Assess support options

Cisco users should examine their support options now, according to analysts.

Cisco users should examine their support options now, according to analysts.

The website of Cisco reseller NetworksFirst states that its own support charges from Cisco could increase by as much as 30%. It warns users that they will have to provide the serial number, customer name and location of new equipment to get support.

Arman Khan, managing partner at consultancy 3Net, said, "The new support programme is a lot more expensive and requires a lot more information. Users will need to pull in all this information before they get support."

Mike Mikkelsen, head of the Communications Management Association's special interest group for risk, said Cisco's requirement for asset tracking was good in principle, but added, "I have a grave doubt people will be able to manage their assets as users do not keep a record."

Michael Haines, research vice-president at Gartner, said many Cisco partners would need to change the way they charge for support. Haines expects Cisco resellers to start to charge for support services as part of the product sale. "Cisco may need to address the time gap issue between shipment and deployment," he said.

Analyst firm Meta Group advised users on a single-year support deal to try to negotiate a 15% discount.

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