Cisco Enterprise Agreement 3.0 FAQ

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Updated:November 9, 2021

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Updated:November 9, 2021
 

 

Contents

General questions

Information about the Cisco Enterprise Agreement 3.0 buying program

Q.  What is the new Cisco ® Enterprise Agreement 3.0 (Cisco EA), and what are the benefits?
A.   The new Cisco Enterprise Agreement is a single 3- or 5-year agreement that brings the power of our entire portfolio under a single agreement that can scale rapidly, so you can accelerate at the speed of business. It delivers:

     Business agility: Accelerate business transformation with easier access to technology

     Premium experience: Have full visibility into your entitlements

     Unmatched value: Maximize your investment with access to exclusive offers

Q.  What can customers purchase under a Cisco EA?
A.   The Cisco Enterprise Agreement 3.0 includes five portfolios: Networking Infrastructure, Applications Infrastructure, Collaboration, Security, and Services.
Q.  What is a portfolio?
A.   Portfolios are collections of technology and services suites specifically designed to address customer needs. Customers can start with one portfolio and expand to include other portfolios as necessary to support their business needs.
Q.  Do all portfolios have to have the same term?
A.   The initial order establishes the term for all suites in the agreement and the coordinated schedule for all True Forward events. By default, subsequent orders are co-termed to the initial order.
Q.  What is the geographic availability for the Cisco EA?
A.   The Cisco EA is available globally. Contact your Cisco account team for more information.
Q.  Can the Cisco EA cover just a portion of a customer’s network?
A.   We cannot split an EA by divisions, only by legal entities. Cisco EAs require a 100% commitment from the legal entities selected in the scope of participating affiliates. If employees and/or devices reside in a separate legal entity, we can exclude that entity from the participating affiliate list, and this entity would not count toward the Enterprise Agreement.
Q.  How is Cisco EA different from offerings by competitive vendors?
A.     Unique features of Cisco EA are its 15% user-based growth allowance (applicable for the Collaboration and Security portfolios), True Forward, and cross-architecture coverage with the ability to add security and services with the purchase of the Networking Infrastructure, Applications Infrastructure, or Collaboration portfolios.
The Cisco EA 3.0 includes both Full Commit Suites, which typically require a minimum commitment and enterprise-wide coverage where applicable, and Partial Commit Suites, which have no minimum (with some exceptions for the Security portfolio) or enterprise-wide coverage requirement.
Q.  What is True Forward?
A.   True Forward is an adjustment process to account for growth in Cisco EA 3.0 and includes payment for that growth. If a customer overconsumes, True Forward will take effect on the next scheduled True Forward event, depending on the full or partial commit status of the suite, and will continue until the end of the Cisco EA term.
Q.  Is the value of my purchase transferable?
A.   Yes, you can shift the remaining value of one license to another within a suite if the suite is eligible for a value shift.
Q.  What happens if there is a True Forward event in the final year of a Cisco EA term?
A.   Any additional licenses added to Full Commit Suites during the final 12 months of the contract will be captured during the next Cisco EA contract. Any licenses added to Partial Commit suites in the final year will be captured in the next quarterly True Forward event, except for the final quarter. Licenses added in the final quarter will be captured during the next Cisco EA contract. Should the contract not be renewed, the customer would be required to purchase the minimum a la carte term allowed for licenses added after their last True Forward.
Q.  How does cross-architecture coverage work?
A.   When a customer has at least one Full Commit suite in the Networking Infrastructure, Applications Infrastructure, or Collaboration portfolios and has at least $100,000 in fully committed Total Contract Value (TCV) in the EA, they unlock access to the Security and Services portfolios without having to make an enterprise-wide commitment to the additional suites. Also, during the term of the EA, the customer can easily add other portfolios to their agreement.
Q.  Can the customer scale down the quantity of products and services after entering the Cisco EA 3.0?
A.   No, a customer cannot scale down the quantity of products and services after entering the Cisco EA 3.0.
Q.  Is a customer required to purchase all portfolios from the same partner?
A.   No, the Cisco EA 3.0 allows for each portfolio to be purchased through a different partner. However, the Services portfolio must be purchased by the same partner through which the product portfolio was purchased.
Q.  What is the EA Workspace?
A.   The EA Workspace is a simple, enterprise-wide license management and provisioning tool. It serves as a common platform for the Cisco EA 3.0. The EA Workspace enables customers to:

     Manage and provision licenses

     Generate software licenses without using Product Authorization Keys (PAKs)

     Use their Smart Account to manage user access to EA licenses

Q.  How do customers get access to the EA Workspace?
A.   The customer must first create a Smart Account. The Smart Account is a customer- or partner-managed centralized account that provides full visibility into and access control of Cisco smart software licenses. After the Smart Account is created, go to the “License” quadrant on software.cisco.com and select Enterprise Agreements. Log in using your Cisco credentials and select the Smart Account associated with your Enterprise Agreement. You will then have access to view and manage your EA portfolios.
For more information on Smart Accounts, visit cisco.com/c/en/us/products/software/smart-accounts.html.
Q.  Where can I find more Cisco EA 3.0 content?
Q.  What is the minimum purchase requirement for the Cisco EA 3.0?
A.   The minimum purchase requirement is $100,000 in TCV. This can be met by the purchase of one or more Full Commit Suites. Most suites require enterprise-wide commitment and a minimum TCV spend to qualify as Full Commit Suites.
Q.  How does the customer order hardware during the Cisco EA term? Won’t they be charged again for the Cisco software?
A.   For hardware that has mandatory software attach, associating a customer’s Smart Account with the order in Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) will cause it to recognize that the hardware order is covered by an EA and will automatically discount the software cost by 100%. The software is built to order and will be preinstalled on the hardware before shipment.
Q.  How does a customer get support for non-hardware-related failures?
A.   They should call Customer Interaction Network (CIN) and get access via their master contract number, which will list all products from Cisco product families covered under their Cisco EA contract. Although Software Support Service and software in general are not serialized, as long as the product family is listed on their master contract, the customer will be entitled. When a customer buys Cisco EA, we entitle all product families in the portfolio that the customer purchases.

Collaboration Portfolio

Q.  What is offered as part of the Collaboration Portfolio?
A.   The Collaboration Portfolio includes Webex ® Suite, the world’s first purpose-built, best-of-breed suite for hybrid work.
Table 1: Solutions and suites

Solution

Suite

Add-ons

Webex

Webex Suite: Calling

Meetings

Messaging

Webex audio, real-time translations

Q.  How do I get more information about the Collaboration portfolio?
A.   Please see the Collaboration portfolio guide at https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/buy/enterprise-agreement/collaboration.html.
Q.  What are the Collaboration Portfolio details?
A.   Within the Collaboration portfolio, you are allowed to use an additional 15% of your purchased entitlements without charge. True Forward adjustments, outside of the initial 6-month growth cap, will be applied only if growth exceeds 115%.
Only customers without existing Webex Suite subscriptions are eligible to purchase through the Collaboration portfolio. Customers are required to cover their entire enterprise (all knowledge workers), with a minimum of 250 knowledge workers to qualify.
Q.  What is a knowledge worker?
A.   Knowledge workers are your employees and contractors who use devices as a normal part of their job duties that are performed on your behalf.

Networking Infrastructure Portfolio

Q.  What is offered as part of the Networking Infrastructure Portfolio?
A.   With the Networking Infrastructure Portfolio, you get software-defined automation, analytics, and assurance across your network in one unified agreement.
Table 2: Solutions and suites

Solution

Suites

Add-ons

Cisco DNA Software

SD-WAN and routing

Switching

Wireless

Cisco DNA Spaces 

 

Data center switching

Data Center Networking (DCN)

MDS

 

Cisco Meraki®

Meraki Network Infrastructure

Meraki Systems Manager

Meraki camera systems

Cisco DNA Spaces 

 

Q.  How do I get more information about the various suites offered in the Networking Infrastructure Portfolio?
A.   Please reference the following Portfolio Guide: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/buy/enterprise-agreement/networking.html.
Q.  What are the highlights of the Networking Infrastructure portfolio in the EA?
A.   Highlights of the new Networking Infrastructure portfolio include:

     Cisco DNA and Meraki value shift: Transfer the remaining value of licenses across suites, as well as within suites

     Standard and programmatic ramp

     Free appliance benefit

●    Solution Starter entitlement for onboarding and implementation

Q.  Why should a customer buy the Networking Infrastructure portfolio through the Cisco EA 3.0?
A.   In addition to benefits including True Forward, single term, and single workspace, buying the Networking Infrastructure portfolio through the Cisco EA gives customers additional value through access to the Security and Services portfolios, available to purchase under the EA contract as partial commit suites.

Applications Infrastructure portfolio

Q.  What is offered as part of the Applications Infrastructure portfolio?
A.   The Applications Infrastructure portfolio enables you to deliver superior application experiences with observability, automation, and consistency across hybrid cloud operations.
Table 3: Solutions and suites

Solution

Suites

Add-ons

Full-stack observability

Cisco Intersight

 

Cisco HyperFlex

 

AppD

Secure App, infrastructure monitoring, private agent synthetic, log analytics, Resource Utilization Monitoring (RUM) peak, RUM Pro, hosted synthetic 

ThousandEyes

 

To qualify as a full commit suite:

   HyperFlex requires a full commit spend minimum ($50,000) and a commitment to enterprise-wide device coverage.

   ThousandEyes requires a full commit spend minimum ($50,000) and a minimum of 250 users and/or a minimum of 5000 units.

Q.  Why should a customer buy the Applications Infrastructure Portfolio through the Cisco EA?
A.   In addition to benefits including True Forward, single term, and single workspace, buying the Applications Infrastructure Portfolio through the Cisco EA gives customers additional value through multi-suite pricing and access to the Security and Services Portfolios, available to purchase under the EA contract as partial commit suites. Also, a $5,000 Solution Starter is available per Full Commit Suite with a minimum $100,000 suite purchase.
Q.  How do I get more information about the various suites offered in the Applications Infrastructure Portfolio?
A.   Please reference the following Portfolio Guide: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/buy/enterprise-agreement/applications.html.

Security Portfolio

Q.  What is offered as part of the Cisco Security Portfolio?
A.   The Security Portfolio enables you to take an integrated platform approach to radically simplify your security and protect your organization at the user, device, network, and application/data levels with Cisco Secure.
Table 4: Solutions and suites

Solution

Suites

Add-ons

Zero Trust

Duo

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)

Secure Workload

AnyConnect (Apex) 

Secure Malware Analytics (Advanced, Cloud, Content, Feeds) 

Cisco Defense Orchestrator (next-generation firewall [NGFW] and intrusion prevention [NGIPS], Cisco Umbrella®

 

Cloud and networking security

Umbrella

Secure Firewall

Secure Web Appliance

 

Secure platform and response

Secure Endpoint

Secure Network Analytics

Secure Email

AMP Private Cloud (AMP virtual private cloud) 

 

The following have product minimums, effective for all suite types: ISE, Secure Workload, Secure Network Analytics, Secure Email, Secure Web Appliance, Cloudlock, AnyConnect, Secure Malware Analytics.
Q.  Can I include the Security Portfolio when I purchase other portfolios?
A.   Yes, a full commit purchase of any suite in the Networking Infrastructure, Applications Infrastructure, or Collaboration Portfolios unlocks the ability to purchase Partial Commit Suites through your Security EA authorized partner.
Q.  Is there a growth allowance for the Security Portfolio in the new Cisco EA?
A.   Yes, for full commit suites you are allowed to use an additional 15% of your purchased entitlements without charge. True Forward adjustments outside of the initial 6-month growth cap will be applied only if growth exceeds 115%.
Q.  Why should a customer buy the Security Portfolio through the Cisco EA?
A.   Additional benefits to a full commit purchase of the Security suites include True Forward, single term, and multi-suite pricing. Also, buying the Security portfolio through the Cisco EA gives customers additional value through access to the Services portfolio, available to purchase under the EA contract with no TCV minimum.
Q.  Where can I learn more about the Security portfolio?
A.   Please see the Security Portfolio Guide: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/buy/enterprise-agreement/security.html.

Services Portfolio

Q.  What is included in the Services Portfolio?
A.   As a part of your software purchase under a Cisco Enterprise Agreement, you automatically receive access to basic software support. When you purchase the Services portfolio, this basic support is upgraded to include premium service deliverables for your hardware and software assets. When you add services to any product portfolio in EA, you will receive:
Higher valued support. This service centralizes support across hardware and software from Cisco and Solution Support Alliance Partner products by Cisco engineers with deep solution, product, and interoperability expertise. Additionally you will receive priority case handling and RMA options as part of your EA.
Enterprise Agreement management support. New onboarding and regular quarterly sessions (Cisco led) are designed to guide you in effectively managing contracts by helping you analyze actual license consumption, address changes, and strategize for innovation and growth through the industry’s only enterprise agreement True Forward feature. You can pivot to adopt new solutions when and where you need to and scale your Solution Support coverage with it.
Portfolio coverage. When you add services to your product portfolio you get coverage for all your product suites within a product portfolio. This will provide a consistent level of services across multiple suites within a portfolio.
Q.  How does choosing to purchase the new Services portfolio help me?
A.   By opting to pair the services portfolio with software for your Cisco Enterprise Agreement, you can:

   Further streamline contract management by eliminating separate hardware support contracts, since Solution Support addresses both software and hardware from Cisco and other providers. Because it resolves complex issues on average 44 percent faster than product support, it’s the right kind of support service for multiproduct or multivendor solution environments.

   Reduce support costs and gain financial predictability by adding hardware support to your Cisco Enterprise Agreement, which offers economies of scale to lower your pricing compared to purchasing support transactionally.

   Receive a more consistent support experience across software and hardware through Solution Support engineers, who address your solution, versus working with separate software and hardware engineer teams.

   Extract the highest value out of your Enterprise Agreement through quarterly consultative sessions with Cisco experts, who help you analyze asset coverage and usage, plan for change and growth, and prepare you for True Forward.

Q.  Is the Services Portfolio mandatory or optional with a software portfolio for a Cisco Enterprise Agreement?
A.   Adding services to your software portfolio is optional. You can still choose to purchase only a software portfolio, which automatically entitles you to Cisco Software Support Basic with your purchased software licenses. However, you may choose to add the Services portfolio to your EA for the following reasons:

   Solution Support is purpose-built to address the kinds of complex issues that can arise in a multiproduct or multivendor solution environment, as it covers both hardware and software from Cisco and our Alliance Partners.

   Because most of our customers want help fast, no matter how small or large the issue, we’ve built speed into critical steps of Solution Support delivery that is not available through Cisco product support (that is, Cisco Software Support Basic and Cisco Smart Net Total Care® Service): You don’t need to isolate your issue to a product to open a case (unlike product support).

   Solution Support provides a 30-minute response for severity 1 and 2 issues (versus 60 minutes for Cisco Smart Net Total Care).

   Solution Support cases are prioritized over product support service requests.

Q.  Which portfolios can the Services portfolio be added to?
A.   As a part of your purchase of any suite in the Networking Infrastructure, Applications Infrastructure, or Security portfolios, you may choose to add the corresponding Services suite through your EA authorized partner.
Q.  How does True Forward work for the Services portfolio?
A.   Your baseline installed base is captured at the initial EA purchase. Any changes to this installed base due to new product purchases, site moves, or decommissions are included in calculating the consumption and associated billing of services. For suites that do not have associated hardware, simply the quantity of software licenses consumed forms the basis of calculating any overconsumption and associated billing of software services.
Q.  Can the Services Portfolio be purchased as a standalone agreement—that is, without a software enrollment?
A.   Customers with a current Cisco Enterprise Agreement can elect to add the Services portfolio to their contract. Any new customers purchasing new product portfolios are also eligible to add services to their product enrollments. Otherwise, you cannot opt to purchase a services enrollment without a software enrollment.
Q.  With partial commit, can I purchase services to cover only a portion of my installed base?
A.   As you are adding services to your product portfolio and suites purchased in EA, the commitment for services should match the product. A full commit purchase of a product suite requires enterprise-wide services coverage on the entire installed base. Likewise, if a product suite doesn’t meet the full commit requirements, the services coverage should cover the entire purchased quantity of software and relevant hardware.
Q.  Where can I find out more about the Services Portfolio?

Partner-related Cisco EA questions

General information

Q.  Can you have different partners per portfolio?
A.   Yes, EA 3.0 allows for a single partner for each portfolio, except for the Services portfolio, which allows for a different partner for each Services suite corresponding to a primary portfolio.
Q.  How do I know if my partner is eligible to sell the Cisco EA?
A.   You can find eligible Cisco EA partners with the Partner Locator tool. Click Advanced Search Criteria > Authorizations. Check the boxes for the EA enrollments you require.
Q.  What certifications are required for partners to single-enroll across architectures?
A.   Advanced Architecture Specializations and Buying Model Commerce certifications.
Q.  Can a third-party importer be used in the Cisco EA deals?
A.   Yes, but the third-party importer must meet the requirements to sell the Cisco EA, including having the buying model’s commerce certification.
Q.  Do partners have access to the Cisco EA Workspace?
A.   If a customer grants the partner access to their Smart Account, then yes, the partner will have visibility into their customer’s entitlement and consumption in the EA Workspace.

 

 

 

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