Cisco and IBM have expanded their Global Services Alliance and their collaboration to provide product maintenance services for mutual enterprise customers in 46 new countries, including South Africa.

This collaboration builds on the success that IBM and Cisco have seen within the US and means that IBM customers who purchase Cisco networking technology solutions will now get a globally consistent level of IT infrastructure support.
The collaboration includes IBM’s extensive service-delivery capabilities and Cisco’s technical expertise in one integrated support offering.
“This is a significant evolution in our Global Services Alliance,” says Karl Meulema vice president, Cisco services marketing and channels. “Providing a collaborative maintenance service offering means our mutual customers will no longer need to choose between Cisco networking skills or IBM multivendor systems integrator capabilities. Instead customers get the collective expertise of both companies, combining the best of both worlds.”
Robert Kritzer, vice-president, IBM-Cisco Strategic Alliance at IBM Global Technology Services, adds: “We have been working together on these service offerings in the United States for the past three years and are excited to offer a broader global customer experience by expanding our efforts into additional markets around the world.
"Our relationship with Cisco allows us to provide our customers with a single resource to seamlessly and rapidly integrate business processes, industry knowledge, information technologies and the intelligence of the network.”
IBM will market and sell this services offering under the name “IBM managed maintenance solution for Cisco products,” while collaboratively delivering the service with Cisco.  IBM will provide the customer with consolidated call management for all networking devices and will retain responsibility for resolving customer issues. Technical support will be provided via IBM Technical Support Centres by highly experienced network specialists, trained by Cisco, who have access to IBM’s technical support resource base.
Cisco will provide, through IBM, such benefits as worldwide, 24×7 escalation to the Cisco Technical Assistance Centre, access to, ongoing operating system updates, advance hardware replacement, and tools and best practices to address network issues.