In This Insight


Our WWT Infrastructure Services organization, (or IS) has helped many of our Enterprise customers in their Cisco Collaboration journeys. One specific use case is helping customers migrate or convert their legacy Cisco Collaboration licensing model to the new Cisco Smart Licensing model.  

We normally assist customers around Cisco Smart Licensing when they have determined that it's time to move to an updated version of Cisco Collaboration Solutions Release (CSR).  They most likely have decided on the deployment model that best fits their organization as well.

ATC Insight on deployment models Insight

The next step is to migrate the current licenses over to Smart Licensing so they can be managed from Cisco's Smart Licensing Portal. How does this happen? Is there more than one way to skin this cat?

ATC Insight

 Smart License Migration

With an active Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS) contract, licenses can be migrated in one of two ways:

  • PAK based license registration
  • Prime License Manager (PLM) device-based license registration.

Both of these methods are available on the License Registration Portal (LRP) and Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM).  We will show both migration methods (PAK based and PLM based) in step-by-steps below.

*Additionally, and worth noting here that for Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) versions before 9.x, neither of these methods are available. A case must be opened with Cisco's Global Licensing Operations (GLO) for conversion to Smart Licensing.

PAK Based Registration

One method for already fulfilled, partially fulfilled and unfulfilled PAKs is the Cisco License Registration Portal. Clicking on the context menu arrow an option to assign the PAK to a Smart Account and Virtual Account. 

Cisco License Registration Portal - Assign to Smart/Virtual Accounts

The next option in the context menu is to Convert to Smart Licensing. Selecting this option will allow the admin to select the SKUs and quantities for conversion. 

Convert to Smart Licensing

After receiving the transaction confirmation message, the licenses are now converted to Smart License entitlements and available on CSSM under the selected Smart Account and Virtual Account. Initially using CSSM instead of the License Registration Portal (LRP) provides a similar set of menu options to complete the same process.

PLM Device Based Registration

From the License Registration Portal choose the Devices tab and choose the PLM registered licenses you wish to migrate. If you do not see your device listed, you may need to obtain a license request from PLM and add it here. Using the same method as shown above, select the context menu and assign this device to a Smart Account and Virtual Account. 

Product License Registration Portal - Devices tab


Returning to the above screen and selecting the context menu to Convert to Smart Licenses, you are presented with the options to choose which SKUs and quantities to convert. When the license conversion is complete you are presented with a transaction successful message. You are now ready to register your applications and devices to CSSM.

License Request Status transaction message

Generating a Smart License Token

The last step in this process is to generate a Smart License token, which is generally the same for all Cisco products. You need to generate the Smart License Token because that is what links the devices to the portal.  It is also how the portal registers the device in order to start the license fulfillment and monitoring process. 

  1. Log in to
  2. Navigate to > Smart Software Licensing > Inventory > General tab
  3. Select the Virtual Account from the drop-down
  4. Click on New Token
  5. Enter a description in the Token creation window and select the "Allow Export Controlled Functionality…" checkbox. Export Controlled Function is required for secured environments where CUCM Mixed-Mode is enabled.
  6. Click Create Token then
  7. Back on the General tab click Actions and Copy. The token is now on your clipboard
Generating a Smart License Token


These methods provide a simple and effective path to convert previous user or device licenses over to Smart Licensing. All licenses within the organization are now visible in a single location. The migrated licenses are now easier to manage and monitor. These smart licenses don't require expert level engineers to manage, and therefore can be delegated to junior level or less experienced engineers.


If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of Cisco Smart Licensing for Collaboration, please download the attached document written by our architects Ryan Dowdy and Damon Watson from our Infrastructure Services Organization at WWT.  This document covers a more inclusive picture of the following topics:

  • Cisco Customer Smart Accounts
  • Smart Licensing Deployment Models
  • Smart License Migration
  • Generating a Smart License Token
  • Smart Licensing States
  • Smart Licensing for IOS Devices
  • Collaboration Applications
  • IOS Devices