If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase (or renew) Cisco Support Services, I’ve got a story for you. I recently met with a group of Cisco Account Managers to better understand what customers are looking for in a protection policy.

As the team began to whiteboard all the reasons, I saw a pattern emerge. Every customer claim was about avoiding or reducing risk.

Lightbulb moment: In an industry fraught with network-related uncertainties and security vulnerabilities, I realized customers are relying on Cisco Support Services to regain control of their IT resources and sidestep a whole lot of unnecessary risk.

I know you’ll want to drill into the answers I collected. So here are the top five reasons customers rely on Cisco Support Services:

1.“We can’t afford downtime.”

That’s not surprising. Who can? But how much does downtime actually cost? I found a way to help you arrive at a rough answer. Use Forrester’s independent study on Cisco Smart Net Total Care to estimate how much downtime could set you back, as well as the value of services, like Smart Net Total Care.

Also, just to put things in perspective, I heard that some customers who initially declined coverage found that the cost of one Cisco service call was roughly equivalent to the price for the entire contract. So not only is having a services plan helping customers reduce downtime, it’s saving them money, too.

2.“We need access to Cisco experts.”

With the vast number of systems, solutions, and applications in today’s IT mix, an in-house team can’t possibly reach expert status on any one thing. So it makes sense that customers would prefer a direct line to techs with a strict Cisco-focus should something go wrong.

And, it doesn’t hurt that this on-demand pool of industry and technology experts have been awarded eleven J.D. Power Certifications in a row—something that no one else can claim. We’re talking a team of 12,000 Cisco Services experts and over 3,000 Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) engineers operating out of more than 35 Cisco TAC sites worldwide.

Again, we’re ultimately talking about ways to reduce risk, but in this instance, customers are also benefitting from increased operational efficiency.

3.“Warranties don’t cover human errors.”

It’s true. Warranties are great, but they naturally only cover product defects and things within Cisco’s control. On the other hand, a support contract is like insurance for those unpredictable IT moments. That’s when you want access to Cisco engineers, replacement parts in as little as two hours, OS updates and upgrades, proactive diagnostic assistance, and the Cisco.com Knowledge Base.

Given that 95% of Cisco TAC service requests have nothing to do with equipment failures, savvy customers are all but banking on human error being an issue at some point.

4.“We have to be ready for what’s next.”

Technology used to change every six months. Now it’s more like once a month. So, many customers are relying on Cisco Technical Services to keep their OS up to date with the latest versions. Yes, this helps enhance functionality and performance, but staying current with releases lessens their exposure to risks in the form of vulnerabilities and threats.

Plus, Cisco is always innovating, whether it be maintenance-related, completely new releases—minor and major—or simple bug fixes. There’s usually no additional charge for updates if your product remains under the Cisco Services agreement.

5.“OS variability is top of mind.”

This is smart and forward-thinking. What’s working well today could be a problem tomorrow.

For example, if your team suddenly needs to support a new technology, you have to be able to predict how that variability will impact your systems. If you can’t, we can. Our engineers have seen just about everything. That’s why so many customers lean on our expertise to keep their operations running smoothly—now and in the future.

I started down this road to better understand the mindset and needs of customers who purchase Cisco Smart Net Total Care. That happened—but now I can’t help but think, “Why would anyone in IT knowingly bypass this level of protection and leave their organization open to so much unnecessary risk?” It seems like a solid no-brainer.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. If you’re still not sure about Cisco Technical Services, please call your Cisco Account Manager or certified Cisco partner. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. We want you to have all the facts when it comes to the real value of Cisco Services.


Scott Schell

Senior Manager

CX Americas