News Release

Cisco Systems Increases Productivity with Web-Based Service Contract Management Solution

New Services Management System Application Enables the Channel to Register and Renew Cisco SMARTnet Service Packages Online
Apr 21, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 21, 2003 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today introduced the Services Management System (SMS), a new service contract life-cycle management application for its SMARTnet® customers. With this new Web based system, Cisco® has reengineered the business process used for service contract management to eliminate the need for physical contract packages, capture customer registration information and provide advance notice of a contract's expiration date to assist with renewals. The impact of this new program in its early stages has been significant. By removing physical service packages, Cisco has eliminated $10 million dollars of physical inventory from the channel. By replacing the physical inventory with a virtual token model, Cisco has taken a significant step in removing operational costs from the two tier distribution business. Additionally, by providing an online tool that assists in the end customer's registration process, Cisco SMARTnet registration rates have doubled.

"The new Cisco SMS application is a milestone in our continuing effort to provide our partners and customers with programs and services that yield tangible business benefits and competitive advantage," said Karl Meulema, vice president of Cisco Customer Advocacy, worldwide partner marketing "With this new online application, Cisco has automated much of the administration of hardware support contracts, making the process of conducting business a much less costly and time-consuming matter."

Cisco authorized distributors Comstor, Ingram Micro and Tech Data are currently using the SMS tool to increase operational efficiency and productivity. Comstor was the first to fully adopt the Cisco SMS tool and has recognized significant improvement in the ability to manage the Cisco services business.

"Comstor was the first distributor to adopt the SMS tool. We identified early on that the SMS program would fundamentally enhance the way Cisco's services business would be managed by Comstor and our resellers," said Bill McFadden, Comstor's vice president of product management and marketing. "Working collaboratively, Comstor and Cisco were able to build a strong implementation team to test and improve the SMS processes and tools, creating a services program that delivers an outstanding customer experience for our partners who can now manage their customers' services needs more proactively. Comstor's approach to services is focused on achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction. This is an important part of our value-based business model."

The Cisco SMS application helps enable partners to register their customer's Cisco SMARTnet support contracts online through the Cisco Service Contract Center Web site. This capability reduces registration completion time and allows customers and partners to track the life cycle of the services contract, from purchase date through contract renewal, via the Internet. The ability to register and renew customer support contracts online gives the partner the visibility needed to provide continuous service to the end customer. Additionally, as the customer's network grows and becomes more complex, the reseller can recommend necessary support enhancements, to improve network availability, quality of service (QoS) and network optimization.

Availability of the Cisco SMS Application

Cisco's Services Management System is now available to distributors and partners authorized by Cisco in the United States. Implementation plans are in place for EMEA for Q4 2003, with rest of world integration planned for the first half calendar year 2004. For more information about the availability of the SMS application in your area, contact your local Cisco representative or visit: