By Ty Stubblefield, SSCS Lead Development Specialist

Since moving their fiscal year end to the end of July, the Cisco Sales Team have pushed its clients to have more renewals occur in the summer months. While it might seem, at first glance, that this change was helpful to clients and employees, permitting all to have a more comfortable holiday season. However, the beautiful days of summer and family vacations can often result in less-than-critical thinking during the renewal process for some in IT Procurement or Network Administration.

Getting to the key points of this blog:

1. More companies are choosing a hybrid hardware support model, OEM combined with independent support (for post-warranty equipment) to capitalize on significant cost savings. 71% of the world’s largest companies are using this hybrid support model now, according to Gartner.

2. Because many network admins rank “security” as their greatest priority, not all will take the time to listen to options that support IT cost containment. Yet, IT Procurement focuses on cost savings, but may not understand all the nuances of security, stability, network resiliency and so on. So, there is often a natural rub between departments and the key messages (value propositions for alternative/hybrid support) are lost!

3. Assuming your IT Asset Management (ITAM) practices are built soundly (we have prepared for those that aren’t), you likely have access to data that readily identifies which assets are post-warranty vs. which assets remain under warranty. And, from this same segregation, you can easily deduce how much you are paying for annual support of in-warranty assets, how much for post-warranty assets and how much you’re total annual Operational Expense (OpEx) is for all Cisco assets.

According to estimates from Gartner and IDC, roughly 20% of your company’s Cisco assets will be post-warranty. And, if you’re in IT Procurement, you may know that a hybrid support model that permits eligible assets to be maintained by an independent provider can save as much as 10-12% off your total OpEx. Didn’t know that? Click here to better understand and access this very simple formula to quantify savings potential.

4. For the network security professional, did you know that many network admins around the world have paid for full SMARTnet support, which include IOS patch updates/fixes long after such patches are no longer provided? If you’re getting parts delivered, or “hot swap” of assets, or even the labor included, great! Just remember you are NOT getting IOS help (the very core of your security sensitivities). Therefore, you’re paying for the same support an independent provider could give you for much less. And, the security concern is really a moot point, is it not? Perhaps you should have your ITAM group begin to track End of Software Maintenance announcement dates.

5. Perhaps both IT Procurement and Senior Network Admins believe it is extraordinarily difficult to do any of the following:

• ID which assets are post-warranty
• ID which assets are eligible for independent support, or where there may be applicable risk
• Formulate a quantified value of a hybrid support model for your Cisco assets
• Effectively discern where risk outweighs reward for select assets
• Welcome an additional vendor to support your base of Cisco assets, and what may feel like a more complex support model
• Perhaps, right now, your teams have too many objectives and too few resources to embrace a change
• Perhaps you just haven’t yet found that independent provider that is 100% transparent with respect to risk analyses and trust has not yet been established.

Any or all of these topics can be present, but never fear, I assure you that the independent hardware support industry has worked very hard (in the last 10+ years) to build out all infrastructure/models to help you simply and quickly understand your asset base, lead you through risk considerations (focusing on YOUR best interests) and then help you quantify what can be saved. Even after that, I assure you that this industry of independent providers has built that which is necessary to simplify your transition to a hybrid model AND vendor dispatch models that make it quite easy for your team to get what they need and when they need it.

Hundreds of large companies, and thousands of small companies, around the world, have chosen a hybrid support model and are quite pleased with the resulting Service Quality, support flexibility and bottom-line savings.

If Gartner were to tell you that most independent providers can help you quantify savings, analyze risk for select assets and collect pricing in under two weeks, would you NOT rethink your hesitation? Why not ask?

If your renewal occurs August 1 (or even July 1), wouldn’t this month give you enough time to avoid frenetic decisions in mid-July? Or, another way to look at it, wouldn’t a modest time investment now, permit you to maximize your enjoyment of the summer weather or any pending and well-deserved vacations?

You could start by asking for our digital brochure, or copies of our hottest white papers on hybrid support! I welcome any inquiries to help answer your hybrid support model questions.

Ty Stubblefield, SSCS Lead Development Specialist

Ty joined SSCS in January 2017 in an inbound lead development and lead creation role. Although he only has 1.5 years in a sales role with an IT solutions provider, Ty has a keen appreciation for technology. In addition to him being an accomplished “gamer,” he readily embraces new technologies or tech enhancements delivered to the marketplace from manufacturers that serve both the consumer and the business sector. Ty is both family- and friends-focused, but also enjoys physical fitness and any moments outside with his new puppy

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