your primary use case for the router is unified communications.

   All other products require purchase of Foundation prior to the purchase of the Advanced product types.

Since you gain additional benefits by purchasing the Foundation and Advanced product types, we recommend that you purchase them together.
Q.    What is the difference between Cisco ONE Software perpetual and subscription licensing?
A.     In the subscription model, you pay an annual fee that includes the cost of the license(s) term right-to-use
(for a term of one year) and the cost of SWSS for software support, suite updates, version upgrades, and license portability. If you decide to cancel the subscription, you lose the right to use the license(s).
In the perpetual model, you pay the entire cost of the license(s) for perpetual right-to-use at the time of purchase. You must maintain an annual SWSS contract to receive software support, updates, upgrades, and license portability rights. If you stop paying for the SWSS contract, you can continue to use the license on that device. However, you will not be eligible for support, updates, upgrades, or license portability if you move to a new device in the future.
Q.    Do I have to prepay for the full term of my Cisco ONE Software subscriptions?
A.     Cisco ONE Software is offered in a one-year minimum term, and we offer an option to prepay for one or more years of subscriptions. During 2015, we plan to introduce annual payments for subscriptions.
Q.    How do I migrate equipment and software I already own to the new Cisco ONE Software licensing model?
A.     Cisco will offer prorated upgrade costs to customers who own qualifying products and want to move to the Cisco ONE Software model. These will be managed as promotional campaigns to accelerate your migration to Cisco ONE Software.
Q.    Are there any tax benefits associated with purchasing through the Cisco ONE Software model?
A.     Tax laws vary by jurisdiction and the individual circumstances of the transaction or offer. Some jurisdictions do not assess sales tax on intangible property like software. However, the determination of whether software qualifies for an exemption depends on multiple factors. Cisco does not provide tax advice to customers, partners or third parties. If you are unsure whether software (Cisco ONE Software or other) comes under a tax benefit in your jurisdiction, you should consult with your tax advisor.
Q.    In the past, other vendors have moved functionality from basic to advanced tiers. This requires the purchase of the more expensive tier just to get that functionality back. Can you assure me that Cisco won’t do the same thing?
A.     While we reserve the right to change the contents of Cisco ONE Software packages, our customers’ satisfaction is our most important consideration. Our plan is to continue to add functionality to the Foundation and Advanced tiers. Over time, some functionality may become end-of-life or superseded by new capabilities. In these cases, if you have purchased a Cisco ONE Software perpetual license, you can continue to use your licenses even if the contents of a particular tier changes. Cisco will continue to provide support based on our standard support lifecycle policies.

Cisco Smart Accounts Questions

Q.    What is a Cisco Smart Account?
A.     Cisco Smart Account is a new solution that provides a central location with full visibility and access control to Cisco software licenses across an entire organization, allowing partners and customers to optimize their software management.
A Smart Account has many benefits, including:

   Share access and a complete view for customers and/or their chosen partners.

   Use a centralized environment to manage and move software to wherever it is needed.

   More easily organize assets according to a customer’s preferred structure.

   Increase productivity and optimize software investments by quickly identifying the location of unused licenses.

   Control access and viewing permissions to meet a customer’s needs.

A Smart Account is currently required to order the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS), and will become required for other Cisco ONE Software products. If a Smart Account is not already created for your company, you can set up one now to help ensure a smooth ordering experience.
Q.    How do Smart Accounts affect my Cisco ONE Software purchase?
A.     A Smart Account is not mandatory for ordering Cisco ONE Software suites, except for the Enterprise Cloud Suite. With a Smart Account, you can assign your Cisco ONE Software purchases to the account during the ordering process in the Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW). This will allow for easier management of your software inventory.
Q.    My Cisco ONE Software product is not the Enterprise Cloud Suite. Do I still need to set up a Smart Account?
A.     Even if you have a Cisco ONE Software product other than Enterprise Cloud Suite, we highly recommend that you set up a Smart Account. For Cisco ONE Software orders that do not have smart-enabled products, you can assign product authorization keys (PAKs) to a Smart Account. These PAKs will be made accessible to you in the Cisco License Registration portal. Assigning your Cisco One Software purchase to a Smart Account will let you immediately take advantage of your smart-enabled Cisco ONE Software benefits and have a holistic view into everything your company owns. In addition, a Smart Account lets you easily assign administrative and management roles, which may save you time and effort.
Smart Accounts gives customers additional benefits from their Cisco ONE Software purchases. Cisco has optimized the setup process to allow partners to configure their Smart Account either before or after the Cisco ONE Software purchase. We recommend that you proactively set up a Smart Account now to avoid delays when you need to complete an order, activate a product, or use a service. Smart Accounts are the focus and foundation for Cisco’s long-term, strategic approach to software. Partners and customers who set up their Smart Accounts sooner rather than later will benefit from immediate visibility into their utilization as well as improved license and asset management.
Q.    What can a partner expect from setting up a Smart Account?
A.     These are some of the key benefits that a partner can expect when setting up a Smart Account:

   Build lifecycle management services: Smart Accounts will provide adoption metrics based on activated licenses and hot spots of license overage. Partners can also build out customer software asset management services that will position them to add value to their customers.

   Deliver operational efficiencies: Smart Accounts give partners with a common link to various Cisco software tools and systems via Cisco Software Central. This includes a customer view of enterprise license agreements (ELAs) consumption via the Cisco ELA Licensing Workspace. In addition, Smart Accounts dramatically simplify the PAK registration processes and hardware provisioning.

   Intelligently grow sales based on real data: Smart Accounts allow partners to centrally view and manage their customers’ licenses, positioning them to more intelligently recommend software purchase needs for their customers (for example, a partner can use data to understand which ELA model is best for a customer’s consumption pattern).

Q.    I am interested in consolidating all of my Cisco ONE PAK-based licenses. Is this possible?
A.     Yes. Cisco is enhancing your ease of doing business by offering an on-demand PAK consolidation service for your Cisco ONE Software purchase. To consolidate your Cisco ONE PAKs and have them deposited into your Smart Account, please email You may also contact Cisco Licensing Support at 1‑800-553-2447 to speak directly with an agent.

For More Information

Q.    Where can I get more information about Cisco ONE Software?
A.     Please visit our website at or talk to your authorized Cisco representative.




[1] Hardware must be within the same series within a product family. License portability to a higher series is available for an upgrade fee. See the Cisco ONE Software Portability Q&A for more details.