Day 2 of Cisco Live is all about energy.  Everybody has arrived, so the conference halls are packed and the level of intensity is up a few notches.  Attendees have already done a pass or two through the exhibition halls, getting the high-level information they need (and maybe a bit of swag along the way), so now they’re ready to dig deeper with booth representatives to really understand what’s being served up.  Their questions go beyond just the general type—these are the conversations that we really enjoy having with our prospects and customers!

I overhead a customer talking with one of our offer managers about what managed services really can provide beyond just basic monitoring and break-fix.  At the core of the question was, if I’ve already invested into a next-generation Cisco product or solution that promises greater performance, intuitiveness, and flexibility, what’s the motivation to invest even more into Cisco’s expert Day 2 operations?

Our offer manager—Shelley Bhalla—always gives a great response to this query.  His three-pronged answer focuses on protecting the investment, eliminating complexity, and tapping into features and functionality that really maximizes the investment.  Let’s walk through each one of these.

Protecting the investment.  Sure, our customers have invested heavily into new Cisco products and solutions, so they expect that investment to provide expanded services, greater performance, and ease of operations.  This is the reason that they rely on Cisco in the first place.  Across the technology spectrum, Cisco brings to market best-of-breed products and solutions that fulfill on these promises.  However, the issue really becomes one of risk avoidance.  Why would you risk such a significant investment by not putting into place the right operational tools and services to insure against unforeseen calamity?  If you purchase an expensive high-performance vehicle, more than likely you’re going to protect that investment with proper insurance, ongoing maintenance, and customization services, right?  In this way, managed services are all about making sure that the investment into Cisco products and solutions remains a sound one, free from catastrophic operational situations that could derail ROI or increase TCO.

Eliminating complexity.  The fact of the matter is that powerful next-generation products and solutions always necessitate a learning curve.  Powerful technologies always come with some level of complexity—otherwise, they’re probably not all that powerful.  Figuring out the proper way to configure, deploy, and maintain them is an endeavor that takes time and the best technical resources available.  Perhaps your organization has the best technical resources available, but do they have the time to keep pace with the best practices to reduce complexity and streamline operations of next-generation technologies?  Managed services exist to augment already highly functional IT operations with niche expertise and capabilities that eliminate complexity and allow the enterprise to focus on their core business instead of keeping the IT infrastructure up and running.  Nobody knows Cisco products and solutions like Cisco personnel—our managed services teams can help remove complexity and ensure that you keep your focus on your core business, not on operational distractions.

Maximizing the investment.  Building on that concept of Cisco’s managed services teams knowing the technology better than anybody else, we can safely say that we also know how best to squeeze every last bit of functionality and performance optimization out of Cisco products and solutions.  Our technical teams work closely with our product business units to understand all the ways to extract the most value from our products.  Our managed services are consultative in nature, so we’re not just watching devices and fixing problems—we’re partnering with you and finding ways to make everything run better, provide more efficient IT services for your employees and customers, and create a platform for future innovation.

As we spend time here at Cisco Live explaining what managed services are and where the value really lies, we will keep focusing on these and other key benefits.  Nothing beats the reaction from prospects or customers at that moment when they really grasp that the value proposition for managed services goes way beyond their expectations.  We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of that here on Day 3, and we’ll pass along our observations tomorrow.

Written by Trevor Morgan