Your Design Engineers Need Support and ‘Expertise on Tap’ Too!

February 5, 2015 - 6 Comments

If you are involved in designing, supporting or managing a data center, you will undoubtedly rely on technical support services from one or more vendors.  Running your data center, there is always the risk of a hardware failure or being impacted by a software defect.  While relatively rare, hardware does occasionally fail unfortunately.  However you undoubtedly have technical support in place to deal with such problems.  You may have invested in a few extra switches as backup, you may also have failover mechanisms in place.  Almost certainly you will have a support contract in place with your Cisco partner or with Cisco, so you have break/fix expertise on tap for when something goes wrong.   This is critical support for your business, no debate from me.

Engineer Under Stress!

Engineer Under Stress!

Now, arguably the most important resource you have in your data center is not so much individual switches, routers or servers.  It’s your engineers, those who design and support your data center.  If they have a problem, where and how do they get help?  Who helps them when they are stretched?  When business pressures are telling?  Of course, their colleagues and managers can and will help.  Where, however, can they tap into additional sources of expertise so that they can become even more productive for you?  This is where Cisco Optimization Services come in – including our award-winning Cisco Network Optimization Service (or “NOS” for short), Collaboration Optimization Service, and the one I’m involved with, Cisco Data Center Optimization Services.



 If you are asking any of these questions, then Cisco Optimization Services are for you!

The Cisco Data Center Optimization Service is a subscription service that gives you a flexible menu of options you can call on, periodically and continuously, to bring additional expertise and specialist skillsets in for targeted data center evolution projects.  There are many options for you to choose from, and we can adjust this year to year to make sure we are lining up the right experts to support your engineers.  We can – as the diagram shows – help you when you have changes to apply to your production system.  We can help review designs your teams have done – so they can benefit from our global experience and unique insights into Cisco technologies. We’ll help you with your projects you currently have planned as well as be flexible enough to instead support your priorities that will inevitably change over the year  We can even, via Ongoing Design Support, become extended members of your design team.  We really do deliver “expertise on tap”.



Having the correct expertise to help you navigate your network and data center evolution is an important component of this solution and evolutionary approach.  You may be thinking: “Wouldn’t it be great if I could call on someone who has done this before”.  You may need comprehensive assistance.  In these cases, our Cisco Optimization Services may be your answer.

Optimization services remain incredibly valuable even when you already have a strong team and may only require periodic assistance.  The questions on your mind in this case could be:

  • “Wouldn’t it be great if I could call on someone who has done this before”
  • “We have many projects on our plate this year – where can we learn the best-practice approaches for each different project?”
  • “My team is very busy – how do I get more out of them?”
  • “We know we occasionally have complex troubleshooting issues, that are not covered under Cisco SMARTnet® …. How do I get my help for my engineers when the trouble tickets relates to an issue their configs have created?”
  • “How do I tap into Cisco’s data center  consultancy expertise on an ongoing basis” … or …
  • “I’m not sure exactly what skillsets and expertise I will need over the next year, I’m not exactly sure what problems we will hit”
  • “How do I get specialist help on some of our growth opportunities and problem areas”
  • “How do I leverage periodically the expertise and intellectual property of Cisco engineers”
  • “We had a Cisco partner design our architecture …. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have the equipment manufacturer (Cisco) to validate our design approach, just to be sure”
Expertise on tap

Expertise on tap


Watch out for a deeper discussion on what options are available in our Optimization Services in future blogs.  I’ll tell you about how these Optimization Services can help you on Cisco UCS, Nexus, VDI, ACI, SDN, and OpenStack .  And if you have specific questions related to this blog, please do post a comment here – thanks! And follow me on Twitter to hear more, and check out my previous blog posts here.


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  1. Informative blog Stephen! Complexity is certainly increasing not decreasing and having Experts on Tap is a great way to help our customers accelerate adoption of new services, solutoions, products they may be unfamiliar with or simple sanity checks to ensure they are on the right track.

    • There is a great book, Marcus, that talks about the challenges of new technology adoption. It’s “Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech” by J.B. Wood et al. This book calls out the “customer services” organization as the team who are best placed to elp customers exploit more and more capabilities of their technology products. Cisco Optimization Services – and the Cisco Services experts who deliver them – are best placed to help customers gain more and more value from their technology investments.

  2. Nice idea, while my organization was an NSA customer in the past (yes I am that old), now that I am the lone CCIE I will have to look into the service. The case I will try to make is the ‘second pair of eyes’ which may be something to explitly call out.

    • Indeed Fred, a “second pair of eyes” is a good way to look at the Cisco Optimization Services. Some of our customers use Cisco partners for their plan and design services, to help them develop and implement their architectures. They often come back to Cisco for our Optimization Services, essentially asking for “Manufacturer’s Design Assurance” where we have a Cisco expert review the customer’s design as a “second pair of eyes”. Customers benefit from the additional perspectives and insights in such design reviews.

  3. Glad you like the article, Mitch, and more importantly, glad you also agree that “Engineers need Expertise on Tap!”

  4. Great article and right on the money!