Analysts are warning the customers of Cisco Systems that they should review immediately their Cisco maintenance contracts and even look into taking their maintenance business elsewhere.
The advice has been prompted by Cisco's planned changes to its maintenance pricing, which is set to come into effect on 1 July.
Although the changes do include some reductions, the majority mean higher charges, said Lawrence Orans, senior analyst for Gartner.
The new higher charges are set to cover a mix of Cisco products. Older router product families - the 4500 series, the 4700 series and the 7500 line - are to have maintenance price increases averaging 20 per cent. Cisco's newer Content Engine family will also see similar maintenance price hikes.
In light of the pending increases - the third round of price changes since the company first instituted regular changes last July - customers should be looking to extend their maintenance contracts before 1 July to lock in the old rates.
In addition, Gartner maintains that customers should hold off on pending Cisco purchases in order to strengthen their position in negotiations over new maintenance rate agreements.
Multiyear contracts may also increase those discount levels, although Orans does not recommend contract lengths of more than three years.
"Increases happen but it is unusual for a company to make increases twice a year," said Orans. There has been little backlash against Cisco by its customers because of its strong product offerings, he added.
While the options of buying equipment elsewhere may be limited, Gartner does recommend that companies look into third-party maintenance offerings.
"Third-party maintenance can offer major savings over direct Cisco maintenance programs," said Orans.
But Gartner has also warned that third party deals leave the Cisco customer one step removed from Cisco support.
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