If this is the best that Cisco can manage when they are “listening” we have a huge problem. I’m paraphrasing from Cisco Blog » Blog Archive » The “We’re Listening” Blog Series: Simplifying Cisco Software Licensing.
We’ve heard you- our customers and partners- loud and clear on software licensing: you want a better Cisco software experience, from the time you request a quote to the time you activate your software. I’m happy to tell you that a better experience is coming, and you will start to see many improvements within the next few months.
Well, hoo-bloody-ray. Three years of barefaced pain and we _finally_ get some action. Or are we ?
As part of the Simplification initiative, our first step was to establish a standardized approach for licensing across all software products at Cisco. This new, contractual licensing approach will make it easier for you to get access to the software you’ve purchased,
Oh, so not changing anything, just a first step. In fact, more of the same. Is that what this says ? Lets see….
Many of you have already heard us talk about this new licensing approach, in presentations to our Enterprise Technical Advisory Board, Partner Operations Advisory Board, Partner Technical Advisory Board, Cisco Live! and in smaller focus groups
Nope. Not heard a thing. Must have been _really_ small groups.
Your positive feedback tells us we’re going in the right direction, while your suggestions have helped us make adjustments where needed. We’ll continue to keep you actively involved as we move forward to ensure that our solution meets your needs.
Choke, choke, cough cough. That’s a lot of lipstick on that pig. Can it breathe ?
In addition to standardizing our licensing, we are making significant improvements to our software management tools
Tools to help with licensing. Not sure that is the answer, but hey, some of those tools haven’t been updated or improved in five years so we could hope for some improvment.
Product Upgrade Tool (PUT) and Software eDelivery: Where customers and partners under contract with Cisco can retrieve production upgrade software.
Very few people have Cisco maintenance contracts because they are so expensive. So, that’s not useful. And partner contracts don’t allow customer access to any of these tools for software registration. How do you fix that mess ? FAIL.
Software Infrastructure and Fulfillment Technology (SWIFT) for product registrations – License Administration Portal: Designed to support customer license transactions such as fulfillment of software licenses using Product Activation Keys (PAKs), license transfers, license information lookup and license resends.
That would be the portal that always ends with a TAC case to get the PAK fixed. And I don’t have a support contact so it’s a major pain to get licensing fixed. And the reseller can’t fix them either becuase they aren’t the customer (and that’s assuming the reseller even knows how to solve this issue).
Summer 2013: Completion of one software management portal where you can access all software management tools in one location
When factoring for “Cisco-time” that would late in 2014 then. That’s two years away.
The EtherealMind View
I’m “so” glad that Cisco is listening. And I’m pretty disappointed that they are actually doing so little. Cisco licensing is total fail for customers and it’s costing my customers thousands of man hours to maintain the license suites and those costs are beginning to appear above the line.
This isn’t winning. I don’t care if you are listening, I want to see licensing simplified, removed from reseller dependency, free from TAC contract requirements and simplified. And when I say simplified, I mean a maximum of five license options for an entire product family.
I wish I could swear and cuss at length about the stupidity of Cisco licensing strategy. But, really, I’m too polite. Excuse me while I head off to punch out a wall.