Understanding Licensing for CUCM

How to Optimize Cisco CUCM Licensing

Akkadian Provisioning Manager makes it Easy

 

The benefits of provisioning automation for Cisco Collaboration go beyond the operational benefits of workflows to streamline MAC-Ds. Akkadian Provisioning Manager™ can help engineers use the software licensing efficiently to prevent the needless expenditure of IT budgets that could be allocated elsewhere.

Cisco CUCM Licensing at a Glance

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) licenses—user-based (UBL) and device-based (DBL)—are broken down into four classes, in increasing order of cost:

  • Essential (DBL)
  • Basic (DBL)
  • Enhanced (UBL)
  • Enhanced Plus (UBL)

While user-based licenses are more expensive than device-based licenses, they can also be more cost effective. Leveraging the cost-effectiveness of user-based licenses can yield tremendous cost-savings for IT departments. However, without an automated provisioning solution that helps to monitor end-user licensing, these savings are often lost.

3 Common Cisco Collaboration Licensing Inefficiencies

These licensing inefficiencies occur in three ways:

  • Inefficient use of device-based licenses
  • Neglecting “orphaned” devices
  • Under-utilization of existing user-based licenses

Inefficient Use of Device-Based Licenses

Devices associated with an end-user are designated automatically as UBL, while the reverse is also the case—those without an end user are designated as device-based. These include common area phones in break rooms, conference rooms, lobbies, and entryways to restricted areas. This means, for example, that for every single common area phone, a DBL license is issued. What many Admins do not realize is that these common area devices can be more efficiently grouped and registered under a UBL with associated local end users. For example, 100 DBLs could be reduced to 10 UBLs—a tremendous licensing efficiency that is too often overlooked.

Under-utilization of Existing User-Based Licenses

When a knowledge worker is on-boarded into an organization and allocated a user-based license for all their applications and devices, some of the license capacity for these application and devices may go unused. Time passes, the employee realizes they need an additional device, and they are issued an additional license, despite already having one within which this new device could be allocated. In this instance, the license capacity and potentially money is wasted by both neglecting the available space on a license and in the additional expenditure for a new license.

Neglecting “Orphaned” Devices

Devices may be “orphaned” when a knowledge worker departs from a company, a device is broken (and taken out of service) or has gone unregistered for too long. Because these are not immediately visible within Cisco Collaboration, this licensing space will often go unutilized despite remaining valid and usable.

The Solution: An Automated System for Identifying and Correcting Licensing Inefficiencies

Akkadian Provisioning Manager—the industry-leading automated solution for Cisco Collaboration administration—can optimize CUCM licensing in the following ways:

  • License Pool Feature
  • Auto-Delete Feature
  • License Awareness

License Pool Feature

To help correct the inefficient use of device-based licenses, licensing pools should be used to aggregate multiple DBLs into a more limited number of UBLs. When a device is not directly associated to a user, our license pool feature helps minimize the use of licenses by automatically aggregating common area phones for licensing purposes. For instance, 100 common area phones with 100 DBLs can easily be aggregated into 10 UBLs, yielding significant efficiencies related to device license units.

Auto-Delete Feature

To prevent orphaned devices which occupy idle space on a Cisco Collaboration license, Akkadian Provisioning Manager’s auto-delete feature can monitor the registration status of phones and delete phones that exceed a configured term of being unregistered. Admins can use this feature to automatically identify orphaned devices that may be utilizing a license and deprovision them to free up licenses for other needs.

License Awareness

Akkadian Provisioning Manager’s job templates, that ensure consistency in Cisco UC management workflows, also help to avoid costly under-utilization of licenses. The preset job templates are designed to roll out new applications and devices to users in a consistent fashion. Because Akkadian Provisioning Manager is “license aware” and can act as a license manager — our templates can determine if there is an existing UBL under which a new device or application can be assigned under – instead of allocating an entirely new production license. Without Provisioning Manager, such information may not be readily visible to Admins, who may then be tempted to allocate an additional license from the license file for that new device or application.

Conclusion: Akkadian Provisioning Manager Yields a Strong ROI

Cisco UC Admins love Akkadian Provisioning Manager for saving them valuable time and effort. In addition, Chief Financial Officers will love it too for the improved ROI based on license compliance to optimize the total number of licenses available. Either through reducing the need of new licenses required, or streamlining the use of available licenses, Akkadian Provisioning Manager can help optimize Cisco Collaboration licensing to reduce costs and allocate that spending to the strategic needs of your organization. Learn more and schedule a demo today!

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