After several days of attending Cisco Live, I’m excited about what I’ve seen and heard. Not just from my Cisco colleagues but from customers who are transforming their businesses by using their networks in new and previously unimaginable ways. Today’s business call to action, “Disrupt or be disrupted,” couldn’t be more true.

In my blog before Cisco Live, I described how we decided to combine our two most popular enterprise support services to create one powerful and flexible service. Converging SMARTnet with Smart Net Total Care under the name of Smart Net Total Care allows you to choose the basic network support capabilities traditionally found in SMARTnet, as well as reach higher to access the proactive smart service features of Smart Net Total Care. In doing so, you can optimize the full lifecycle of all your Cisco equipment. This consolidation creates more flexibility and more value for you when it comes to selecting a single solution that supports all your company’s Cisco network devices. Learn more here:


In my last blog, I also shared with you five of the most popular user applications of Smart Net Total Care based on customer feedback.  Now, I’m sharing the final five applications to complete the ten smart ways to keep your network up and running smoothly and reliably – and to protect it from unnecessary risk.  As a reminder, I’ve included the first five. Skip to number 6 if you’re already familiar with them.

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 renewal and save hours and even days managing your contracts in the future.

2. Save Installed Base 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 with 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.

6. Make the Invisible Visible

When managing your network, the devil is in the details. With thousands of devices to manage, things can get pretty hot.   Cool down by using collector software from Cisco or a third-party to automatically gather device information ranging from serial numbers, configuration files, and hardware or software versions.  Then, use the SNTC portal to create customized reports to see the vital device details you care most about, like equipment’s end of life status or support contract coverage.

 7. Have it Your Way: Choose Only the Smart Service Level that Meets Your Specific Requirements.

Every network is different. Every IT organization knows what’s best for managing its specific needs. Cisco gives you a choice with Smart Net Total Care. Apply as many or as few of Smart Net Total Care capabilities as you need. As your network grows, take advantage of more smart capabilities as SNTC scales to meet your requirements.

8. Self-Service.  Soft Service. Or Advanced Service. Cisco is Here to Assist.

Some IT organizations prefer a DIY approach when using Smart Net Total Care. Others want a small boost in understanding how to get started or hands-on help throughout the process. No matter, Cisco can provide just the option you need as part of its Smart Net Total Care package of add-on services to accelerate time to value.

 9. Hidden Network Vulnerabilities? We Have You Covered.

Devices uncovered by a support contract can be a disaster waiting to happen. Protect yourself. Run an analysis of your installed base using Smart Net Total Care reporting. Determine your uncovered devices. Then, choose to add the most critical uncovered devices to your service contract.

10. Prepare Today – for Tomorrow.

Find out how your peers are taking advantage of Smart Net Total Care by reading their success stories here. Consider how it can help manage your installed base of Cisco network devices more efficiently with less cost and risk.

I began this post with the catchphrase “Disrupt or be disrupted.” Network change is the order of the day. But change without preparation can lead to unplanned consequences. How are you preparing your network to support changes to come? What do you see as the future requirements to support your network? Do you see automation playing a bigger role in handling routine management of your installed base? How do you define proactive support to avoid problems before they occur?  I would love to hear from you.

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Mala Anand

No Longer with Cisco