Customer Portal


Frequently Asked Questions

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead"- Aristotle



 Q. What is Smart Net?

A. Cisco’s brand of award-winning maintenance and technical support option for all Cisco devices that includes:

  • 24-hour access to Cisco TAC (technical assistance center)
  • Unrestricted access to extensive knowledge base and tools
  • Hardware replacement when necessary within a selected delivery time (2-hour, 4-hour, Next Business Day)
  • Ongoing operating system software (IOS) updates within the licensed feature set

What is Hybrid Maintenance?

A.  A strategic blend of Original Equipment Manufacturer maintenance (OEM) and Third Party Maintenance (TPM).


Q. What is Third Party maintenance?

A. TPM is maintenance on networking equipment and storage that is independent of the OEM. TPM providers typically have no formal affiliation with the OEM, but instead operate in the best interests of the hardware owner, often permitting hardware life cycle extension strategies and dramatic reductions to support costs. Successful third-party partnerships are typically measured by inventory availability and level of experience and skill set of certified technicians.


Q. What is Tredent’s Hybrid Maintenance for Cisco?

A. A safe, fiscally sound approach to network maintenance that preserves the coverage integrity of all Cisco devices on the network by strategically blending coverage options of Cisco Smart Net and Tredent's TDS-NetCare ensuring that all devices have access to available software updates, bug fixes, security vulnerabilities, hardware replacement, and telephone technical support with engineers from either Cisco TAC and/or Tredent.


Q. How long has Tredent been providing Third Party Maintenance solutions?

A. Tredent has been providing Third Party Maintenance (TPM) for over 20+ years.


Q. What type of SLAs does Tredent offer on Cisco equipment?
A. Tredent offers 24x7x4, 8x5xNBD, as well as On-Site sparing. 


Q.  Does a Hybrid Maintenance solution apply to equipment that has reached End of Life (EOL) by Cisco?

A. Absolutely! This is typically the BEST reason to choose Hybrid Maintenance. The government can extend the life of existing equipment and put off costly Cisco network refreshes.


Q. Can Tredent provide software patches and updates?

A. Software patches and upgrades are the intellectual property of the OEM. We recommend TDS-NetCare coverage when software updates are offered FREE by the OEM, or software updates are no longer available {End of Software Maintenance (EoSW)}


Q. What is Cisco “End of Software Maintenance” (EoSW)?

A. As stated by Cisco “The last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering will no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software


Q. When TDS-NetCare Covered Cisco devices are entitled to Free Software Updates, what updates are included?

A. Devices entitled to Free Software Updates are entitled to all updates as defined by Cisco, “Update means Cisco Software Maintenance Released, Minor Releases and Major Releases”. That means ALL the updates that Cisco provides, Major, Minor and Maintenance.


Q. When TDS-NetCare supported devices are entitled to Free Software Updates, are Bug Fixes and Security Vulnerabilities free too?

A. Yes, as the Cisco Free Update policies state “Free Updates: For vulnerability and security bugs as long as the original customer continues to own or use the product, or up to 3 years from the end-of-sale date for this product, whichever occurs earlier


Q. When TDS-NetCare supported Cisco devices are EoSW are Security Vulnerabilities free too?

A. Yes, “all customers, regardless of contract status, receive free incident response assistance, similar to that offered to contract customers, for any incident that involves a known or reasonably suspected security vulnerability in a Cisco product.


Q. What kind of customer satisfaction guarantee do you offer?

A.  Customer satisfaction is our TOP PRIORITY. We offer a "no questions asked" money back guarantee for the remaining months of the agreement, if for any reason the customer is unhappy with our solution on ALL Tredent supported devices.

Q. Who takes the support calls with a Hybrid Solution?

A. Tredent will handle all the support calls on all the equipment, even devices covered with Cisco Smart Net. If Cisco needs to be contacted, Tredent will connect the call with Cisco TAC in a much timelier fashion. Of course, if a device is covered by Smart Net you can always call Cisco directly.


Q. What kind of savings can a Hybrid Approach offer the Federal Government?

A.  Depending on the devices, Agencies can save well over 40% off their current Smart Net costs.


Q. What are Tredent’s Hybrid Maintenance for Cisco coverage recommendations?

  • Smart Net on devices that require Smart Net for Software Updates
  • Tredent TDS-NetCare on devices entitled to Free Software Updates under Cisco Policy
  • Tredent TDS-NetCare on devices that no longer receive software updates from Cisco (devices are EoSW)
  • Tredent TDS-NetCare on devices that are Cisco End of Life (EOL)