Troubleshooting is an interactive process

I believe that everyone who ever has a connection with Cisco whether it is business or personal knows TAC. This team provides post-sales technical support for customers who have bought it.

I was once working in a regional ISP and responsible for a range of technical problems. Our department always had a lot of problems that would have been procrastinated, and of course, we thought that they all were Cisco problems’. After years, I have realized what were the reasons behind these in retrospect. And this is what I want to talk about.

There is no doubt that you could blame for Cisco support services or even threat the account manager for “better” support. But the reality, at least in China, is that some clients are presumptuous for what they are capable or have misunderstood what trouble shootings like in network industry. I’ve experienced some bully manager talked about they don’t need any Cisco technical services just because they had half dozen of CCIE in dinner. I don’t want to discuss the fast-food-like CCIEs processes in China and assume they are all well-trained. What they have learnt or what they could obtain is far away from the Cisco internal engineers. Not to mention they have experience problems in various ways. I know Cisco has published a lot of documents on the website for the public about technologies and products, and some are still for internal without a question. I totally agree having highly professionals engineers is absolute good for the company, but I don’t think CCIEs can really cope with deep problems without certain resources. I can tell you the pressure for that manager was not easy, so remember to include the service money in your anniversary budgets.

Another kind was totally different from the previous one. They had Cisco services they needed and hired some so-called network engineers. When alarms popped up, the engineers threw the problems by opening cases without any detail or future responses. Let’s assume they don’t care about the money, on-site support is their requirement. How about the time? An opening case with P1 means emergency, 2 hours is reasonable for any support engineer to come if he doesn’t, fortunately, live around your company. For most cases, online support is the fastest and capable way for you, if you don’t want to leave your boss a negative impression, try to communicate with TAC by website response, email or a phone call.

IMO, most of the hard cases are human problems — don’t want to/know how to give the detail information, misconfigured, etc. When there is the problem in your network, go through the standard process and actively interact with support engineer is best for solving it.