Cisco Wednesday said it's readying a shift in its enterprise sales model that will see it move away from selling one-off networking products to offer instead bundled licenses for customers buying data center, WAN and network access technologies.
The move, according to Rob Lloyd, president of Development and Sales at Cisco, is meant to make the buying process simpler for both Cisco enterprise customers and partners.
"We had a bunch of products. We are going to turn those products into licenses," Lloyd said during a roundtable with journalists Wednesday. "We're going to create a data center suite so you can buy a data center suite. You will see the products begin to become much less important than a simplified view for our customers to license capabilities."
Lloyd said Cisco is offering these licensed suites for three enterprise "domains," including the data center, Wide Area Networks (WAN) and network access. Ultimately, he said Cisco will transition to a similar licensing model for its service provider business as well.
Underpinning and included in each of these enterprise licensed suites will be Cisco's Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), a key component of the networking giant's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) SDN offering announced last year. Cisco in January announced a new, expanded version of APIC, called the APIC Enterprise Model, designed to apply the benefits of APIC -- such as increased network automation -- beyond just the data center and into enterprise WAN and access networks.
Out of the gate, Cisco is offering four licensing options for enterprise customers, all of which include elements of the Cisco Open Network Environment, or Cisco ONE, developer platform.
The first licensing option, Lloyd said, is called Cisco ONE Essentials, and will include the APIC, Cisco's Nexus 1000V virtual switch and access to the Cisco ONE Platform Kit (onePK) for developers. "This is going to come to every customer that buys Cisco switches, routers and data center infrastructure," Lloyd said. "It's going to be part of the offering."
The second licensing option is called Cisco ONE Foundational Elements, which includes Cisco's ACI fabric, network management tools, including Cisco Prime, along with virtual network services for layers 2 and 3 of the network.
The third option is Cisco ONE Advanced Services, which Lloyd said includes higher-level, policy-based network services, such as those provided through Cisco's new InterCloud software for moving workloads between public and private clouds.
The fourth option is called Cisco ONE Advanced Security Services, and will provide end-to-end network security and threat detection technologies, including those from Cisco's SourceFire acquisition.
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