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Cisco Smart Accounts: Simplifying Licensing

August 13, 2018 Network Solutions

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Technology has enhanced all our lives in some way and it also has simplified it in others ways. However, some areas still need some work. Cisco Software Licenses would definitely fall into the “need some work” category.  Cisco started issuing software licenses in paper form, license PAKs that needed to be registered, and the paper saved for proof of purchase. Seeing how cumbersome this process is, Cisco saw the need to reform the software license process.

The transition started with Cisco issuing PDF versions of the license keys, issued through an ordering portal, which could be downloaded and sent to the customer. This process was easier than the paper PAKs, but there were still areas for improvement. Should employees leave the company, and have license PAKs assigned to them, the record of the license leaves with that employee.


Simple. Easier. Fast. 

Simplification is always best; therefore, Cisco improved the process. They introduced Smart Accounts, and will be pushing all licensing to this model of delivery. A Smart Account is an electronic account for all your licensing to sit in, to keep record of, and to track utilization. It is a portal that the customer needs to set up or they can ask their Cisco Partner do it for them.

"Think of it like a file database. New licenses are deposited into this account and stored there until they are used. The database is accessed, by individual CCO Accounts, through a Cisco Portal." 

This centralized location provides you with full visibility and access control to all the Cisco Smart software licenses across your organization. It is no longer tied to an individual employee, it is associated to the company. Like a database, there can be sub-accounts, or files to allow for managing different department needs. Database access can be limited to specific sub-accounts through CCO Account alignment. This is helpful when you have multiple departments purchasing software licensing for their own use and it would limit their access to utilizing other departments purchases.

This enhanced delivery method has several benefits. Some of which are listed below:

  • Central, transparent & secure software license inventory management
  • Real-Time visibility to license consumption
  • Easy & secure delivery of all new software purchases
  • Low-Touch keyless license registration, consumption and activation for smart licensing
  • Customer defined controls to deploy/manage products & licenses
  • User Access Control
  • Licenses belong to a single account, not individual users
  • Pooled licensing enables flexible license allocation
  • Proactive coverage – automated notifications of additions and expirations
  • Full visibility and insights to inform purchasing and renewal decisions.

With this change, gone is the cumbersome entitlement process for Cisco's software. Network Solutions, welcomes our customers into the new simplistic way to manage licenses and software. If you would like more information on how to set up your Smart Account, or would like some guidance on how to develop your sub-accounts, please reach out to our team at


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