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This post was contributed by CentricsIT Account Executive Michael Sulka. Michael is a data center solutions expert who specializes in third-party maintenance and cost optimization throughout the IT lifecycle. He works from the CentricsIT office in Charlotte, NC (USA).

What is Cisco SMARTnet Support?

When purchasing equipment from Cisco, companies also must also procure SMARTnet support. These contracts are typically structured for 1-3 years, depending on the type of equipment purchased. This technical support includes getting proper IOS images, firmware, or updates/patches for your brand-new Cisco product.

However, after that initial contract expires, the costs associated to renew SMARTnet support skyrocket at an exponential rate. Simply put, this means it becomes costlier to support older equipment than it would to support brand new hardware.

The OEM Treadmill

And there is a method to this madness, something I refer to as the OEM Treadmill. The OEM treadmill is a systematic approach by the large manufacturers to push a hardware refresh on their customers instead of helping them explore options to extend the life of that equipment.

Michael Sulka
Account Executive
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OEMs lack the incentive to inform customers that it actually costs less to maintain equipment the longer it has been on the market. Cisco treats SMARTnet more like an insurance policy than a maintenance plan, so when your equipment is more likely to require support, the OEM chooses to force your hand into purchasing new hardware instead. And with all that being said, Cisco has an average profit margin of 70% on its SMARTnet agreements.

What Makes CentricsIT Different from Cisco SMARTnet?

Third-party support from CentricsIT is no different than SMARTnet, except for a few key differentiators. Because we are not bound by the concerns or incentives of the OEM, we have the ability to define our SLAs more favorably for our clients, which enables more flexible and streamlined support.

For example, Cisco’s 24x7x4 model promises 24-hour TAC availability, 7 days a week. This is with an assurance that a technician will call you back within four hours to troubleshoot issues over the phone.  In comparison, the CentricsIT 24x7x4 model ensures the same level of TAC availability, but we don’t just call you back. We arrive with the part in hand at your facility within those 4 hours.

CentricsIT can provide the high-quality support you’re accustomed too, with the comfort of knowing when you make a call, we will be there on time to have you back up and running faster than before.  Through economical hardware procurement, global sourcing networks, and a dedication to excellence, we will partner with you to change the trajectory of your maintenance budget.

If you’re ready to discuss options for reducing your SMARTnet costs, contact your CentricsIT representative or click here to email Michael directly.