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.'”