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The Myth of Basic Warranty: Myth # 5 of the Good-Enough Network

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

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Broadcast Recap: How Professional Services Can Increase Partners’ Profitability

On Monday I hosted a live Channels Chat video broadcast with Bob Dimicco, Senior Director of Cisco Services. Bob is responsible for the Collaborative Professional Services program that was launched at Partner Summit.

During the broadcast, he offered an overview of how services are a key differentiator for Cisco partners, and he explained how services can drive partner profitability. Here’s a replay in case you missed it.

Cisco’s services strategy places the partner at the center, according to Bob, because partners are critical to Cisco’s go-to market strategy, whether a partner is selling professional services, managed services, or technical services.

In terms of sales, it used to be that products generated far more revenue for partners than services. Five years ago, 80% of partners’ business was product-based, and 20% was generated by services. Now, partners’ business is almost split evenly between product and services. Bob then told viewers that services help an end-customer see how technology can really generate business outcomes.

Want to learn more? In addition to the video replay above, we’ve got a text summary of the broadcast, along with time stamps to identify sections in which Bob addresses key topics, such as market opportunities around architectures, success stories, and how Cisco’s services are different from those competitors offer.

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Live Broadcast Offers Tips to Help Partners Increase Profitability, Differentiate

Need help building your professional services practice so you can increase profitability, accelerate your evolution to architectures, and differentiate? Then you won’t want to miss our upcoming live video broadcast for partners.

On Monday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m. PST, we’ll be hosting a live, free, interactive video chat on our Ustream channel with Bob Dimicco, Director of Cisco Services. During the live broadcast, we’ll be taking a closer look at the recent announcement made at Partner Summit 2011 and what it means for partners.

We will also cover the following topics:

  • Why Services are THE key differentiator and profitability engine for Cisco partners.
  • How partners can take advantage of the new set of services called Collaborative Professional Services
  • Why Cisco has one of the most partner-centric services strategies in the IT industry.
  • How Cisco will drive the next wave of service innovation through Cisco’s Smart Services.

And, most importantly, we’ll be answering YOUR Services questions live on the air during the broadcast.

Your participation is integral to the success of this broadcast! Here’s how you can participate:
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