Cisco plans to deliver advanced services in Asia

Aiming to help its clients take full advantage of their networks, Cisco Systems last week unveiled its new service support model in Asia Pacific.

The new service support model will provide onsite services through Cisco's staff and partners covering the entire network lifecycle, which starts from the preparation, planning and design to implementation, operation and optimization of the network, said Thomas Lam, vice president, customer advocacy, Asia Pacific.

"The major difference of the new model is that we won't sell products," said Lam. "We will focus on the delivery of business needs."

Lam added that Cisco focuses on delivering business needs and offers advanced services that transcend technical support to help solve business problems through forecasting network needs for enterprises.

Under the new model, the advanced services group will provide consulting services during the early planning stages of network development, said Cisco. The team will plan and design the network to ensure its architecture fits well with business strategies, noted Bill Chang, managing director, advanced services group.

Apart from planning, Chang noted their service also includes a security posture assessment service (SPA), which evaluates, tests and "hacks" the networks to locate and resolve security vulnerabilities.

The team is currently working mainly with service providers, but will also work with partners to provide the new Cisco services to enterprises. Chang said the company does not have a formal partnership program, but will work with different network integrators and IT consultants to provide guidelines and technical support on network design.

The company's previous support model focused on partner-enabled services and operational assistance, said Lam.

Technical support service previously focused on Web site support, software upgrades, and hardware replacement as well as Cisco's technical assistance centers (TACs), said Karen McFadzen, senior director, technical services, Asia-Pacific.

Available since 1995, Cisco's four TACs -- based in Brussels, Sydney, and the U.S. cities of San Jose and Raleigh -- provide technical support to global clients around the clock, she added.

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