Years ago, it was enough for partners to supply, install, and maintain a customer’s network assets. But in the era of service delivery-based solutions, customers are increasingly asking partners not only to supply their network infrastructure but also to manage it –and do so in a way that’s both consistent and efficient.
With that customer conversation shifting toward services and management, how do you best respond to these customer requirements and what solutions are out there to help you?
Fortunately, as a Cisco partner, you already have access to a tool that contains all of the information you need. When you log into Cisco’s Services Accelerate Program, you’ll find services sales training and incentive programs available to help you grow your Cisco Services business and earn rewards to accelerate your success!
How do I get started? Read More »
Tags: Accelerate, Cisco, partner, services, smart services, training
Just a few short years ago, if your car broke down, you would automatically take it to your local mechanic who would identify the issue and fix it. Fast forward to 2013 – today we live in an era where our cars tell US when there is a potential issue or it needs a service and, more often than not, they just don’t break down at all. We’ve gone from a reactive, break-fix model to a proactive and, sometimes, even a pre-emptive approach, or warranty as they call it. It’s the technology – specifically the software embedded in our cars and the software that supports and maintains it from the manufacturer – that has fundamentally changed this industry.
There is a similar shift happening in IT. Customer care-abouts are evolving from simply, “make my technology work” to “make my business better.” Drivers such as cloud and mobility are causing us to pause and rethink our traditional approaches and consider new ways to both consume and manage IT. As more and more business and IT activities move into the cloud, the services needed to keep everything running seamlessly become ever more critical.
Services can help companies maintain IT health and, by providing expertise and support, can support this transition to cloud as customer and partners explore new opportunities. Services – in the form of automation, analytics and software – play a crucial role in both extracting more value out of existing infrastructure and driving innovation in new areas. How?
I recently spoke about Cisco’s Smart Services, which use intelligent automation to collect network data, then analyze that data using Cisco’ s deep knowledge base to provide actionable insight to customer and partners. These software-enabled services automate network operations, reduce risk and lower costs – top priorities for any organization, regardless of size.
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Tags: cisco_services, remote management, smart services
Virtual assessments made easy
When we renovated our kitchen, one of our top priorities was upgrading to gas appliances. The first step was to have the gas company determine if our current gas line could handle the extra load of a restaurant-grade range.
The same pre-implementation assessment is highly recommended, if not required, before adding a bandwidth-intensive product to a network. Let’s use Cisco TelePresence as an example.
You bring a customer to a live TelePresence session. They are wowed. They immediately see the benefits of a face-to-face meeting, and they are sold on how the TelePresence investment can pay for itself in a short period of time with the elimination of travel expenses alone.
They are ready! But is their network?
As your customer’s partner and trusted advisor, it’s your job to find out. An assessment of their network helps you mitigate risk by determining quickly what upgrades are required to ensure a successful implementation. It also helps you customize the solution by adding features and functionality that can help your customer—customization that might not have been identified without an analysis.
On the flip side, an assessment takes time. It costs money. It requires people, travel, and expertise. These things add up and can quickly eat into your profits.
Presidio Networks, however, found a way to accelerate the process. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaborative professional services, collaborative services, jill shaul, presidio, smart services, video assessment
What do a telecommunications company and a University have in common? Well, at first glance, not a heck of a lot — unless you consider their network requirements. After talking to a telecommunications company and a University I found out they both wanted:
- To know the exact status of all networking devices…within minutes.
- A simplified service contract structure for said devices
- To better predict, and budget for, support and upgrades of devices
- Reduced network risk, simplified operations, and increased employee productivity.
Are these objectives your company is trying to achieve, too? Let’s explore how Alestra, a Mexican service provider, and George Mason University, a U.S. institution of higher education, have achieved these results, and more, with Cisco Smart Net Total Care.
Never heard of Cisco Smart Net Total Care? I included a brief description at the end of this blog.
Read More »
Tags: alestra, Cisco Services, george mason university, jill shaul, smart net total care, smart services, SMARTnet
In this week’s installation of the Myths of the Good-Enough Network series, Mike Rau explores misconceptions that surround the basic warranty.
Mike points out that all service contracts and warranties are not created equal, especially when it comes to networking. As a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, you never realize how good a service contract is until you need it. His recommendation: Be prepared and look at the fine print.
Here’s a quick recap of the article.
Basic Questions Only: With “good-enough” vendors such as HP, a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. More often than not, they will ask questions along the lines of, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that doesn’t work, the vendor simply ships a replacement.
No Troubleshooting: The majority of warranties do not include troubleshooting at all. Yet network and configuration issues account for 70% of support center calls where service is often provided on a first-come first-served basis, with no effort to prioritize calls.
TCO Calculations: If a company makes that narrow calculation of upfront discounts on products and maintenance, they are not looking at the total operating environment that they’re actually creating and overall TCO.
Impact of Downtime: Companies lose an average of 3.6% of revenue per year to downtime, according to an Infonetics Research report “The Costs of Enterprise Downtime.” Unplanned downtime also damages the reputation of the business, a significant cost even if it is difficult to quantify.
Smart Services to the Rescue: To provide customers proactively identify and address network problems Cisco has invested aggressively in smart services capabilities. These software-enabled technical and professional services proactively seek out, diagnose, and remediate issues before they even become problems. This can dramatically improve the uptime of networks as well as the user experience.
Sound interesting? Read the full article on Silicon Angle: Myths #5 of the Good-Enough Network: ”Basic Warranty” Myth
Tags: Good Enough Networks, Lifetime Warranty, services, smart services, support, warranty