Services specialist Equant received a healthy business boost last week with the announcement of a global support agreement with Cisco Systems. The agreement, known as the Cisco local (LOC) Program, will see Equant's integration services division deliver, install, and provide support for Cisco products.
The two companies report the agreement gives Cisco customers the ability to buy products and services from one central location for delivery to one or more locations worldwide from a single vendor.
The deal includes equipment supply, installation, and operational support.
Geoff Zuber, Cisco's general manager, partners and corporate affairs, said the partnership reflects the company's strategy to develop key support partnerships, such as existing agreements with Com Tech and Wang Global.
"We actually have a policy of involving our customers in our support arrangements," he said.
Zuber claims the partnership is motivated by Cisco's desire to offer customers "the very highest levels of support" and does not reflect any limitations of the Cisco technical assistance centre (TAC).
In fact, one of the biggest attractions for Cisco was the support integration offered through use of Equant's worldwide network, Zuber added.
Equant initially built the network to carry network traffic for international airline operations through its division SITA.
As a result, Equant will use its TAC and delivery capabilities to provide warranty, installation and contracted services at all customer locations, the company reports.
However, the companies claim the program allows enough flexibility to give end users assistance from Cisco's TAC if required.
Jean Yves Charlier, president of Equant's integration services division, said: "This agreement is a clear endorsement of Equant's technological depth and the geographic breadth of our capabilities."