Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Brand Protection – does it really matter how I purchase my Cisco product?

May 5, 2016

In an age where Opex and Capex present challenges for many Companies, many may consider alternative paths for their hardware purchasing requirements, but is this really the wisest decision?

Your decision of where you purchase your Cisco equipment has many, perhaps unknown, factors.

Equipment purchased through Cisco Authorised Channel Partners, whether new Cisco equipment or Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment, entitles you to Cisco service support, upgrades, replacement guarantees, a valid software license, and a full warranty.

Have you ever considered purchasing Cisco products from sources that are not Cisco Authorised Channel Partner, or perhaps you have, in the past, made purchases from non-authorised Partners.

Of course, it is tempting to buy technology at lower prices. But the potential for additional costs that go with the risk of receiving substandard products are simply not worth it. Products may be counterfeit or stolen and may not be eligible for Cisco license, warranty or support.

Any Cisco product which is purchased from any source that is not Cisco Authorised Partner, i.e. a non-authorised reseller, is considered an unauthorised Cisco product. If you still choose to purchase Cisco products from a non-authorised reseller, these are some of the risks –

  • Cisco cannot guarantee the quality and performance of unauthorised Cisco products
  • It may well be you are supplied with a counterfeit Cisco product. Counterfeit products are not only illegal but they also may cause serious damage to your and/your customers’ company network. You may not be automatically eligible for Cisco support
  • You may not have a valid software license or a full Cisco warranty
  • Bob Brand Pro1

Cisco Channel Partners are under a contractual obligation to purchase Cisco products either direct from Cisco or through Cisco Distribution. Cisco Partners that purchase Cisco products from non-authorised resellers violate their contractual obligation and may be subject to audits and/or Cisco may terminate their resale agreement

Imagine – you are the Network Operations Manager for a Global multibillion $ company. It is 02.00 and you suffer a catastrophic failure on your network and you need urgent support –

  1. You call in to Cisco TAC, requesting Severity 1 assistance
  2. You provide your details, contract, serial number, CCO ID, etc. and the agent informs you that Serial number is not recognised or shows as counterfeit product by the entitlement checks we perform.
  3. Support would then be a challenge and any requirements for Hardware replacement would be a challenge
  4. Given you are the Network Operations Manager you may not have been involved or aware of the purchasing decisions made
  5. Options for Support then become very limited – meanwhile you still have a network down

In my previous role in Cisco, as a TAC Escalation Manager (Duty Manager) I often encountered these challenges and believe me when I say, your recovery options become severely limited

Counterfeit products can be hardware, software, or documentation where Cisco’s logo and/or other intellectual property have been used without Cisco’s consent.

The purchase of counterfeit products breaches Cisco intellectual property rights and is therefore illegal. Counterfeit products may also cause serious damage to your and/or your customers’ network and business.

Counterfeit products often contain components that have been tampered with and will have illegal software installed. As such, counterfeit products’ quality and performance is often inferior in comparison to genuine products.

Counterfeit products are often sold at much lower price than genuine Cisco products.

We often hear “you get what you pay for” and this is very true when companies purchase counterfeit product.

Do you already have Cisco equipment on premise?

Did you know you could check your infrastructure by clicking here? You can also have a complimentary health check of your Cisco networking devices

Finally, In order to purchase Cisco equipment, which is authentic, new, authorised, and registered in your name with guarantee and support by Cisco, and accompanied by valid License to use Cisco Software we are recommending you to proceed as follows:

  • Ask the supplier to confirm in writing that the supplied Cisco networking equipment is reported back to Cisco as sold to you, the end user
  • Ask the supplier to provide you with Cisco Manufacturing Authorisation Form
  • Verify with Cisco Brand Protection the Serial Numbers of the Cisco equipment on offer, before accepting the goods and paying the purchasing price
  • Include the Brand Protection Clause in your purchasing terms and conditions

For any questions or comments, please refer to or visit our website

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