As IT leaders, we need to find ways to effectively manage, plan, and budget our network expenditures. We have to be confident that our infrastructure is protected and understand what is at risk. One of our main goals has to be reducing the amount of time we’re spending managing our network. At the same time, we must still be confident that when something goes wrong, we will receive the appropriate alerts and be able to obtain support to quickly resolve the problem.
“The enormous number of devices, coupled with the sheer volume, velocity, and structure of the Internet of Things (IoT) data, creates challenges. This is particularly true in the areas of security, data, storage management, servers, and the data center network, as real-time business processes are at stake.” – Joe Skorpua, Vice President and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
So how do we manage these growing challenges efficiently? For a number of years, Cisco has provided—at no additional cost—one of the most underutilized tools available to all customers who have purchased Smart Net. This tool is called the Smart Net Total Care Portal, and it provides an up-to-date view of the Cisco equipment installed within your infrastructure, as well as a comprehensive view of all your support contracts. You will be able to see what is and is not covered, when contracts started, and when they are due to end. In addition to contract management features, you will have access to device diagnostics and relevant alerts for your Cisco products. These alerts are configured specifically to the way you do business and your network, letting you spend more time focusing on critical operations.
With the Total Care Portal, you have greater control over product lifecycle management. A single report from the portal can show you all the necessary information regarding the configuration of the device, software updates for the device, and end-of-life dates. No longer will you only get 30 days’ notice that the device is nearing end of support—instead, you will have plenty of time to plan for a replacement.
By providing enhanced visibility into your installed base, the Total Care Portal allows you to:
• Quickly identify Cisco products that are reaching end of life, end of sale, or end of support
• Easily see what has been moved, added, or changed in the network
• Verify that your Cisco hardware is running current, consistent, and supported software versions
• Easily identify service coverage gaps for critical devices
• Mitigate risk and plan for upgrades to equipment that is no longer supported
Sounds like a great time-saver, right? So why is this tool so underutilized? Maybe we focus so much on the purchase of new equipment and support contracts that we overlook the value of this tool. Or maybe we are more concerned with setting up and maintaining our equipment than we are with installing a new tool.
Whatever the reason, if you feel at all unsure about setting up the Total Care Portal, Connection has you covered. Our Install Base Optimization Service (IBOS) provides expert help to set up and configure your portal. This service will help you onboard the tool, assist you in deploying the collector, and work with you to develop alerting systems. You will also be able to leverage Connection’s true-up process and gain assistance in processing credits for decommissioned devices. Just like the Total Care Portal, IBOS is also a no-cost service for qualifying customers.
Ready to take control of your Cisco infrastructure? Contact an Account Manager today to learn more about IBOS and other valuable services we offer.