The efficiency of your Cisco equipment plays a vital role in the success of your business, so you allocate all the manpower, funds, and IT resources you can manage just to keep your systems operational. But your IT team doesn’t have access to the real-time data needed to optimize your environments for efficiency and security. What happens when something goes wrong? When hardware isn’t configured properly? Or a security patch doesn’t get installed on time? That’s where Cisco Smart Net Total Care comes in.

“Downtime” is your archenemy here, with “computational inefficiency” coming in at a close second. To counteract these, you need to gain better visibility into the health of your Cisco environments.

Move Beyond “Operational” and Optimize with SMARTnet Total Care

Cisco Smart Net Total Care (SNTC) is an IT asset management system that grants Cisco customers a detailed overview of their infrastructure. Through its mobile-friendly, intuitive GUI interface, the SNTC portal grants users access to a virtualized, real-time snapshot of their Cisco environments at any time. More specifically, the automated SMARTnet portal simultaneously provides Asset Managers, IT Directors, Network Security Teams, and the CFO Office with detailed, real-time reporting and diagnostics on each Cisco unit, including:

  • Hostname
  • IP Address
  • Serial Number
  • Product ID
  • Equipment Type
  • SMARTnet Contract Numbers
  • Contract Status and Expiration
  • Firmware Levels and Security Alerts
  • End of Sales Life
  • End of Support Life

Without SNTC, your IT team must look up each device in your systems and manually match its information with the corresponding support contract, firmware levels, or EOL status reports. This method is not only time-consuming, it is prone to errors and inconsistencies, and IT departments run the risk of letting contracts expire or security updates to go by unnoticed.

With Smart Net Total Care, your IT team is automatically provided with every bit of pertinent information about the device(s) in question; all your sysadmins need is the serial number, and they can get a comprehensive overview of their Cisco systems within seconds.

Alternatively, you can use the SNMP-based Common Services Platform Collector (CSPC) to automatically pull in all the Cisco-specific information. Using this connector makes it easy to take regular snapshots of your environment.

Learn from Change Over Time

Cisco Smart Net Total Care also provides delta reporting over time by highlighting changes, deletions, and upgrades to your data center through an automated overlay of time-stamped environment snapshots. This comprehensive insight enables you to budget more efficiently and better track IT lifecycles and contract renewals across the data center.

Insight, Diagnostics, and Full-time Support Services

SNTC is more than just a convenient, automated snapshot of your Cisco environments. It also offers additional services to help you get the most out of your Cisco environment through:

  • Hardware Replacement – SNTC systems notify your IT team when certain network devices need to be replaced, and Cisco technicians will be deployed to your data center to quickly facilitate the hardware replacement
  • Cisco Digital Support – SNTC mobile and web support enable you to get model-specific content, use automated tools, access alerts, download software, and manage any TAC cases from one centralized hub
  • Software Updates – Using the Cisco support site, your organization can update and upgrade its operating system software for any Cisco device
  • Cisco TAC Support – Your organization has 24/7/365 access to the Technical Assistance Center for help resolving critical issues with your Cisco devices

How Cisco SNTC and TAC Work Together

Cisco’s TAC is at the core of its SNTC offerings. Staffed by Cisco experts who are knowledgeable and certified in a range of Cisco technologies and products, Cisco TAC assists organizations with resolving critical issues, troubleshooting, answering questions about product use, all while assisting with any configuration problems that might arise. Depending on the level of severity, the Cisco support team will respond anywhere from one business day to one hour after support is requested.

For added efficiency, SNTC supports TAC interaction with the portal’s integrated smart capabilities. Organizations can use SNTC’s “snapshot” technology of their Cisco inventory, lifecycle details, contract statuses, and alerts to provide details automatically and securely about their devices to create a TAC support case. In addition, the SNTC portal’s smart device diagnostics provide continuous critical device monitoring along with automated recommendations for remediation. This diagnostic system automatically notifies both your organization and dedicated Cisco TAC about any issues that might arise in your environment, drastically expediting your overall incident response.

A Forrester study, conducted in January 2017, determined that using the SNTC reduced the risk of downtime for an organization from 35% to 20%, and decreased time-to-resolution by 75%.[1]

Using Cisco Smart Net Total Care to Create a More Secure Network Environment

Staying up to date with the latest security releases can be a challenge for any organization. But SNTC makes it easy to identify and manage security alerts for all your Cisco devices. These capabilities not only improve security management, they also help your organization avoid network disruption.

SNTC proactively identities which of an organization’s devices will be affected by new product or security alerts, including:

  • Hardware Alerts – When network devices are approaching or have reached EOL
  • Software Alerts – When EOL issues arise with any software versions the client is using
  • Security Alerts – When security vulnerabilities that are associated with specific network devices are detected (the Product Security Incident Response Team [PSIRT] will inform your security team)
  • Field Notices – When any significant issues with a particular hardware device or software version is detected

SNTC also offers alert management workflows which enable an organization to effectively manage alerts by flagging them for immediate action or assigning them other status information. After initial protocol configuration, the system will then filter any future alerts in the same manner so that your organization only receives those that require your predetermined level of attention. Consequently, you further automate and streamline your processes and heighten your overall security.

Visibility Comes Before Efficiency

You can’t afford to continue operating blindly.

Cisco Smart Net Total Care offers a visibility and automation mechanism that strategically reduces operational risk, improves incident response, and manages security initiatives for Cisco clients, enabling you and your IT team to refocus your time on other core responsibilities.

[1] The Total Economic Impact of Smart Net Total Care. Forrester, 2017.