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 from SMARTnet.

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 investment in SMARTnet?

Get a right-fit solution

If you don’t even realize all these SMARTnet features 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 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® 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.

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.


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:

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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.

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

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