SYDNEY - Easier to buy and easier to sell are a couple of the advantages Cisco Systems is touting of its latest brainwave - shrink-wrapped services.
Cisco's support and services will now be sold via resellers in pre-packaged shrink-wrap boxes labelled SMARTnet.
With simplified contract and pricing arrangements, SMARTnet is hoped to eliminate the "administrative nightmare" of traditional service contracts.
"We've always delivered the SMARTnet type of service but what we didn't do was make it so easy to purchase," said Nancy Leon, manager of global services for Cisco.
"With SMARTnet, we've packaged it into a nice neat little shrink-wrap box.
"Distributors and resellers can actually stock the service product like any other product and customers simply fill the card in rather than having to go through long contractual administrative processes," she said.
SMARTnet also makes distributors the one-stop shop for all of Cisco resellers' needs according to Leon. "it's really easy now because there's just one point of purchase," she said.
No more running back and forth between the distributor for products and Cisco for service contracts she said. "That takes a lot of time and people just don't have the time to do that anymore."
The pre-packaged services come in two varieties - SMARTnet Standard and SMARTnet Comprehensive.
Both offer 12 months of telephone and online access around the world from Cisco's Technical Assistance Centres (TAC), one of which is located in North Sydney. Cisco also guarantees telephone response to hardware, software and configuration queries within 60 minutes.
The two service packages differ in that SMARTnet Standard provides for the delivery of parts by 3pm the next business day, whilst SMARTnet Comprehensive will replace parts on-site within four hours (the service is available all hours, seven days a week).
Software upgrades and maintenance are also included in both packages.
"The whole idea is that resellers, when they sell it to their customer, know their customer is being fully supported," explained Leon. "What we're really trying to facilitate here is future product sales, making sure people are really happy with the product as they use it, not just when they buy it."
Pricing ranges from $179 to $18,000, according to which of the 18 pricing categories the Cisco hardware falls into (noted by the designated ordering code on each product).
Cisco Partner Presales hotline
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