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Cisco ONE Software FAQ

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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
(rather than 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. For example, 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 both 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 provide you with 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 the software a la carte. Cisco ONE Software is an 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 Cisco Software Support Service 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 Software Support Service contract to receive software support, updates, upgrades, and license portability rights. If you stop paying for the Software Support Service 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 move to the Cisco ONE Software model. These will be managed as promotional campaigns to accelerate your migration to Cisco ONE Software.
Q.    Is there any tax benefit associated with purchasing in 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.

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 FAQ for more details.