Cisco support analytics now integrate with your single source of truth for asset management.
Asset Management is never fun. And setting up the infrastructure to automate it is a huge endeavor – but one that pays off in terms of reduced asset and administrative costs, risk mitigation and the optimization of overall IT investments.
As someone who has worked at ServiceNow in between Cisco stints, I have the unique perspective of watching the evolution of Cisco asset management unfold and intersect with ever-evolving IT Management best practices. I was at Cisco when Smart Net Total Care was created, and when the network collector was first rolled out to help customers manage contracts and entitlement for their Cisco devices. And when I was at ServiceNow, I learned all about IT Asset management overall. I had some of the most interesting conversations with customers about their asset management systems or lack thereof, and the challenges with managing them. I quickly learned it was one of those “don’t get me started topics”. My IT friends would open up to me about how their asset management strategy consisted of multiple complex spreadsheets controlled by different people in the organization and their perils in finding something that would work, that people would actually use. Clearly, things needed to be made easier if IT departments want asset management to truly be automated and worth the work to implement a solution.
Cisco has recently taken another step towards simplicity and integration by giving our customers the choice of using our network collector or using APIs to connect with third party asset management software like ServiceNow, or even their own in-house solutions (just not the spreadsheets). For those customers who have created their own asset management solutions, or gone to the trouble to implement a third-party solution, we understand the incredible amount of work you’ve put into your overall asset management strategies and execution – so we’re making sure that your single source of truth works for Cisco devices and software.
These Smart Net Total Care APIs enable the two-way transfer of information and use industry standards API gateway like MuleSoft, to avoid unregulated API requests – and provide security and rate limiting. They enable you to do automated inventory uploads back to your instance of the Cisco Smart Net Total Care portal. With the click of a mouse, you can view your installed base data – so that you can manage your Cisco devices easier and operate more efficiently.
And with these smart capabilities, you have an up-to-date view of the Cisco equipment installed in your infrastructure, as well as a comprehensive view of all of your support contracts, including which equipment is covered and what is not. Smart capabilities include extensive inventory and contract management features, and alerts for Cisco products. The Smart Net Total Care portal also shows only the product and security alerts that are relevant to your network, saving time and enabling you to focus on the ones that are most critical for your network.
The portal software already enables speed to issue resolution by doing all the correlation and collection of your device serial numbers, product IDs, and contract numbers automatically – so you don’t have to spend time looking for information (that could be on someone else’s spreadsheet in another department). You can also initiate a Technical Assistance Center (TAC) case directly and instantly from within the portal if you experience an issue, shortening your time to resolution even more.
Some of our largest enterprise Solution Support customers are already using these APIs to manage their Cisco installed base – including Cisco partner IBM – who is managing over 120,000 devices in their IBM Cloud infrastructure. They’re using the services APIs to sync inventory, solve for their customer’s entitlement issues – improving uptime and saving money on renewals and administrative headcount.
“Cisco’s API automates lifecycle tasks that were done manually. I’m not one to brag but we don’t have anything like this with our other vendors. This is light years ahead from what we have with them. We need to show other vendors what Cisco has done for us.”
—Dora Fonseca-Blount, IBM Cloud Team
For more information on our Services APIs, go to: http://developer.cisco.com/service-apis/.