SBSC support vs TAC support

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Feb 21st, 2010
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Could somone help us understand the real difference between SBC support vs TAC support. UC520 is the only product that offers TAC support, while UC540 and UC560 offer SBSC support. What exactly is the differecne between two, does SBSC not have the phone support? SBC is only Forums support? SBC is GUI only support? What are the pros/cons of going one verses the others, a one year TAC support for UC520 runs a little more than three years of a SBC support for UC540. I am sure there is something big that we are not understanding.Thanks

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Glenn Quesenberry Mon, 02/22/2010 - 14:30
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You are correct that the UC520 platform support is handled by the traditional Cisco TAC while the UC540 & UC560 platforms are handled by the Cisco Small Business Support Center (SBSC).  You do have phone support through the SBSC as well as the online Support Community for the UC540/UC560 platforms.  Details of this as well as access phone numbers can be found on the SBSC home page here.  SBSC support is mainly GUI and/or CCA driven support while the traditional Cisco TAC support is mainly CLI based support.  One of the largest differences is that the SBSC is staffed by support engineers focused solely on Cisco Small Business and Small Business Pro (UC540/UC560) products.

Best Regards,

pro4ianyc Wed, 03/31/2010 - 08:12
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If you have no need to go into the CLI and your setup is basic, then SBSC support is fine.. but once you start customizing the device and require advanced support, SBSC will not cut it..  I just had my first support call to SBSC support early this week and the experience was... interesting...

alfred.thyri Thu, 04/01/2010 - 05:57
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I do not use CCA at all, because of various reasons. Therefore it would be important to me, that CLI configs are supported via SBSC.

greenturtlesteak Thu, 04/01/2010 - 17:01
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CLI support is a big issue for me as well and I haven't been able to sell any UC540 or UC560 devices primarily for that reason. At this point I don't see Cisco adding CLI support to the Small Business Pro group, but I don't get why TAC support isn't an additional service option for some devices like the UC540 and UC560.  I know the products are going through a transition and this would really help to ease that along. 

Cisco, are there any plans to add TAC support for these systems?


alfred.thyri Thu, 04/01/2010 - 23:14
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Hi Cole,

I totally agree with you!!

The question is, what to do when the 520 goes EoL...


greenturtlesteak Fri, 04/02/2010 - 07:04
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It looks like the ESW or the 2960 series would be the way to go.  I haven't tried out the ESW switches yet, but it sounds like they will take care of the needs of most small businesses. For customers that need a higher level of support then the 2960 would be the best choice. The new 2960-S series switches look really cool too!


rjmiller8490 Fri, 04/02/2010 - 12:45
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Not sure what SBSC support is... I have not had any contact with UC-540/560 as of yet.  My only support calls have been related to the UC-520's with TAC.  TAC is not terribly impressive to date.  Based on problem... assigned to a "switch guy" "telecom guy" "security guy" and each one screws up what the previous did.  Is the SBSC support provided as part of SmartNet?

Anything other than TAC could be refreshing.


greenturtlesteak Fri, 04/02/2010 - 13:14
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SBCS support is not a part of SMARTnet service. SMARTnet service contracts entitle you to TAC access.  SBCS is for the newer small business products from Cisco and the support is restricted to the CCA GUI.

I have been in the business for a while and have worked with many different technical support groups for a lot of different technologies (IBM, HP, Dell, 3com, Juniper, etc...) and in my opinion there is no comparison between TAC and anyone else. Whenever I have to contact tech support I usually cringe at the thought of what kind of idiot I might get on the other end. Never with TAC though.

I understand your statement about the different groups within TAC, which can be a pain if you aren't positive about what technology you need expertise in. If there is an overlap in technologies then another expert can be brought in to assist troubleshooting.

I am curious as to how many cases the Small Business Pro team has to refer to TAC when CCA doesn't allow for enough in depth troubleshooting.


alfred.thyri Sat, 04/03/2010 - 09:57
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Does anyone know some official information about CLI support via SBSC?

Is it possible to escalate a support case to TAC?


Alberto Montilla Sun, 04/04/2010 - 06:09
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Dear Alfred;

SBSC offers support for UC540/560 based on the Small Business Pro service. It includes support for the full configuration, no matter whether it is CCA or CLI based. However SBSC always try to enforce CCA is used as it provides a consistent mean to install, configure and maintain the solution.

We however understand there are some configurations where CLI is required, then you will get support for those as well. In addition, the team will always provide guidance to use CCA-compatible CLI.

Hope this answers your question

Alberto Montilla

Product Manager, Unified Communications

My experience with SBSC support has been not good at all.  I called 3 or 4 times now.  They make me wait on the phone for up to an hour while they look through knowledge base articles.  They never offered to check out my system via Webex or any other method.  They do not ask for my running configuration.  All 3 problems ended up unresolved.  TAC is a million times better.  They seem more eager to resolve the problem.  SBSC support does not seem to care if your problem is resolved.  If they do not have a knowledge base article on it, you are out of luck.  The first time I called SBSC support, the made me wait on hold for an hour, then said they had to do more research.  I did not hear anything back for a week until I got an email saying they closed the case.  I am not nearly as confident working with the UC540 as I am the UC520.

We are fairly new to selling and installing the UC500 products.  We have about 15 installs in 2 years.  I have not done one install where I did not have to go to the CLI for custom configuration.   Thanks to this community website and TAC I was able to make it all happen.  I am not so sure how things with go with SBSC support.

CameronDenmon Thu, 04/15/2010 - 14:57
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Small buisness support has been nothing but problems. Picked up a new client with a Pix to Pix VPN. Purchased a SA520W thinking I could expect the same level of service as with a ASA device. That was definatly not the case. After being transfered from Tac (started there not knowing i could only use SBSC) to SBSC I have since been transfered 3 times between techs, asked for the same 2 files by all three and continue to get no email before getting transfered (because they keep sending the email to my personal email after being told not to use it). So far its been an open case since 3/24/10. I am not happy with the level of support given by SBSC at all. The last tech called and left a message saying he would email me immdiatly after after a couple hours I emailed him back at the address he left in the message. After emailing him and the other 3 techs I finaly got another phone call... with no new help or information if I could even migrate from the PIX to the SA device. I have never had this kind of issue with TAC. The last tech's phone call indicated I should try the VPN wizard, the client is not going to stomach there site being down again unless we are 100% sure.

Alberto Montilla Thu, 04/15/2010 - 15:07
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Dear Cameron;

Can you please send me via private message your case number? I would like to follow up on the reasoning for the delay, is your case still open?

Regards, and thanks for the open feedback.


CameronDenmon Thu, 05/13/2010 - 09:17
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I have followed up with you and with ALL the current and prior techs over a month ago and no one has gotten back with any information on migrating a PIX config to an SA-520w.

glanders Thu, 05/13/2010 - 15:54
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I'll leave the technical piece to Alberto, I forwarded him your case number and notes. One useful tip. Your emails are general going to your personal email since that is what is associated with your CCO ID. Many of the tools the engineers use, pull the data from your profile. They can certainly over-ride this, but a step that can be missed or not highlited in the case notes. Your CCO ID should have your primary contact methods in it.

alfred.thyri Tue, 04/06/2010 - 05:32
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Hi Alberto,

Thanks for your answer.

I don't use CCA at all, as already mentioned, do I have to make a CCA compatible configuration before opening a SBSC case?

Do you have some official documents for reference?

kind regards,

Alfred Thyri

CameronDenmon Thu, 06/10/2010 - 15:04
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I send this information the day you left the above message. I have not gotten any help on this issue. The problem still exists, the system is running on the old pix and no further assistance has been given. This is a good example of SBSC support?

Case opened 3/24/10

Today 6/10/10


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