CiscoLive! is next week. With more than 23,000 people ciscolivelogo_245x100expected to attend, there’s no event more popular with IT professionals who pride themselves on their networking expertise. As I prepare to travel to San Diego for the occasion, I wanted to share my perspective on how IT organizations can better operate and protect the networks that are the digital backbones of their companies.

Chances are you’re already realizing numerous benefits using either Cisco SMARTnet or Smart Net Total Care (SNTC) Services. We know, because we regularly poll Cisco enterprise customers on how they’re succeeding with each service. We also know that most of us like to have our cake and eat it, too. That’s one reason why we have decided to combine these two services into one powerful and flexible service under the Smart Net Total Care name. 

The move to Smart Net Total Care creates more flexibility and more value for you when it comes to supporting your company’s network.  “Flexibility” means you can choose to only to use the basic features of the combined solution or take full advantage of SNTC’s extended feature set.  Put simply, you can choose only the basic support capabilities traditionally found in SMARTnet or reach higher to access the added value of proactive smart service features in Smart Net Total Care to optimize the full lifecycle of all your Cisco equipment. You can also choose a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) deployment or, if you want a fast boost up the learning curve, we will make available assisted deployment options from Cisco. Flexibility means you choose the approach that is best for you. 

But the proof is in the doing. I asked my team to put together a Top 10 list of the most popular Smart Net Total Care applications to keep your network up and running. The list is based on regular feedback we receive from customers like you. Stop by the Smart Net Total Care Proactive Support demo station in the Enterprise Networking zone of Cisco Live to get a hands-on look. You’ll also want to consider attending the technical breakout session (ID: BRKNMS-1039) at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 11.  Here’s the list of first five applications. I’ll share the remainder next week in my next blog from Cisco Live. I hope to see you there!

1. Simplify Contract Management

Many customers use the contract management features of SNTC to simplify how they manage their Cisco service contracts. It provides a consolidated view of all the Cisco devices in the network and their support contracts. This visibility can help dramatically reduce the number of contracts and result in less administrative overhead, faster renewals and timely product refresh. If you’re not familiar with how to take advantage of this functionality, take a few minutes to check out this video. It demonstrates how you can plan for service coverage renewals and save hours – and even days – managing your contracts in the future.

2. Save Installed Base (IB) Management Time

Time is your most valuable resource … yet you never have enough. Freeing up time from routine network maintenance tasks helps you focus on more strategic IT assignments. SNTC lets you eliminate steps – and accelerate others – in your IB management process. Learn how you can get more out of your day with time-saving tips found in this video.

3. Mitigate Network Risk

As we see in professional sports play-off games, a defensive gap can easily put the game at risk and buy the losing team a ticket home. Protecting your network isn’t that different. Proactively identifying real and potential risks is essential for a good network defense. SNTC lets you get in front of problems before they occur. This video reveals how you can review service levels and assess gaps in coverage.

 4. Resolve  Network Problems Quickly

With one consolidated information dashboard, the SNTC portal provides extensive visibility into devices in your network and all the information you need to automatically speed up your problem resolution process. This includes both basic and in-depth information to open a TAC case, such as configuration status, serial number, contract number, service level, and unresolved alerts. Convenient access to this and other information helps accelerate resolving problems. Find out how you can speed your incident management workflow in this handy reference guide.

5. Achieve Cost Savings

Numerous companies are realizing cost savings in equally numerous ways using Smart Net Total Care. Some savings come from reduced manpower commitments. Others come from incident avoidance. Still others come from better managing network risks. Every company is different but every company can identify new ways to cut costs using SNTC.

I’ll share my remaining 5 tips with you in my next blog from Cisco Live. Until then, learn more about Smart Net Total Care in the links I provided or, if attending Cisco Live, please visit the Smart Net Total Care demo station or attend our technical session using the location information found above. But don’t keep the news just to yourself. Pass along these tips to a colleague who may wish to know more.

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Mala Anand

No Longer with Cisco