A Look at Alternatives to Cisco SMARTnet

No one can argue that going with SMARTnet isn’t a smart choice – see what we did there? But it’s just as smart to consider alternatives to SMARTnet. It's wise to keep your options open in case other solutions make more business sense for your organization.

There’s no doubt you get a lot of features and options for your network infrastructure from SMARTnet total care.

You get access to the following:

  • Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
  • Online knowledge base
  • A multitude of support documents
  • Forums
  • Operating system support
  • A bunch of replacement and service options.

But here are the million-dollar questions:

  • What if you don’t know that these features are available to you?
  • What if you don't use them?
  • What if you have no need to use them?
  • Are you getting the best value out of your SMARTnet service investment?

Get a right-fit solution

If you don’t even realize all these SMARTnet capabilities are available to you (or aren't using them fully), it’s probably safe to say you might not need them. So why pay that premium price for them?

It makes more sense to get a solution that is the right fit for your unique network infrastructure needs. Here’s the good news. There are reputable, trustworthy vendors out there that offer viable alternatives to SMARTnet.

Reliable replacement programs don’t include all the bells and whistles you might get from Cisco SMARTnet. But, if you aren’t ringing those bells and blowing those whistles then why pay for them?

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Save money with SMARTnet Alternatives

The enticing aspect of seeking an alternative to SMARTnet is that you can save a whole lot of budget money. SMARTnet is a fantastic program, but let’s be honest, it’s also pretty darn expensive.

Doesn’t the idea of spending as much as 50% less than SMARTnet sound appealing?

You can. And you can still work with a program that offers...

  • Guaranteed next-business-day advance hardware replacement

  • Free shipping on both inbound and outbound product

  • Support for legacy and end-of-life equipment

  • Access to a team of engineers for technical support.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not – CXtec’s RapidCare® third-party maintenance (TPM) is a SMARTnet alternative that provides all those features. It’s about finding a reputable vendor you can rely on to provide value at a price that provides an enticing alternative to SMARTnet.

“TPM contracts will offer customers an average of 60% savings off of OEM support list prices. However, depending on equipment type, location and product density, Gartner has seen that the range of savings with TPM contracts is 50% off OEM list up to 95% off OEM list.”

- Gartner, Competitive Landscape: Partnering With Third-Party Maintenance Providers for Data Center and Network Maintenance Cost Optimization, July 2017 [ID G00327262]

SMARTnet vs. spares

If guaranteed uptime is your goal, then there’s a bigger question to ask. Is SMARTnet, or any maintenance program, always the best option for every piece of hardware? Even the fastest option to replace your hardware is going to leave you with a little bit of downtime. Will that strategy work for your critical devices?

There might be a better idea.

You could  invest in spares for your mission-critical hardware. Then, leave the maintenance programs like SMARTnet for that equipment at the edge of your network. That way you can have hot, swappable spares at the ready for the equipment that your business relies on every moment of the day.

It would stand to reason that finding more value in your maintenance program for your edge hardware just makes sense. An alternative to SMARTnet might be the wisest option to back up that edge hardware. Why? It doesn’t necessarily require all the features and price tag that come along with SMARTnet.

When alternatives to SMARTnet are the better choice

SMARTnet is a robust program. It has options galore, but it’s always advisable to use sound reasoning when deciding what suits your network best. The fact is, there are alternatives to SMARTnet that might work for your needs better. Weigh your needs. Look at your budget and infrastructure layout. Then decide what maintenance option is logical for your circumstances.

And if you need any help with logic, hear what Spock might have to say about CXtec’s maintenance offering here.

Hybrid support – an alternative plan to Cisco SMARTnet

Cisco SMARTnet has an incredible offering of capabilities but if you’re thinking their technical support might have too many features you don’t use or want, a hybrid support strategy could be a great fit for you.

Hybrid support uses a combination of products like SMARTnet, third-party maintenance and a SPARES program to develop a support system built around your organization’s network infrastructure.

Similar to Cisco SMARTnet, hybrid support can offer exceptional technical support, hardware replacement, and real-time solutions. The major difference is that hybrid support comes at a fraction of the cost.

Implementing hybrid support as an alternative to Cisco SMARTnet will ensure your core products have the appropriate software and hardware protection while continuing to make the most of legacy equipment included in your network system.

SMARTnet offerings bring a lot to the table, but if you’re looking for other options that let you choose what elements you want for your network infrastructure, a hybrid support strategy could be just the right fit.

“Customers will continue to leverage OEM maintenance and TPM maintenance together in a hybrid solution.”

- Gartner, Competitive Landscape: Partnering With Third-Party Maintenance Providers for Data Center and Network Maintenance Cost Optimization, July 2017 [ID G00327262]


To learn more about the definition of third-party maintenance and hybrid support, watch our informative podcast Third-Party Maintenance and the Value of a Hybrid Support Solution.

You can also view chapters of the podcast at the links below:

White Paper

Interested in delving even further into the concepts of hybrid support and TPM? Download your free guide, The Value of a Hybrid Support Strategy, here.

Learn More

Learn more about how CXtec can help you build a hybrid support solution here.

Find out about CXtec's third-party maintenance offering here.