Cisco goes subscription-based with routing

David West, vice president of enterprise networking sales at Cisco

, vice president of enterprise sales at

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Cisco continued its journey towards software and this week, announcing at its Partner Connection Week conference here that its whole portfolio will be made available on a subscription basis.

David West, vice president of enterprise networking sales at Cisco, announced the company would now allow “subscription services across all routing platform.” 

West, speaking at PCW, said the move towards making its routing portfolio available on a subscription basis would lead to greater customer flexibility in how and where they use Cisco’s software offerings. 

“If you consume the subscription and want to deploy on-premise, great. Cloud tomorrow? Great. Today on the edge, then tomorrow in the core? Great. You have complete portability,” West said.

Jason Gallo, global director of partner sales business development at Cisco

, global director of partner sales business development at Cisco

Jason Gallo, global director of partner sales business development, called the new strategy a milestone for the company, and a move to open up more recurring revenues for its partners.

“Think about that — the heritage of Cisco, the router, is now available as a subscription,” he said.

Having a five-year subscription basis gives partners an opportunity  for a longer-term engagement with customers, Gallo said, suggesting that partners can develop “a journey map for a given customer to drive them along the five-year cycle of a subscription.”

The networking giant, since took over as CEO, has been on a mission to reclassify itself as a software company, adding new functionality and new models to its core offerings, and introducing more and more recurring payments to its revenues mix. 

Making routing a part of that push seems a natural progression after last year’s decision to go subscription-heavy with the launch of its Catalyst 9000 series switches. As well as accomplishing the company’s recurring revenues goal, the newest Catalysts, a key part of the company’s “intent-based networking push” have clearly been popular with customers — numerous executives have touted the 9000 Series as the company’s fastest-ever product line to reach $1 billion (U.S.) in revenues.

In light of both the software push, and the success of the Catalyst 9000 series, it is perhaps no surprise to see Cisco take more and more of its “traditional” networking lineup into a recurring revenue-based model.

West took the push towards software’s primacy a step further, announcing a promotion through the end of the year whereby it will provide customers customers who purchase a five-year subscription to the company’s flagship Cisco ONE Advantage or DNA Advantage software suite with a router from its Integrated Services Router (ISR) family for free. The promo will now run through the end of the company’s fiscal year at the end of July.

“For customers that buy Advantage, we’ll give them the ,” West said

The routing lineup isn’t the only software-driven hardware on display this week in the Bahamas. The company also introduced new Internet of Things-centric hardware for various IT and OT roles — and of course, the new gear will be available on a subscription basis.

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