Cisco’s Pricing Driving Resellers Away

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We believe that Cisco is obviously struggling to put forth a digital signage model that works and in the absence of any strategy or value add that makes for a tough sell. We have heard a few times in the last couple of week complaints from some of their VARs about their new pricing strategy.

With the release of DMS 5.1 the Cisco folks were shouting that they have reduced the price of the DMS Digital Signage system by around 20% – ostensibly in order to improve adoption of their Digital Signage product.

That discount appears to be err, how shall we say, well not really a discount…

  • With the release of DMS 5.1 Cisco actually INCREASED the price of the feature license that is required to hook up a DMP to the DMM by over 135% (yes, one hundred thirty five per cent – at least if we have done the calculation correctly – check for yourselves, the old MSRP price was USD 295.00 and it is now USD 695.00 per DMP).
  • Cisco DID drop dramatically drop the cost of the Digital Media Manager (DMM) License (the DMM is the base server for their Digital Signage product – the DMM Base license MSRP dropped from USD 40,9995 to USD 19,995 and the Digital Signage License dropped also from USD 24,995 to USD 11,995.

Based on this, the standard Cisco party line is that they have overall dropped the price of the product by around 20%.

We’d disagree with that and we’ll tell you why in a second but most importantly, it’s the few Cisco VARs that they actually have who are complaining bitterly and shouting the loudest.

Certainly the entry point for small deployments has decreased but by more than doubling the feature license cost, the total cost of ownership, especially for deployments over 50 – 60 Digital Media Players has increased dramatically.

If you are going to add more than 30 additional DMPs per year or already own a Digital Media Manager then any savings simply go away – in fact after that your cost of ownership increases dramatically – after the entry point savings have been equalised the cost of growing a Cisco Digital Signage Network based on the DMM has now increased in cost by over 135% !!

According to some VARs this new pricing makes the use of other ‘management platforms’ – products like Industry Weapon’s CommandCenterHD an even better solution than using the DMM.

One VAR who wished to remain anonymous told us “Thomas Wyatt and the Cisco Digital Media business Unit simply don’t get it. They already have a premium priced product and now they make it even harder to close opportunities in the competitive Digital Signage market”

As you know we don’t think that Cisco are serious about the market – perhaps this is all just a bizarre roundabout way to price themselves and their VARs out of the market or more likely perhaps they just don’t get it.

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