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Cisco SMARTnet vs Partner Shared Support

  • 25 March, 2021

Article, Cisco, Cisco Licensing Explained, SMARTnet

There are two primary methods of buying Cisco hardware maintenance support. The first is directly with Cisco via the Cisco SMARTnet program. The second is buying support through a Cisco partner with Partner Shared Support. Every business needs some level of support for their hardware and choosing between these two options can be difficult.

To see why you need Cisco SMARTnet, please visit our recent articles about what’s included with SMARTnet and how to save money on SMARTnet.

How does Partner Shared Support work?

Partner Shared Support works differently to Cisco SMARTnet. This option means that whenever you have an issue that requires external assistance to resolve, you have to contact the partner you bought the support from instead of Cisco directly.

If the partner can help you resolve the issue then Cisco will never be contacted. However, if the partner cannot, then as the customer, you are not able to raise the issue to Cisco. This action must be performed by the partner.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Partner Shared Support:

Partner Shared Support Benefits

  • You contact the partner first and it’s their responsibility to resolve the issue. Any escalation to Cisco has to be done by the partner, not the customer.
  • Normally is a lower cost overall than Cisco SMARTnet.

Why we recommend Cisco SMARTnet instead

  • As portfolio complexity increases, Partner Shared Support staff are unable to keep up with the platforms and lack the technical skills needed to support the platform
  • We’ve repeatedly seen hardware replaced with lower or non-Cisco products to reduce the cost incurred.
  • SLA’s advertised are rarely hit and previous time is lost down the critical replacement window.
  • The Partner Shared Support model makes it difficult for a customer to transact with other partners due to how these contracts are often written. This is especially true in the Public Sector.

Start with a Cisco Clean Up

Although Cisco SMARTnet is a great way to structure your Cisco licences, there’s no use doing the dishes in a dirty sink. This means you’ve got some cleaning to do! We recommend that you map your current Cisco architecture and get a clear overview of the used products and services. Find out how you do this in our ebook The Big Cisco Clean Up – a guide that helps you create a manageable and cost-effective Cisco environment.

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