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Networking specialist Westcon Group, Inc. is rolling out its Cisco Smart Care Service to selected U.S. VARs, following a successful program debut in Europe where it was launched last August and now has more than 300 participating solution providers. Restricted initially to Cisco-certified SMB resellers, the service is designed to help SMBs simplify network maintenance through regular, proactive network assessments, remote software repairs and technical support delivered via a single maintenance customer service contract.

According to the distributor, this collaborative service is intended to enable VARs to develop and brand a distinctive service and support capability with network level support to help foster long-term, strategic relationships with end-user customers. As part of the initiative, Westcon and Cisco have planned a series of in-person and online training opportunities in the U.S. and in Canada over the next couple of months.

The distributor has very high expectations for the program, said Chris Fender, director of service sales, Westcon Group North America. "We are expecting great results with Smart Care and are going to aggressively position this as a primary service offer that our partners should consider". We are helping them create a differentiated value proposition around customized services, he said, and resellers who evolve their capabilities and embrace services offerings such as Smart Care can see higher margins and repeatable revenue. It can also lead to stronger — stickier — relationships with their customers. 

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