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Cisco Support Services Deliver a Modern Collaboration Experience Solution Overview

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Updated:February 17, 2020

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    (663.1 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:February 17, 2020



Collaboration can play a central role in business transformation, but it can also bring new challenges as your business and technology evolve. Whether you are migrating a legacy conferencing solution or creating a new video environment for your employees, realizing the full value of your investment will require ongoing technical, product, and change management skills.

Cisco offers a comprehensive portfolio of support services that provide a unified, consistent support experience for your entire solution and help ensure you get the results you expect. No matter where you are in your transformation journey or what your goals are for collaboration, we can help you achieve them faster, with lower costs and risk. We offer three levels of service:

     Solution Support provides a streamlined experience for users and administrators that protects your investment and helps you resolve issues more quickly.

     Software Support Enhanced includes everything in Solution Support, plus personalized, proactive guidance to help accelerate your business outcomes.

     Software Support Premium combines everything in the first two levels, along with a Cisco® expert working as an extension of your IT team, so you can optimize your business and innovate with less risk.


     Improve uptime and availability of your collaboration tools: As collaboration becomes more crucial to your business, the cost of downtime grows. With dedicated support from Cisco, you can help ensure your solution is there when users need it.

     Increase the productivity and efficiency of your internal teams: Cisco shoulders the burden of supporting a multivendor collaboration ecosystem, as well as supporting end users, so your teams can direct time and resources to more strategic priorities.

     Deliver an outstanding collaboration experience: Cisco’s dedicated help desk gives your users friendly, expert technical and nontechnical assistance whenever they need it.

     Accelerate time to value of your investments: Cisco can help you identify and overcome the barriers preventing you from achieving your goals through regular business and technical reviews.

     Capitalize on cloud speed and agility: As you transform your business and move more collaboration to the cloud, software and features can change all the time. Business consultations from experts who know your business and technology can help you take advantage of them.

     Innovate with confidence: With Cisco technical experts standing by you, you can launch new collaboration initiatives, embrace new cloud models, and extend state-of-the-art collaboration everywhere in your business—more successfully, with far less risk.

Trends and challenges

Workplace transformation can deliver amazing benefits, and next-generation collaboration solutions can play a central role in helping you realize them. But, like any new technology expansion, collaboration can create new challenges, especially as you move toward hybrid models and the cloud.

Collaboration involves multiple products and real-time services working together, sometimes from multiple vendors. Now, as you shift from legacy to cloud-based solutions, you need the ability to support:

     Mixed environments that include older technologies in certain areas, sometimes from multiple vendors, that need to integrate seamlessly with each other and with newer cloud services.

     A new and different user experience—especially with more frequent cloud software updates—that can lead to overwhelmed employees.

     A more dynamic application environment where collaboration and business applications, and the knowledge and processes needed to support them, can change all the time.

If you don’t have those resources in place—or if you just prefer to invest in more strategic areas of the business, instead of supporting collaboration—Cisco can help.

Trends and challenges


Choose from three levels of service to get the right level of support and personalization for your business: Solution Support, Software Support Enhanced, and Software Support Premium. Each level builds on the previous one, providing more proactive capabilities and personalization as you move up.

Table 1 aligns the key features to each level of service

Table 1.           Service level features


Support Services for Collaboration

Key features

Solution Support1

Software Support Enhanced

Software Support Premium

Dedicated help desk for users2 and administrators3

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Dedicated Solution Support team3

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Multivendor support coordination4

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Restoration time objective for severity 1 and 2 incidents5



6 hours, 12 hours

Business and technical reviews




Assistance and guidance

Technical Enablement

Lifecycle Enablement

Lifecycle Enablement

Business consultations from experts




Cisco technical experts serve as trusted advisors



Designated or dedicated6

Personalized support experience



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Escalation and management for severity 1 and 2 incidents



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Proactive monitoring and troubleshooting5



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1Includes all Solution Support features
2End-user support is for cloud collaboration products
3For the collaboration support service
4For Solution Support Alliance partners only
5On-premises software only
6Depends on customer size

Note:      Software Support Basic comes with your subscription and includes technical support and software updates.

Feature descriptions

Dedicated help desk for users and administrators

     When end users have technical or nontechnical questions, friendly, knowledgeable agents at the Solution Support help desk can resolve their issues, so your own team doesn’t have to.

     Administrators can also call the help desk for assistance in diagnosing and triaging a problem. We have an open-door policy—you don’t have to know which product or service is causing the issue.

Dedicated Solution Support team

     When you open a case, a Cisco engineer becomes your primary point of contact to help you solve the issue. These engineers focus exclusively on Cisco collaboration and are trained to solve complex issues in multi-product and multivendor ecosystems.

     When you contact this team, they own your case until it’s resolved. This offloads a huge burden from your IT team and helps you resolve problems much more quickly—44 percent faster than with product support alone.1

Multivendor Support coordination

     If an issue involves multiple Cisco products or Cisco and Solution Support Alliance Partner products, Cisco acts as your primary point of contact during the entire multivendor support effort, including communicating with third-party partner support organizations, so your team doesn’t have to.

Restoration time objectives for severity 1 and 2 incidents (Premium)

When you have an urgent issue that is disrupting your on-premises solutions, we work to bring your solution back to usability within six hours for severity-1 incidents and within 12 hours for severity-2 incidents.

Business and technical reviews

     Through ongoing Business Reviews, we help you identify areas where you’re struggling or could benefit from extra help. We then recommend consultations to help you meet your goals.

     We also provide Technical Reviews of your product usage, case analytics, and trends, offer recommendations and guidance, as well as help you prepare for new features and enhancements.

     Frequency of reviews depends on your level of service: semi-annually (Solution Support), quarterly (Enhanced), or monthly (Premium).

Assistance and guidance

     Based on recommendations from your business and technical reviews, Cisco experts will offer advice, best practices, how-tos, and guided tutorials to help your team succeed.

     Each consultation will cover a topic that addresses technical enablement (Solution Support) or the full solution lifecycle (Enhanced and Premium). Subjects for technical enablement could include: product and feature review, transition planning, network readiness, and configuration assistance. Topics for managing the solution lifecycle could include: optimization, new feature deployment readiness, and performance management.

1 January 2019 Cisco internal study of 10,000 support cases

Business consultations from experts (Enhanced and Premium)

     As part of Software Support Enhanced, you get ongoing proactive guidance from expert collaboration consultants who have a holistic understanding of your unique solution, environment, and business.

     They work with you to identify business and technology barriers preventing you from making the most of your investments. They will then make recommendations for new assistance and guidance consultations (quarterly for Enhanced, monthly for Premium) to help you succeed.

Cisco technical experts who serve as trusted advisors (Premium)

With Software Support Premium, you’re assigned a skilled Cisco technical expert who functions as an extension of your IT team. These designated or dedicated experts pair in-depth collaboration expertise with deep knowledge of your unique deployment, environment, processes, and operations. It’s like having a high-level Cisco product expert and consulting engineer on staff. They participate in your ongoing reviews and consultations, and work hand in hand with your team to help ensure that your collaboration technology continually advances your business.

Personalized support experience (Premium)

When you have an issue, your Cisco expert can provide context and guidance to the Solution Support team on your behalf and work with them to help resolve the issue more quickly.

Escalation and incident management for severity 1 and 2 incidents (Premium)

     For the most severe issues, a dedicated incident escalation manager takes responsibility for assembling the right team to fix the problem and get you back up and running.

     This specialist serves as your single point of contact throughout the incident. They update executives, IT teams, and other business leaders, and they own the issue until it’s resolved.

Proactive monitoring and troubleshooting (Premium)

     We provide additional monitoring, troubleshooting, and real-time alarming for your on-premises collaboration software to identify trends and potential issues.

     If we identify a problematic ongoing trend, we bring it to your team’s attention to jointly work through it and prevent it from becoming a more serious and disruptive problem.

How it works

With different levels of service to choose from, you can get the right level of support and personalization you need to help ensure the success of your transformation initiatives. No matter how many components make up your Cisco collaboration solution, no matter where you are in your transformation journey, you get a unified, consistent support experience.

Support Services for Collaboration covers:

How it works

1 Software Support Enhanced and Premium are not available for devices.

The Cisco Advantage

IDC, a leading provider of global IT research and advice, conducted a business value analysis with global customers that are using Cisco Solution Support. The report found that these Cisco customers will achieve the following savings over five years:

     17 percent lower five-year cost of operations in hardware environments

     213 percent five-year service ROI

     9 percent lower IT hardware costs

     32 percent more efficient management of environments

     21 percent fewer issues requiring response

Read the IDC executive summary to learn more and see how your organization can benefit.

Source: IDC Business Value Analysis of Cisco Services, December 2017.

Use cases

Table 2 outlines common use cases for Cisco Support Services.

Table 2.           Support Services use cases


Typical scenarios where we can help


  Moving from legacy phones to Voice over IP (VoIP) and increasing use of video. You want the transition to go smoothly, with the goal of using these solutions to reduce operating expenses.
  Migrating a legacy collaboration solution deployed on premises to a cloud solution. You would like to provide a seamless experience for your users with minimal business disruptions.
  Enabling cognitive collaboration and refreshing, expanding, and standardizing on the user experience.
  Introducing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to your workloads.
  Optimizing your business by increasing software utilization.


  Preparing your help desk for feature changes in cloud solutions so they can efficiently and accurately support end users.

Case study


Management created a vision for how employees and customers could work more effectively together

One multinational pharmaceutical company provides 24-hour daily support to hospitals and doctors who purchase medications for their patients. Their collaboration infrastructure is critical to ensuring that the company’s supply chain can continually meet the needs of patients, as well as providing reliable service to customers around the globe. With help from Cisco Support Services, the company’s Cisco collaboration solutions were up to the task. The company overcame operational challenges, improved infrastructure health, and helped make sure users everywhere could benefit from the latest software innovations.

Customer challenges

     Improve network to support video-based meetings

     Standardize productivity tools and software

     Transition to new headquarters and data centers

Cisco solution

     Cisco Contact Center

     Cisco IP Telephony

     Cisco Telepresence

     Cisco Software Support Enhanced

Business outcomes

     Increased employee engagement score to 69 percent, reflecting improved communications and collaboration across the company—this was a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for measuring company performance

     Enabled a higher-performing video experience between different sites and a 45-percent increase in the use of VoIP devices

     Standardized tools and software versions eased help-desk support and improved user experience

Call to action

Do you want to increase the efficiency of your employees as they use their collaboration tools? Would your IT help desk and support teams benefit from advice and recommendations made by Cisco experts, who know your environment and can minimize your risks, as your organization takes on new initiatives? Cisco Support Services for Collaboration provides a fast, easy way for you to realize the benefits of collaboration in your organization and accelerate your business transformation. For additional information, visit the Software Support or Solution Support websites.

How to buy

To view buying options and speak with a Cisco sales representative, visit https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/buy.

Learn more