Tech Data Adds SMARTattach Tool for Cisco Resellers

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

Tech Data’s latest e-business tool allows Cisco solution providers to quickly and easily attach services to customers’ hardware purchases to generate ongoing services revenue.

Tech Data’s SMARTattach is the latest in the distributor’s online toolset, and allows Cisco resellers a quick, efficient way to add services to customers’ hardware purchases.

The SMARTattach tool, developed in-house by Tech Data, allows Cisco solution providers to purchase Cisco products online and attach the vendor’s SMARTnet service agreements at the same time.

SmartNet is Cisco’s services warranty offering that allows resellers and their end customers to receive maintenance services and support around the equipment, says Chuck Bartlett, vice president, networking product marketing, Tech Data.

That makes it easier for resellers to accurately quote and purchase Cisco solutions covered by the manufacturer’s technical support services, says Bartlett.

Before the SMARTattach tool was introduced, resellers had to go through a complicated, manual process to add services coverage to hardware purchases, which took up valuable time and often resulted in errors, Bartlett said.

"In the past, if a reseller purchased from us, they couldn’t enter the hardware and services at the same time," he says. "The process was pretty complex, and often times mistakes were made that affected customers’ coverage," Bartlett says.

Solution providers first had to purchase hardware, then go through a separate ordering, processing and activation process for SMARTnet service agreements after the hardware shipped. Since the services were different for each hardware product serial number, solution providers had to enter serial numbers and quotes separately. If the numbers weren’t correct, customers ended up without services coverage on their hardware.

The new SMARTattach tool, available to Cisco resellers through Tech Data’s Cisco Solutions Center, "streamlines the process to a series of mouse clicks at the point of hardware purchase," says Bartlett.

Bartlett says the feedback from Cisco and Tech Data’s Cisco solution providers has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Our VARs wanted us to make the process not only quicker but less complex, to eliminate the risk of data entry errors or even solution providers forgetting to buy the services," he says. Cisco agreed that a tool to streamline the services ordering process would go a long way toward ensuring solution providers could generate extra revenue on services and warranty contracts, Bartlett said.

The SMARTattach tool also ties into Tech Data’s MyLeadTracker tool, which tracks solution providers services contracts and notifies them when contracts are up for renewal. This tool has been a valuable asset for solution providers to generate recurring revenue through services renewals, says Bartlett.

"The SMARTattach tool automatically feeds information into MyLeadTracker, and the moment [services contracts] come up for renewal, resellers can be notified and can make a new sale," he says.


Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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