Cisco ESW/UCSS end of sale

Cisco are at it again.

After creating ridiculous amounts of confusion with their general UC licensing model, they are now tinkering with their software maintenance and subscription services.
Their stated objective is to simplify it. As a reseller who has borne the brunt of their order management processes, I will stand up and applaud this laudable aim. It may even free up some of our time to do productive work.

So, what’s happening? Well, after 21/11/2014, ESW/UCSS will be no more. We certainly won’t shed any tears as to their demise. They were both badly conceived and implemented. The replacement is SWSS which promises to be a single contract which covers both support and subscription. Sounds good so far.

However, the devil, as it always is with Cisco, is in the detail. As the same time as fanfaring this new process, they’ve also taken the opportunity to increase the list prices of the combined maintenance by approximately 10%, and remove multi year discounts. So an Enhanced CUCM user which used to cost RRP USD 75.00 for three years of cover, now goes up to RRP USD 82.80. It’s actually worse than this as various offers like 3 for 2 were available previously and they have now gone. Cisco are looking at this apparently. Sorry, but you would have thought they might have “looked” at this prior to launching the new service?

So. We’re about to write to our customers and tell them that a group of select, lucky and special people, they will be subjected to a maintenance hike of 10%ish next year. For nothing new. For nothing additional. Other than lining Cisco’s coffers obviously.

As always, Cisco won’t listen. They don’t get it. They don’t seem to understand that fleecing your existing customers for yet more money is not a way to breed loyalty. They seem to think that customers have invested too much money and are too scared to consider moving to alternate platforms such as Lync. They are wrong on all counts.

Barry Hesk
Intrinsic Network Solutions

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