Reduce Cisco SMARTnet Costs Further Than You Believed Possible

With the introduction of Smart Licensing, Cisco permanently changed its clients’ ability to reduce Cisco SMARTnet costs. Simply explained, Smart Licensing requires you to be the original purchaser for every piece of Cisco hardware you intend to use. This “innovation” created a roadblock to proactive cost containment by using independent hardware maintainers (third party maintenance providers) and hardware resellers. Only very old Cisco hardware wasn’t impacted by Smart Licensing. At the same time, Cisco subjected several clients to intrusive and expensive compliance audits – targeting clients who leveraged the secondary market or third party maintenance for cost savings. The end result: you’re either overpaying for Cisco SMARTnet or at risk of a costly audit.

As Cisco clients complained, and independent service providers wrung their hands, XSi went into solutions-mode and built XSi’s Cisco Lifecycle & Asset Assurance program. What is it? This service allows Cisco hardware users to continue – and even expand product classes able to be maintained – using lower-cost independent maintenance with zero risk to entitlement compliance. Ongoing Cisco SMARTnet cost reductions can be broader and more proactive. Support savings can be easily discovered prior to milestone dates (EoS/LDoS, EoSW, EoL) to proactively further SMARTnet cost reductions. In addition to reducing Cisco SMARTnet costs, entitlement compliance and proactive cost containment, this service also creates a greater level of simplicity and transparency for hardware asset management. It’s genius!

Here are a few examples of Smart Licensed hardware that other third party maintenance companies can’t maintain (and entitlements compliant), but can be maintained by XSi with 100% compliance assurance:

  • Catalyst 9300s, 9400s, 9500s
  • Nexus 9k Family
  • 3850s and ISR Routers beyond IOS 16
  • Also, current products with freely available OS updates

While no other independent maintainer can support these asset classes – with compliance, these are XSi’s fastest growing asset types, and are 100% maintainable under XSi’s Cisco Lifecycle & Asset Assurance program. In addition to EoS/LDoS (End of Support), EoSW (End of Software Support) and EoL (End of Life) hardware, XSi can effectively cover so much more – dramatically impacting your annual SMARTnet spend and reduce SMARTnet costs. This service:

  1. Quickly provides you with a highly-detailed quote (from our custom-built pricing tool), creating an unprecedented level of transparency,
  2. Expands the class/type of assets (50-80% more assets) able to be moved off SMARTnet, yet are unable to be supported (without great risk) by any other independent maintenance provider,
  3. Creates per-asset logic for Hybrid Hardware Support vendor selection,
  4. Designs a compliant sparing model, then takes over the ITAM burden and logistics with equal or better SLAs than clients have with SMARTnet,
  5. Provides ongoing milestone data alerts for per-asset ability to move to our service,
  6. Provides ticketing service and independent support for all eligible assets.

Our detailed quoting tool is available to anyone prepping for their SMARTnet renewal. Rather than waiting weeks for your VAR to return pricing needed for budget planning, a quote from XSi always includes a preview of current Cisco pricing, which is 98% accurate. This Cisco pricing preview isn’t provided by most other independent maintenance providers.

Service Details

  • Provides a detailed SMARTnet contract analysis to identify opportunities for OpEx savings and reduced SMARTnet costs.
  • Commitment to partnering with your Cisco VAR.
  • Permits on-demand onsite inventory for temporary projects/changes.
  • XSi coordinates the transfer and shipment from your storage facility to its own.
  • Upon arrival, XSi tests all assets and records: EoL, EoSW and EoS milestone dates for simplified lifecycle management.
  • Check entitlement status for each asset, then securing the proper entitlement where necessary.
  • All logistics – shipping to forward stocking locations to fulfill your requests/needs and SLAs
  • XSi’s best-in-class CMDB system, tracks real-time parts consumption, replenishment advisories, eligibility for removal from SMARTnet and any other details you request.

Service Benefits

  • 100% entitlement compliance! Eliminates any risk created by your current independent providers.
  • XSi has an ISO 9001:2015 Certified Quality Management System ensuring continual improvement.
  • Online data/reports, exported: easily sortable by location, systems under SMARTnet (or TPM), milestone dates.
  • OpEx reduction, the ability to shift OpEx to CapEx, and long-term CapEx reductions.
  • Frees-up staff from managing entitlements, spares processing, and managing project inventory.
  • Eligibility for lower-cost TPM support is found in advance, planned for, and acted upon further reducing OpEx.
  • Cisco warranty replacement processing, testing, added to your inventory management system and re-allocated to our forward stocking locations.
  • Secure, insured inventory dramatically reduces shrinkage due to spares usage without use record.
  • Eliminates waste from unused/excess assets.
  • Lifecycle analysis, suggestions and support from XSi, including IT Asset Disposition for assets that have been refreshed.

Click Here to contact us for additional information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your Cisco SMARTnet costs.

About The Author

Todd founded XS International in 1990, helping to build an independent IT support organization led by pioneering executives with proven tenures at Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. He holds a board of director positions with the world’s two most prominent associations for independent IT support providers – Service Industry Association (SIA) and ASCDI (hardware resellers). He was a founding member of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition (now known as, and continues to serve on their Board of Directors. Very much a serial entrepreneur, Todd earned his Bachelor’s in Finance from Ohio State University and later completed a three-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program, given by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization & MIT Enterprise Forum. He now resides in the greater Dallas area with his family.

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