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HP Slaps Cisco Over New Software LicensingHP Slaps Cisco Over New Software Licensing

Cisco ONE is an attempt to simplify a "morass of complexity and price maximization" that Cisco created itself, HP says.

Mitch Wagner

February 4, 2015

2 Min Read
HP Slaps Cisco Over New Software Licensing

By simplifying its licensing plan, Cisco is cleaning up a mess that's the company's own fault, according to Hewlett-Packard.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) last week introduced Cisco ONE, a licensing proposal that unbundles software from hardware. Cisco touted the plan as allowing customers to upgrade hardware and software independent of each other, transferring software licenses to new hardware and -- alternately -- upgrading software without having to get new equipment. (See Cisco Gives Its Software Licensing a Makeover.)

Cisco touted Cisco ONE as a licensing plan that fits the agility required of the new digital economy.

But HP was unimpressed, saying Cisco is solving a problem that it created itself.

"Cisco's approach to licensing up to now has been a morass of complexity and price-maximization," HP said in a blog post signed by Gloria Caughlin, HP Competitive Marketing. For a router, for example, customers needed to buy a base license, security license, and possibly different licenses for export restrictions and voice. "Cisco's own web site talks of 'hundreds of separately priced software features.'"

"Cisco's license management support has been ineffective," Caughlin says, requiring customers to keep track of licenses, and serial numbers of hardware attached to the licenses.

Not surprisingly, HP finds its own licensing model a shining example -- "simple and straightforward" -- compared with even Cisco's new licensing structure.

Want to know more about SDN? Visit Light Reading's SDN technology content channel.

Caughlin goes on to criticize Cisco as an SDN laggard, "totally committed to its proprietary, hardware-focused approach."

I've got a query in to Cisco to respond to what HP has to say, but haven't heard back from them. Perhaps they can't respond to email because they're sobbing too uncontrollably at the mean things HP said.

Or maybe they all went home -- it was after 5:00 p.m. PT when I sent the message.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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