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Written by Steve Wrigglesworth, Head of Practice, Cisco UC at SCC AVS

Over the course of the last year, Cisco has begun replacing its perpetual licensing model with a new user-based subscription service called Flex. The latest iteration of this, Flex 3.0, is now the only way to consume many Cisco Collaboration services.

What this means is, instead of having to buy various Cisco products under multiple contracts and then pay for support on top, everything you need is now available through a single cloud-based subscription service.

You can consume existing on-premise calling services with enhanced flexibility. It also allows you to gradually move to the cloud at your own pace and is particularly good if you want a mix of the two with a transition through a hybrid environment.

How does this benefit you?

With Flex, you can take advantage of three key benefits:

Better value for money

First, it means better value for money. Because your on-premises perpetual license will change to a subscription, you will have more predictable outgoings via a consistent buying model for your collaboration services. What’s more, Cisco has significantly adjusted its pricing model, effectively reducing them by as much as 30% by adding additional licenses to the Flex Plan. You will benefit from these cost savings, as well as more flexible payment terms and potentially larger multi-year discounts.

Easier to manage

Flex also means your collaboration solutions are easier to manage. With every plan under Flex, customers get access to two management tools:

1. Smart Account, where you can manage all of your on-premise licenses in one portal; and

2. Control Hub where, with Cloud Connected UC as an integral element of the Flex Plan, you can access analytics and monitoring of your on-premise solution including phones, headsets and room devices in one place, regardless of deployment type.

Greater simplicity

Finally, it means greater simplicity. One agreement covers software, entitlements, and technical support for cloud-based and on-premises services and allows you to mix and match between them all. The auto-renewal of your subscription makes things easier still.

Why are these changes happening?

According to Gartner, by 2023, the number of remote workers will have doubled to over two-thirds of digital workers, shifting buyer requirements to demand work-anywhere capabilities. Cisco’s own research backs this up, and found that 98% of businesses expect there will be at least one remote worker in every meeting going forward.

This means that the hybrid workplace is here to stay, and Cisco wants you to be as best-equipped as possible for this new way of operating. The Flex plan gives you apps to allow remote working, but at no additional cost.

“We believe that everyone should have the freedom and flexibility to migrate to the cloud on their terms and realize maximum value from their existing collaboration on-premises deployments,” said Chris Barwick, Vice President for Cisco Collaboration Strategy and GTM in a blog post. “With Flex, customers have one consistent offer across their cloud, hosted, and on-premises deployments and can migrate when it makes sense for their business.

“To support this belief,” Barwick continued, “we are evolving our purchasing model to accelerate and incentivise the move to subscription and cloud services, simplify quoting and ordering for partners, and provide better together pricing with bundled discounts.”

Cisco’s efforts to modernise its offering have not gone unnoticed. In its Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, Gartner noted that “the past year has seen unprecedented R&D and marketing investments from Cisco”.

The analyst said that Cisco has the most complete self-developed unified communications portfolio in the market when you take into consideration other elements such as devices, SBCs, and networking. It also highlighted Cisco’s strong channel ecosystem as a positive – an ecosystem that we, at SCC, are proud to be a part of.

How can we help?

SCC is an award-winning Cisco UK Gold partner with a partnership spanning over 20 years.

From helping you to identify the right products and services through full deployment and ongoing management, we have a service offering that will suit your needs.

With experts who are with Cisco at the cutting edge of their technology deployments we can help, to provide a real world view to successfully complete your projects and help with the ongoing management, to ensure you get the maximum from your investment.

Want to know more? Contact me for further information.

Tags: Cisco collaboration, Cisco Flex, Cisco Flex 3.0, Collaboration, collaboration tools, communication, Flex 3.0


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