Cisco Systems has expanded its service offerings for the channel,rs. after introducing a revised pricing structure and the flexibility for partners to choose which products the vendor will support.
The Cisco Partner Support Essentials Programme, launched 15 months ago, will offer channel partners four service options in two categories - full entitlement and selective entitlement. The full entitlement model, targeted at Cisco silver and gold accredited partners, has been restructured to incorporate a one-off pricing mechanism covering all products for the lifecycle of a network.
Detlev Botz, EMEA service channel programme manager at Cisco, admitted the up-front pricing model would be more of an initial financial burden for partners, but claimed their overall investment in services would be lower in the long term.
He added: 'The feedback so far shows a large number of partners are aggressively adopting the pricing model and feel it is a benefit.'
Meanwhile, the selective entitlement model has been established to enable Cisco partners to choose the degree of support they receive from the vendor for individual customers.
The partner-owned level involves the reseller providing all technical support to the customer, while Cisco assists with problem escalation and parts replacement support. The partner managed status allows channel partners to use Cisco support as a complement to their own support capabilities. Resellers manage the service contracts and customer relationships under their own brand of service.
The Cisco brand resale level enables partners to manage service contract sales and renewal, with the vendor providing technical support on their behalf.
Selective entitlement contracts will be renewed annually, with the partner and customer jointly determining which products the vendor will support.
Botz said: 'We introduced selective entitlement because not every partner has the requirements to be gold or silver accredited, but they need to outsource to Cisco to deliver a full service to their customers.'
Cisco has also updated the Service Contract Centre, its Web tool for managing Cisco-branded contracts, Botz said.
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