Back in 2004, the city of Modesto standardized its switching and routing network in order to update its key infrastructure, turning to Cisco Systems (News - Alert) to do so. This network has, since then, provided host connectivity to all city departments including data services such as telephone and telecom, video conferencing 911 dispatches, IVR, Wi-Fi, INET and Internet access.
The City Clerk's office formally opened up to bids for maintenance and support of the new network. One bid was received from Network Dynamics to provide Cisco SmartNet Maintenance for a three-year term.
Cisco SmartNet provides its customers with global 24-hour access to experts in the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as well as self-help support by way of online communities, resources and tools. SmartNet also includes full hardware replacement options with two-hour, four-hour and next business day cycles, operating system software updates, and smart proactive diagnostics and immediate alerts on devices enabled with Smart Call Home.
Although, the city of Modesto didn't receive a competing bid in this case, there are SmartNet alternatives available. For example, XS International, a provider of third party IT maintenance services for a broad range of networking equipment, advertises its maintenance service explicitly as an alternative to SmartNet.
XSi's maintenance alternative offers contract and payment flexibilities as well as simple contract management with all support offered under a single agreement even for multiple OEMs, multiple SLAs and global support. The company boasts this flexibility as one of its main differentiators from SmartNet, along with cost reductions "over Cisco's deepest discounts," and support for hardware and software beyond Cisco EOL/EOS.
Indeed, XSi recently announced full support for Juniper and Brocade offerings as well. The company's SmartNet alternative still supports over 60,000 Cisco-realted SKUs, however.
XSi even has its own TAC staffed with over 325 network engineers, offering 24/7 global phone support.
Edited by Ashley Caputo