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Cisco Licensing Support: “Smart” Licensing vs Classic Licensing

By February 19, 2019September 18th, 2020Blog, Cisco, Networking
cisco smart licensing

Editor’s Note: Jason Howe is a highly accomplished networking engineer at PEI. All of the opinions expressed in this commentary belong to the author.

If you have had to setup a new Cisco device in the last year or so, you have probably noticed that Cisco is pushing everyone to their “Smart” licensing program.  If you are like our many customers, you will have noticed it is a great pain in the ass, with almost no redeemable qualities, just more process in paperwork.  Of course using the term “Smart,” is an attempt to make it seem like it is a good deal to go to the “Smart” licensing model.

To help people make the switch to their new model, Cisco is now sending out most of their licensing as the “Smart” licensing.  This means that you will now need to setup your account for “Smart” licensing.  If all that was required to switch was this, it would be all right.

Unfortunately, the issue is now you will have to have your account verified and approved by the organization allowed contact. Typically this person or email account isn’t even known to the individuals working with the hardware. I have heard many frustrated rants from customers, about how this is a complete pain in the ass.  I have also experienced many delays with setting up and accessing the now “Smart” licensing because of it.

Converting Smart Licensing to Classic Licensing

But don’t worry; it seems that even in Cisco land, they know how bad their “Smart” licensing is. If you do get a Cisco “Smart” license, don’t despair!  Luckily Cisco Licensing Support can help out.  A quick and properly formatted email to can fix most issues you run into.

Here is what you need:

CCO ID: (whatever you login into their site with)
Cisco Sales Order: If you have it
Product Name: device and license type
Issue: (e.g., This license came in as a Smart account license, if possible can we change this to a classic license pak.)

The Licensing Support Team is really on top of it, and most emails get responded to within the hour.  I typically get an email confirmation and the license pak in good ol’ classic mode while I am still onsite.

So while I am not a fan of the “Smart” licensing, I am a fan of Cisco Licensing Support team.  The will quickly save you from the new licensing fiasco that is “Smart” licensing.  If you have any issues with their licensing, please contact them quickly.  They have helped me out of licensing hell many times and are dang quick about it.

If you’d like for the PEI Team to manage your Cisco Licenses, performing the above steps for you or ensuring on the next round you get the exact licensing you want, check out our Contract Management Services. We can meet or beat MSRP on your contracts with no costs for you.

Jason Howe, PEI

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