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Smart Net vs Third Party Maintenance vs Hybrid Maintenance

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Smart Net and Third Party Maintenance should be combined into Hybrid Maintenance

What is a Third Party Maintenance Provider?

Cisco say “A Third Party Maintenance Provider is a company that is not a Cisco Channel Partner and offers maintenance services for Cisco products.”

Are any Third Party Maintenance Companies approved by Cisco?


Do you need Smart Net?

If compliance is important to you then keeping your network software current is going to be essential, you will need to update the software on your devices, and the only way to get those updates and maintain compliance is from an authorized source. Fortunately a number of Cisco devices now have a Cisco Limited Lifetime Warranty which entitles the original owner to download and install the software updates, and any failed device will be replaced under a Next Business Day RMA – you do not need Smart Net for these devices.

How can Hybrid Maintenance be cheaper than Third Party?

You can take out a Smart Net contract at any time, and that includes the day you have a problem with your device. There is no inspection, no fee, no need for “SHOW” outputs and no requirement to have had any Smart Net on the device in the past. All Cisco ask is that you are the legal owner of the license.

How does that make Hybrid Maintenance cheaper?

You simply don’t need to cover every device in your network, with thoughtful planning and the use of spares, it’s possible to have a Hybrid Cisco Supported Network at a much cheaper price than Smart Net or a Third Party Alternative.

What about Software Updates?

Cisco devices with the standard Cisco Limited Warranty will not have software update rights and these devices should be considered for Smart Net support.

Cisco devices working in the inside of your network generally do not require constant software updates, and unless you are using advanced features the original software will normally continue to work perfectly.

For critical devices you should update software as necessary, but one software support contract will cover multiple devices. If necessary a single hot spare can be covered by Smart Net for resilience.

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