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A2Q implications for customer-supported IPCC Enterprise

We implemented enterprise with centralized CVP for our first hospital coming up on a year ago.  Our very large reseller did the book of work and very little knowledge transfer actually occurred.  During the course of the last year, we have worked several issues with TAC (mostly actual bugs) and have invested significantly in IPCCE training of several staff (ICM1, CVP, ICM2, Troubleshooting workshop).  Our 'end game' has always been to take the build-to documents which we collaboratively developed with the reseller and to replicate that model (2 local PGs, local gateways, centralized CVP, small handful of fairly simple apps) across additional hospitals ourselves.

Of course during this last year, our partner has been pretty obtuse about seeing that we are trained appropriately and instead continue to push for managed services which is NOT our goal.

We are preparing to bring 2 more hospitals onto enterprise shortly and have announced our intentions to do the first very small / simple one ourselves.  Our reseller is now throwing the A2Q flag and telling us that if we do not have a day 2 support agreement in place with a partner (them) that Cisco will not allow us to order add'l licenses / products in the enterprise space. I quite frankly think that we are being lied to as a scare tactic. (They're the same 'partner' that asserts to our management that we've been 'lucky' that we haven't had a major problem during our year of uptime).

I completely understand BOM requirements, etc to ensure compatibility & success and we adhere strictly to those detailed BOM specs in support of the BU's intentions...  When I researched A2Q, most of what I found had to do with A2Q requirements that Cisco imposes on partners wishing to provided managed (hosted) enterprise installations.  Nowhere could I find a document that states that third party day 2 support is required to purchase additional enterprise licensing / hardware.

I'd love to hear from those of you who have either wrestled with your 'partner' on this issue and how it worked out or can otherwise speak authoritatively on the issue.  Any links to something in writing would be greatly appreciated.

And no, we don't think that we can do every little thing ourselves up front, but what we're looking for unsuccessfully it seems, is a reasonable T&M styled agreement for anything that we might find to be outside of our skill level.

Thanks in advance for your thoughful response.


Re: A2Q implications for customer-supported IPCC Enterprise

I understand where you are coming from.

That said, CVP is a unique product from Cisco that can only be sold through partners who have certain qualifications - they have trained engineers; they have a significant a lab; they keep up with the shifting product set, attend webinars, go to Cisco Live etc (the last three are not enforced). Even post on NetPro.

Cisco review their ATP (Advanced technology Provider) partners every couple of years.

Small increases in licencing (under 200 agents) do not require another A2Q for Cisco to release the licences from "new product hold". But significant new agent licences, new CVP site structure and so on will require an A2Q before the new licences will be released.

When I researched A2Q, most of what I found had to do with A2Q requirements that Cisco imposes on partners wishing to provided managed (hosted) enterprise installations.

That's not correct. It's for everything we sell as a Cisco partner in the Enterprise contact center space.

What used to be 1 A2Q review has matured into three, the middle one being the full architecture review, and the final one concentrating on support. That's probably where the comment about support is coming from.

CVP and UCCE are complex products and Cisco want to make sure they are designed and implemented correctly, and that there is a support model in place that will deal with post-implementation support issues. It sounds like your team is increasing in competence in this area, and Cisco will OK that.

The A2Q process is there to assist with the design, but to also make sure that the components have been appropriately sized - and this is clearly a revenue issue for Cisco. They want the correct number of licences ordered.

Your last comment is pertinent. You need a reasonable T&M arrangement with your partner to expand the scope of your current contact center - they provide architectural guidance, deal with the A2Q, and pass the product through their books, getting the Cisco discount and applying a reasonable uplift. Your team does day 2 support (level 1) and pass level 2 requests to TAC. You pay for this level under ESW. You also ensure that you have bought the UCSS so that upgrades are covered.

You need to convince the partner that unless they work with you on your terms you will seek out another partner who will.