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The We’re Listening Blog Series: 3 Way RMA Process Speeds Up Service Contract Updates

Over the past few months, the We’re Listening blog has brought you ongoing news about updates to our RMA processes, and the improvements keep on coming. I’ve asked Jim Fuller, Senior Director of Services Entitlement, to return to the blog to share details on the new 3-Way RMA process.  The new process represents a significant improvement for many of our customers and partners, and in the spirit of the We’re Listening blog, was undertaken by Jim’s team in direct response to customer and partner feedback. Share your thoughts on other ways we can simplify your interactions with Cisco, and your suggestions may end up as new capabilities featured on the blog!

jafuller By Guest Contributor Jim Fuller

Our partners provide constant feedback to tell us how we can improve their experience doing business with Cisco. One of our partners’ number one requests is to help them create an RMA via a single step, versus opening a support case with Cisco to remedy contract updates as a result of RMA transactions.

We heard your feedback, and if you’re a partner who “self-spares” (spares inventory from your depot) or a customer who contracts with a partner who self-spares, your Return Material Authorization (RMA) process just became easier. We’ve introduced Partners 3-Way RMA/Self-Sparing.

With this new process, service contracts are automatically updated with the associated serial number swaps when processing 3-Way RMAs.  Available now, the new capabilities provide the following benefits:

1. Delivery of an automated RMA process that supports 3-Way RMA transactions at the time of RMA creation

2. Two serial numbers can now be entered at the time of RMA creation for those partners that self-spare, via the Service Order RMA Tool (SORT):

  • The serial number of the claimed defective part from customer network
  • The serial number of the spare part used by the partner to replace the claimed defective part on the customer’s network

3. Ability to minimize or even eliminate partner overhead to monitor and coordinate contract swaps

Previously, the Partner Self-Sparing model was not systematically supported making equipment difficult to track. Without a standardized process, contract and installed base updates had to be performed manually via a support case process. Now, systematic contract updates will occur at the time of RMA shipment reflecting the spare part (replacing the claimed defective part) on contract, making it easier to do business with Cisco and drastically reducing support cases.

To date, more than 175 partners globally have been enabled, with an RMA success rate of 95%. In FY14, we’re focused on reducing contract cycles and the number of customer escalations even further.

Please contact your Cisco Partner Support Development Manager (PSDM) for further information about enabling these new capabilities in support of your 3-Way RMA/Self-Sparing needs.

Regards,
Jim Fuller

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How We’re Making It Easier to Do Business With Cisco

The We’re Listening blog series has tracked some of the new programs and capabilities Cisco is introducing to make it easier to do business with us. The corporate Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Program drives many of these improvements, so I’ve invited EoDB executive lead (and Cisco EVP of Operations) Randy Pond to discuss some of the accomplishments and upcoming plans that will make it easier for our customers and partners to do business with Cisco.  Among those are:

  • Improvements to software licensing, including big changes to the product license registration page that allow customers to complete more self-service licensing transactions, and the roll out of the new Cisco Software Central portal, a one-stop shop for all your software licensing needs
  • Creating a more consistent negotiation and deal approval process globally
  • A renewed focus on our partners’ experience
  • Stronger focus on the role of User Experience design and philosophy in every Cisco product, policy, and process.

pond_crop By Guest Contributor Randy Pond

We’ve made it no secret that Cisco aims to become the #1 IT company. And while our development teams are hard at work to bring you exciting new technological offerings in software, cloud and security, there’s another critical piece of the equation – delivering an exceptional customer experience. This is a huge priority for John Chambers and the entire leadership team, and it boils down to consistency and simplicity. Over and over again, I’ve heard customers say that doing business with Cisco can be a mind-warp of changing policies, too many steps and new obstacles to deal with. This has to change. Today, we have teams across every function at Cisco concentrated on finding and making the changes that will have the biggest impact on your customer experience. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: What Are We Doing About the #1 Task on Cisco.com?

When I think about what we’ve done recently to improve our customers’ experience with Cisco, the Cisco Support Website immediately jumps to mind. The web team actively consults customers and seeks new ways to improve the web support experience. I’ve invited Glenn Schleicher, who leads the team, to discuss our software download initiative and the impact our customers are seeing.

Glenn Schleicher By Guest Contributor Glenn Schleicher

As we try to fully appreciate how online pain points affect you, stories like this one really stick with us.

The “Overnight Wiring Closet” Remedy

Imagine that you are Cisco partner “Bill,” who shared this method for getting large UCS software images:  At the end of his day Bill would leave his laptop in his last customer’s wiring closet, start the download for the image he’d need the next day, hope it wouldn’t be interrupted overnight, and then retrieve the laptop in the morning before traveling to his next customer’s network upgrade.

Surely Cisco can do better than that in distributing software for its product lines. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Smart Licensing Gets a Great Reception at Cisco Live

In our most recent post, Steve Morrisey from the Ease of Doing Business team highlighted his key takeaways from Cisco Live US back in June, including the Cisco Software Simplification team’s exciting presentation of the new Smart Software Licensing solution.

Smart Software Licensing is a major change to Cisco’s software strategy – we’re moving away from a Product Activation Key (PAK)-based model to a new approach based on advanced consumer-based models. This new approach removes today’s entitlement barriers and provides information about a customer’s or partner’s software install base, thus enabling greater flexibility and making it easier for customers to buy, deploy, track and renew Cisco’s software.

Ben Strickland, Manager of Product Management in Cisco’s Engineering License office, led the presentation at Cisco Live, and I’ve invited him here to share his first-hand experience and what you can expect for your software experience in the coming months. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Learning from our Customers at Cisco Live

The “We’re Listening” blog keeps you in the loop about what Cisco is hearing from our customers and partners, and what we’re doing to address your top pain points. Teams across Cisco work together to fix these areas of concerns, and in this blog, you’ve heard from some of the experts who lead the improvement efforts. At the center of their efforts is Cisco’s Ease of Doing Business program, which looks at all the customer and partner feedback from surveys, individual meetings and conferences to determine the biggest pain points, and then pulls in the right people from across Cisco to make change happen.

The Ease of Doing Business team recently returned from Cisco Live, where they captured valuable feedback from our customer and partner attendees. I’ve asked Steve Morrisey, who leads the program, to summarize his top moments from Cisco Live, and to give us a hint at the changes we have in the works.

smorrise By Guest Contributor Steve Morrisey

A few weeks ago, my team and I attended Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando, Florida. Cisco Live is always a valuable opportunity for us to connect with customers and partners. Whether in formal sessions, hallway conversations or via social media, you give us great insight into your experience doing business with Cisco, telling us what’s working and what we need to fix.  Read More »

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