Cisco continues to listen to our customers’ feedback, and make improvements that address your biggest pain points. In a previous post, Jim Fuller, Senior Director of Technical Services focused on entitlement, joined us to talk about improvements that simplified the overall Services Entitlement process, and hinted at future improvements that were underway.  Jim’s team recently completed changes to our Return Materials Authorization (RMA) process, and as promised, he returns to the blog to walk us through those changes, and what they will mean for your experience working with Cisco.

jafuller By Guest Contributor Jim Fuller
Installed Base and Contract Data Quality are a consistent challenge for customers. Customers and partners use contract data to manage both their services with Cisco and the information they need to renew service contracts. Cisco wants to make this experience easier for our customers, so we’ve been making improvements to the tools and systems our customers need to maintain their installed base and contract data – starting with our Return Materials Authorization (RMA) process. 

RMAs are a particularly important interaction between Cisco and customers. Previously, when a customer replaced a part and returned it to Cisco, we would update the contract information with the serial number of the replacement part, but only after Cisco received the returned item. This contract updating process was known as the “RMA back-end swap” process.

Our customers told us that the process did not always work correctly, and they wanted to see the new part information on the contract more quickly.

In response to that feedback, we updated the RMA process. Today, when a part is returned via the RMA process, the service contracts are updated at the moment that the replacement part is shipped to the customer or partner. This new process is called “RMA front-end swap” because a contract is updated with the new part information at the beginning of the RMA process. This change ensures that our customers have access to Cisco Services as soon as needed and that their service contracts are up-to-date. Since implementation, timeliness of contract updates has improved from over 3 weeks to less than 24 hours!

These improvements will help ensure higher data quality through more accurate RMA Swaps processing, and in turn, will simplify our customers’ experience doing business with Cisco. We will continue to improve our processes to make sure that you – our customers – always receive high quality service on all of your contracts.

Please visit our Cisco.com page for more information on the RMA process.


Curt Hill

Senior Vice President

Customer Assurance