Smart Care is a collaborative services programme wherein Cisco assesses the health of end users’ networks and provides information on that network to partners.
Suggested fixes for issues are often given and some can then be fixed remotely. Smart Care offers support for networks containing between five and 105 devices, and end users have only one contract for the whole network, rather than contracts for individual devices.
Cisco’s senior vice president of European markets Nick Earle told CRN a collaborative approach to services would greatly benefit Cisco resellers. “A few years ago we had six advanced technologies; now we have 12 and in the future we will have 20. It is getting more complicated and is harder for a channel partner on their own,” he said.
The programme has been available to a handful of UK VARs for almost a year and is now generally available to Cisco’s entire UK channel. Earle indicated that 80 per cent of devices covered by Smart Care had previously not been covered, while 56 per cent of sales so far had been new business.
He also claimed that resellers could generate business from the two-thirds of devices covered that have a security vulnerability and the 16 per cent that are end of life.
“There are huge opportunities to sell upgrades. This is proactive support rather than reactive support,” he said.
Earle also indicated that a similar programme for the enterprise space, which would give partners remote access to Cisco consultants, was being developed and could be launched in about a year.
Tony Nevill, commercial director for Cisco distributor Comstor, said: “It is a good solution. Cisco would openly admit that this is the first step, but it is a strong first effort.”
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