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Cisco board adds SaaS-man to help it suss subscriptions

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Laura Kelly
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Cisco’s tapped one of the few software vendors that has made a thorough and successful transition to software-as-a-service by appointing Mark Garrett, a former Adobe executive veep and chief financial officer to its board of directors.

The Register’s focuses on security and infrastructure mean we don’t often consider Adobe for reasons beyond the miserable state of security in its Flash and Acrobat products.

But the company is regarded as having quickly and painlessly moved its Creative Suite from on-premises software to a subscription model, and to have created new SaaS businesses too.

Such transitions create all sorts of fun problems for accountants because when buyers acquire software licenses, they pay for them up front and a vendor has use of the money for the duration of the licence.

Subscriptions create lovely streams of future revenue, but can mean there’s less cash to hand.

Some earnings calls The Register’s tuned into over the year have mentioned that the move from licences to subscriptions effectively knocks a point or two off annual revenue growth.

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Laura Kelly
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