5 ways a Cisco EA can support digital transformation

As organisations move into the digital era, 78% of leaders believe that modernising their business is very important to their company’s overall performance.1 Enabling trends such as remote working and collaboration, which provides a modern workplace that allows employees to be empowered and customers to be delighted. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, 83% of senior execs are planning to increase investment in digital technologies in the next 12 months.2

The problem is, your customers can’t just jump into a digital transformation with both feet. Success is reliant on them carefully planning the technologies required by the business, and then how those will be integrated to the existing IT infrastructure before being rolled out across the business.

Cisco Enterprise Agreements (EAs) are the perfect way to augment your existing offering. A single agreement with a term lasting 3-5 years provides your customer with a flexible and predictable way to scale and take advantage of digital transformation.

Under a Cisco EA, you need to sign your customer up for a Smart Account and then enrol them into Cisco DNA, Data Center, Security, and/or Collaboration. To make it more accessible to Tier 2 partners, Cisco has lowered the minimum thresholds for its enrolments, from $250k to $100k.

Here we explore how a Cisco EA helps overcome some of the common challenges associated with digital transformation:

1. Visibility over current infrastructure

Does this scenario sound familiar:

“Hi, Chris bought some licenses from you a couple of years ago. He’s left and the PAC codes are in his email, which we can’t access, and now the auditors are in. Can you tell us what licenses we have?”

It’s a painful request and one you can’t ignore if you’re to deliver the high level of service they’ve come to know and love.

Under a Cisco EA your customer needs to register for a Smart Account. The biggest benefit of doing so is that they acquire instant visibility over their licenses – being able to see new additions, expirations and renewal decisions. Providing simpler management and greater control over their software licenses, your customer is always in the know and able to set alerts, so they renew with plenty of time.

And that’s the second biggest benefit of the Cisco EA - your customers don’t need to wait for their current agreements to expire before signing up. Life can be very difficult for your customers when they’re locked into using software/partners that no longer meets their requirements. It’s why Cisco has enabled co-termination, allowing those agreements to be wrapped into the new EA. Everybody benefits and it eliminates the need for your customer to go out to tender.

2. Creating the business case

A big part of digital transformation involves creating the business case for the new technologies that are to be adopted and rolled out. Acquiring approval for the project to go ahead requires your customer to create a detailed ‘as is – to be’ picture to demonstrate the intended benefits of the project to the business stakeholders.

Creating a strong business case is largely reliant on 3 magic numbers:

  1. Software spend within the installed base
  2. Number of subscriptions
  3. Renewal dates

As a Tech Data partner, you can take advantage of Momentum Install Base Reports, to identify these numbers. Let Tech Data distil the information for you and reveal the hidden opportunities and ‘low hanging fruit’ within your current customers.

3. Getting past procurement

Often the gate keeper to transformation projects, Cisco EAs are specifically designed to deliver the financial predictability that your customer’s procurement team needs to see.

True Forward
Your customers can enjoy the benefits of on-demand deployment, adding more as they grow. By pooling licenses within their Smart Account, they simply pull down what they need without having to navigate a traditional long chain of command. Unlike other vendors, Cisco uses retroactive billing, so if your customer does overconsume, they pay for the additional licences on the next anniversary.

Not to exceed pricing
Under an EA, Cisco commits to a price, which is locked into the agreement for the duration of the term. It means that you, and your customer, can have confidence that the price will stand even if Cisco decided to later increase its list price. But, if the price decreases, you can pass these savings on.

Growth allowance
Under the terms of a Cisco EA, customers can access additional software licenses and support services by up to 20% for each enrolment without incurring any additional charges. Through their Smart Account, your customers simply draw down the licenses they need in the moment without delay.

Ramp
During a digital transformation, organisations tend to purchase their hardware upfront and then attempt to match their software licensing as they roll the technology out across the business. It can get messy and disputes between what’s being used and what’s being paid for arise and start to sour relationships. With a Cisco EA this barrier is eliminated. Applying a Ramp, the software is subject to a discounted rate, equivalent to six months’ free, while your customer rolls the hardware out.

4. Uncertainty over the future

Your customer’s current plans may only extend so far into the future, which can limit the discussions you have around their technology requirements. Tech Data can assist here with:

Customer Success-as-a-Service
Using a distinct methodology that helps to differentiate you in the market by enabling your customers to better align technology to their business outcomes and adopt it under a subscription-based model. Tech Data can support partners to deploy and adopt licenses through its Customer Success-as-a-Service offering, which is supported by its CX partner of choice, Glu-CX. This offering has been a game changer for our customers enabling end users to fully realise the potential of the software, and for our partners to give a true value add to their customers that will enable the partner to differentiate themselves in the market.

Advanced Solutions Annuity Practice
Identify Cisco EA opportunities early on when quoting and then access ongoing support, strategic advice, consultancy, and resources to help you maximise your sales, improve your margins and meet your customer’s evolving needs.

Then with a Cisco EA in place, it’s one agreement, one workspace, one term, so your customer can always start with a single enrolment and add more over time as they need them. The big benefit here is that it’s a company-wide service level agreement, which entitles them to a consistent level of service, and with each additional enrolment, they’re entitled to a greater discount – from 5% to 20%.

5. Future upgrades

One of the biggest risks to an organisation is using technology that has gone end of life or using software that isn’t running the latest version. It causes vulnerabilities within the infrastructure and leaves the business exposed to attack. But persuading your customers to upgrade can be tough – particularly if there’s additional costs involved.

Under a Cisco EA, all upgrades are included as standard so your customers can be certain that they’re using the latest, most secure version. As soon as Cisco releases the latest version, it’s available for immediate download through their Smart Account.

Find out more

The Cisco EA is ideal for organisations who are interested in embarking on a digital transformation, but want financial predictability, a simplified IT environment, and a technology growth plan.

To discover more, please contact your Tech Data Account Manager.

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1Source:https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/microsoft/workplaceevolution.pdf

2Source:https://thrive.dxc.technology/2019/02/11/survey-2019-a-critical-year-for-digital-transformation/