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Did you know?

  • A recurring revenue stream from services can drive up your company valuation, due to more predictable business performance and improved cash flow.
  • Services account for 70% of reseller profits. Resellers also see a 13% increase in loyalty from customers who purchase services compared to those who don’t.

Now Cisco Services and Ingram Micro offer a broad range of resources to help you make services an ongoing source of revenue—and grow your services business long-term.

Smart capabilities available through Cisco Services’ main service offering, Smart Net Total Care, deliver insights to help you prevent network issues instead of merely responding to them. This is vital to addressing requirements across your customers’ physical, virtual and cloud-based environments. You’ll not only provide better customer service but also improve customer loyalty and retention.

See why selling services with Cisco Smart Net Total Care is a smart business strategy.

Ingram Micro helps streamline the process

For starters, the Ingram Micro team will help you figure out which Cisco Services will best address your customers’ needs. Then we’ll manage the quoting, ordering and contracts for you—always making sure you and your customers get the most value from your service options.

In addition, the resources below will give you lots of insights into selling services smarter and advising your customers on the best service options for their needs.



Why your customers need technical services

Technical services are an excellent way for your customers to get the best possible value and efficiencies from their IT investment. Services help them:

Cut costs

  • Increased network uptime due to fewer incidents
  • Higher network standardization, utilization, availability and reliability.

Reduce risk

  • Reduce business and financial risk associated with non-compliance
  • Reduce risk of data breach through audit reporting

Make their networks business-ready

  • Faster deployment of strategic projects at reduced cost helps increase competitiveness and time to market.

Increase productivity

  • Fewer network incidents free up IT personnel to focus on core projects.

Gain confidence

  • They’ll know what’s on the network, that it’s configured properly and that it works.

See why Cisco Smart Net Total Care is so valuable to customers—from SMB to midmarket and enterprise.

The rising cost of network downtime

Your customers may not know the full cost of network downtime to their business. But as their IT advisor and someone they trust, you should make them aware of what they stand to lose. Network downtime may only last a few minutes or a few hours, but the business impact and costs can be huge.

Research firm Gartner has estimated that the average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute, or more than $300,000 per hour.

In light of these figures, the many benefits of technical services for your customers will easily justify the cost of purchasing them.

how downtime impacts business



No Access=
No Conversions



Employees in Paperless/Server-Based Workforce Can't Get Anything Done



Data Corruption or Loss Nearly 1 in 2 small business (2-20 employees) have endured data loss



No Sales =
Unhappy Customers

Cisco technical services: their value to you

Attaching Cisco technical services to every sale is a smart way to do business for many reasons. It can help you:

  • Grow your profits by qualifying for higher discounts and cash rebates—and position your business to sell high-margin professional services.
  • Offer customers an easy, agile service delivery model, ensuring they get timely RMAs when needed—and easing your concerns about the costly investments involved in building an in-house services practice and carrying a large inventory of spares.
  • Retire sales quota faster by growing transaction value with every service you attach.
  • Create an easy annuity revenue stream.
  • Open doors to higher sales volumes and larger transactions.
  • Use financing from Cisco Capital to help your customers afford new services.
  • Offer attractive pricing by taking advantage of Cisco incentives and promotions.
  • Protect your customers and strengthen loyalty by ensuring their networking stability and reducing risks.
  • Create a recurring revenue stream to improve cash flow.

Sell smarter with the Ingram Micro connection.

Ingram Micro helps you make the most out of your services sales. We function as your liaison with the Cisco Services team and work with you on an ongoing basis to ensure you’re matching services to your customers’ needs. We also help you maximize your sales potential to ensure you’re leveraging Cisco Services to the best strategic advantage. We created this playbook to offer the insights you need to sell services smarter because we’re committed to helping you grow your services business.

What exactly is Cisco Smart Net Total Care?

Cisco Smart Net Total Care, part of Cisco's technical services portfolio, combines Cisco's industry-leading and award-winning technical services with an extra level of actionable business intelligence. It’s designed to help customers lower support costs and improve efficiencies and network availability.

Through the smart capabilities in the Smart Net Total Care portal, customers receive:

  • Access to specialized engineers in the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
  • Award-winning online resources
  • The latest software upgrades
  • Up to 2-hour advance hardware replacement options, available 24 hours a day

Service vs. warranty—and why offering a service contract is definitely the way to go.


Service vs. warranty—and why offering a service contract is definitely the way to go

Your customers may not understand the difference between the two. But they need to know that a warranty does not provide adequate coverage to help them realize the full value of their IT investments.

Warranties simply guarantee the integrity of the product and offer the assurance that Cisco will replace or repair it if there’s a defect. It does not address issues relating to the proper operation of devices or systems.

A service contract is the best option to enable your customers to succeed long-term with their technology. Without one they’ll have to pay high transaction fees and wait longer for delivery of replacement parts (if they do not self-spare). And they won’t have the benefit of 24-hour access to the Cisco technical experts who can help to rapidly resolve network problems and keep software current—or access to the knowledge base.

In short, service contracts enhance your customers’ overall IT experience — and provide rapid response to problems that can affect network availability and reliability. By relying on a warranty alone, your customers’ businesses will hemorrhage hard-earned dollars in the event of a network outage—a scenario they can’t afford.



Overcoming customers’ objections

Customers often object to purchasing technical support services. Most of the time, this is because they do not understand the true value of the services to their business. Shown here are some common customer concerns and suggestions for how to respond to them. These are merely suggestions. Feel free to adjust your responses based on your customers’ specific circumstances.

But remember, it’s easier to sell service early in the sales process.

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“We should wait to order services until the warranty expires or rely on the limited lifetime warranty when available.”


If the issue isn’t a defective part, warranty will not provide the coverage your customer needs. Customers may have to pay high transactional fees and wait longer for delivery of replacement parts.

Your customer will not have:

  • 24-hour access to the Cisco technical experts who can help rapidly resolve network problems.
  • Access to software upgrades and updates to keep software current.
  • Access to the knowledge base and personal support.


“I need a delayed start date and delayed billing.”


  • Cisco Services now offers a flexible start date option for customers.
  • Relying on the warranty until equipment is deployed is risky. Network downtime usually exceeds the savings from doing this.
  • Be aware: 95% of TAC service requests relate to issues other than the equipment failure that warranty covers.
  • If the real issue is cost, Cisco Capital can help.


“I need to wait until the equipment ships so I can get the serial numbers before ordering services.”


Attaching service at the point of sale automatically allocates the serial numbers to the service contracts.


“I can’t afford to purchase services and equipment at the same time.”


If cash flow is the issue, Cisco Capital provides low monthly payments and can generate two separate invoices, one for equipment and one for services. You can still attach services at the point of sale using the Ordering Tool.


“Sparing is more cost-effective than buying a service contract.”


  • Sparing does not save customers money. Effective sparing requires a large investment in a system, security and in-house experts.
  • In the event customers need support on uncovered equipment, the Cisco TAC charges $400 per hour for time and materials.
  • Customers also expose themselves by being out of legal compliance with Cisco software licensing policies and may be denied access to patches and upgrades.


“I buy services in regular sweeps or true-ups and don’t need to change.”


  • Cisco continually makes its entitlement processes more robust. A service contract is the only way to ensure network coverage.
  • Very few customers are eligible for a sweep process. Sweeps can also result in delayed service and parts delivery when equipment is not registered as covered.


“I always get support from the Cisco TAC or sales engineer.”


  • Cisco continues to make its entitlement processes more robust. A service contract is the only want to ensure network coverage.
  • Customers must supply a valid service contract number and serial number to receive support. Without these, expect to experience significant delays while the TAC verifies entitlement.


Attaching the right service


Selling multiyear service contracts

Multiyear service agreements, which typically last three years, benefit both you and your customers.

They help your customers:

  • Lock in prices
  • Receive continuous support coverage
  • Take advantage of discounts and financial incentives
  • Better manage operating expenses
  • Improve cash flow
  • Reduce time spent renewing service contracts

Selling them helps you:

  • Expand the total revenue per customer
  • Have opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell
  • Extend your relationship beyond the product purchase

Cisco Software Support

Cisco Software Support consists of Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS), Software Application Support (SAS) and Software Application Support Plus Upgrades (SASU). It's a subscription-based offering that provides comprehensive coverage for software application products and suites.

Cisco Solution Support

Watch how Cisco Solution Support services can provide a single point of contact for all your service contracts—on most devices from most leading vendors.

With Cisco Solution Support, whatever the technical issue, you get centralized support from Cisco’s solution experts, who own your case from the first call to resolution. Even complex issues can be resolved on average 43% faster than with product support alone.

Cisco partners with leading vendors—Apple, BMC Software, Citrix, Dell EMC, IBM, McAfee, Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, Red Hat, VMware and others—to offer a broad range of product support.

Cisco Solution Support can also help increase the size of your deals and recurring revenue—and improve customer satisfaction. Learn how:

Cisco Solution Support

Partner Sales Acceleration: Solution Support Services (login required)

Cisco Solution Support at a Glance (download)

Cisco Solution Support infographic (download)

View your installed base at a glance

With the customizable Smart Net Total Care portal, you can view support information for your customers when and how you want to. It’s an easy, efficient way to access critical device, contract and alerts data.

Hover over below to explore what’s available.

See how the Cisco Smart Net Total Care Collector offers the visibility to proactively support your customers’ infrastructure.

Smart Assist

Consultative service to enable and support Smart Capabilities


  • Accelerate the time to deploy and use smart capabilities
  • Achieve the full value of your smart services investment
  • Make better-informed decisions

Key features

  • Onboarding assistance to set collection tools, establish portal access and provide training to enable smart capabilities
  • Twice-per-year product inventory collection and installed base reconciliation
  • Technical support for the portal and collections through the TAC
  • Assistance to make sure smart capabilities are adopted for maximum benefit

Using cotermination to lock in revenue streams

Cotermination means arranging for all service contracts to be renewed at the same time. It’s designed to reduce the time account managers and customers spend negotiating contract renewals.

Cotermination benefits you by:

  • Reducing sales costs
  • Simplifying administration and tracking of contracts
  • Increasing renewal rate closures — and gaining more revenue
  • Creating opportunities for strategic conversations about the value of your customer’s network, which may require product migration and/or network optimization services.

Quoting and ordering Cisco Services through Ingram Micro

The Ingram Micro team is here to make the process easy and seamless for you. We’ll start by helping you figure out which Cisco services will best address your customers’ needs. Then we’ll manage the quoting, ordering and contracts for you—always making sure you and your customers are getting the most value from your service options.



Don't underestimate the value of renewals

The renewals process is an important time to emphasize the value and return on investment that services provide to your customer’s business:

Service contract renewals offer several key benefits:

  • Lowering the total cost of network ownership
  • Improving operational agility
  • Speeding access to applications and services
  • Increasing network availability, reliability and security

Service contract renewals are important to your business because they:

  • Help build a predictable and renewable revenue stream
  • Provide a platform for you to build on the customer relationship
  • Open up the opportunity for additional equipment and service sales
  • Help increase customer satisfaction and retention by protecting and optimizing customers’ networks
  • Provide additional opportunities to develop your strategic role as part of the customer’s team

Pursuing renewal opportunities with your existing customers enables you to re-engage and keep informed about their business challenges, uncover service opportunities, and position yourself as a trusted advisor.

Low attach and renewal rates lose product sales

Let’s say, you attach service on 60% of products sold in year 1.

With a 70% annual renewal rate, you know less about the products on your customer’s network every year. That’s because each year, fewer products will have a technical service contract.

After five years, all of the products you sold in year 1 are reaching end of life.

But now, you only have details about 15% of the products you sold. The rest are invisible.

So, how can you advise your customer on which products need replacing, where they are on the network or the risk they may pose to the business?

Without service, you expose your customer to competitive threats.

Increase profits with high attach and renewals

When service attach and renew rates are low, you lose an easy and predicable annuity revenue stream.

The grey arrows in the diagram show how more profit is lost every year. You can capture these lost profits by increasing your attach and renew rates—and start selling higher margin services by creating an efficient professional services practice.


Renewals and rebates

The Cisco Services Partner Program provides resellers the opportunity to earn quarterly rebates based on attaining sales performance metrics, including:

  • rebates based on attach and renew rates
  • incremental rebate for Premium Services sales

Streamline service sales and renewals with CCW-R

Cisco Commerce Workspace Renewals (CCW-R) makes it easier than ever to generate quotes and order new or renewal services and software subscriptions—and even create service contracts. Through a single portal, part of the Cisco Commerce platform, you can do all this and more—quickly and accurately. Partners who have already used CCW-R report time savings of 30% to 40% with far fewer errors.

CCW-R eliminates many of the challenges long associated with renewing services and software—including complex quoting processes, lengthy error resolution processes and multiple platforms. All of which translates into greater productivity—and more time to spend on selling and growing your business.

Services renewals by the numbers

Here are some statistics that underscore the value of services renewals.


of Cisco resellers' overall profit comes from services.


the average number of times a Cisco Services contract is renewed.


of Cisco resellers receive quarterly rebates for achieving pre-defined attach and renewal rates.


of annual customer revenue is lost due to network downtime.



If you have specific questions about Cisco Services or would like to learn more, contact us.

To schedule a services consultation, complete the form below.