Cisco Solution Support Resource Guide

Your guide to getting help fast with Cisco Solution Support.

Get help now with Solution Support

First be sure to create a Cisco ID and associate it with your contract. Then get started with Solution Support using the information below.

Need to open a service request now? Access Support Case Manager.

Steps for service entitlement

Make sure the following items are in place for full entitlement to Solution Support.

Ensure your Cisco solution is fully implemented

Solution environment

Your Cisco solution must be up and running with major functions in operation. Solution Support is a Day 2 break/fix support service. It doesn't offer features for planning, building, or implementing a Cisco solution. If you need this type of help, contact your Cisco representative to learn about professional services.

Verify all Cisco Support Service contracts are in place

Cisco Support contracts

  • Solution Support: All Cisco products (hardware and software) deployed in your Cisco solution must be covered by Solution Support where this service is available. Purchasing Solution Support for some, but not all, Cisco products (hardware and software) where it is available will not provide full service entitlement.
  • Product support: Cisco product support (Cisco Smart Net Total Care service for hardware, Cisco Software Support Basic for software) is included in your purchase of Solution Support--no additional purchase is required. These contracts are required so that Solution Support engineers can collaborate with Cisco product support teams on complex issues when necessary. Note: In the few instances where Solution Support may not yet be available for a Cisco product, relevant Cisco product support is required. Verify contracts with your Cisco representative or Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

Verify all Solution Support Alliance Partner product support contracts are in place

Third-party product support contracts

In a multivendor solution, all Solution Support Alliance Partner products must be covered by their product support and should entitle you to 24/7 access to their support teams in order that:

  • Solution Support engineers can coordinate issue resolution with Alliance Partner support teams.
  • You can access Alliance Partners to directly resolve issues with their products.
  • You can access Alliance Partner Return Material Authorizations (RMAs), software updates and upgrades, knowledge base, etc.
  • Note: If the Alliance Partner doesn’t offer or you don’t opt to purchase a 24/7 service level, the Solution Support engineer will pause issue management until the Alliance Partner’s product support team is available.
  • Note: Solution Support engineers don't open service requests with Alliance Partners on your behalf. Solution Support engineers work with you to open a service request with these third parties using your product support contract entitlement with them.

Understand service types that don't meet Solution Support requirements

Ineligible support contracts

  • Warranty services such as Cisco Warranty, Cisco Warranty Plus, Cisco Smart Net Total Care for UCS Hardware Only, or any similar services from Alliance Partners or other third-party technology providers
  • Community support programs
  • Support contracts with a third-party agent delivering their branded support for products they didn't engineer, such as Cisco Partner Support Service

How to open a service request

Review the steps necessary to open a service request so you are ready when you need help fast.

Define the severity of your request

Severity levels

  • Severity 1 (30-minute response objective): IT environment is down or a problem is critically impacting business operations. You and Cisco will commit full-time resources to resolve the issue. For your case to remain as S1, you must have a qualified representative available to confer with Cisco throughout issue resolution.
  • Severity 2 (30-minute response objective): IT environment operations are severely degraded or unacceptable technology performance is negatively affecting significant aspects of business operations. You and Cisco will commit full-time resources during standard business hours to resolve the issue.
  • Severity 3 (prioritized over S3 product support cases): IT environment operational performance is impaired, although most business operations remain functional. You and Cisco are willing to commit resources during standard business hours to restore service to satisfactory levels.
  • Severity 4 (prioritized over S3 product support cases): Information is needed about Cisco product capabilities, installation, or configuration. There is little or no impact on business operations. You and Cisco are willing to provide resources during standard business hours for Cisco to provide information or assistance as requested.

Where to open a service request

Contacts based on your severity level

  • Severity 1 or 2: Open a service request via phone. Call the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at (800) 553-2447. You must be available for a live hand-off to a Solution Support engineer.
  • Severity 3 or 4: Open a service request online. Open your service request at Cisco Support Case Manager. Consider using Virtual Spaces in Webex Teams as your contact preference for real-time communications with Cisco.
  • Severity 1 through 4: Get automated help for common queries. Use the TAC Connect Bot automated personal assistant for fast responses to common case inquiries, basic transactions, and connecting to case owners and duty managers.

How to open a service request online

Information needed when opening a service request

When opening a service request, you or your Cisco partner should provide:

  • Your Cisco ID (Ensure your Cisco ID is associated. For questions about your Cisco ID and to make any updates, contact
  • Your contact information (full name)
  • Your preferred contact method: email, phone, or Virtual Spaces/Webex Teams (for Severity 3 or 4 cases only)
  • Severity level of your service request
  • Your Solution Support contract number
  • If opening a case online, case title: SOLUTION SUPPORT [technology]; for example, SOLUTION SUPPORT APIC
  • Name of your Cisco solution (for example, Cisco ACI)
  • Serial number of the Cisco product involved in the issue (Note: You don't need to formally isolate your issue to a specific product to open a Solution Support service request. Open your request on a covered product in the solution you think may be involved.)
  • Problem description and symptoms as well as any documentation (screenshots, photographs, logs, etc.)
  • Site information (for verification purposes)
  • Your help desk number (if relevant)
  • Details about troubleshooting steps you have taken and the outcome of each step (if relevant)

Get more help

How to redirect a third-party case to Solution Support, requeue a case, or get more information.

  • Transferring support to Cisco: If you open a product support case with a Solution Support Alliance Partner and determine that the issue is more complex than originally estimated, open a Solution Support case with Cisco. Indicate that you have previously opened a case with an Alliance Partner and are now requesting that Cisco lead the issue resolution. The Solution Support engineer will work with you and the Alliance Partner to get complete details on the original case. The Solution Support engineer either resolves your issue or coordinates product support teams, remaining accountable until your issue is solved.
  • Requesting additional assistance: If you need your Solution Support case requeued, additional information, or help of any kind, call (800) 553-2447 or open a new case online. Have your Solution Support contract number and synopsis of your issue on hand. For general issues, request the Duty Manager. For service supply chain delivery issues, request the Service Supply Chain Delivery Logistics Duty Manager. Your Cisco management contact will assess your request and assign additional resources, as necessary.

Features and benefits

Review what Solution Support offers and how it can help your IT and business.

Solution Support features and benefits

Solution Support Alliance

Learn about the Solution Support Alliance program, the partners involved, how Cisco works with them, and how this can help you.

  • Industry-leading third-party technology providers identified as instrumental to your success with Cisco solutions.
  • Choices of software and hardware you can deploy alongside Cisco products in our collaboration, data center, enterprise networking, IoT, security, or service provider solutions.
  • Formalized joint support processes, ongoing training, and lab products enabling Cisco and Alliance Partners to jump into action to resolve multivendor issues.
  • Note: Visit the Reference Library below for more service details.

Processes and coverage

Learn what Cisco and Alliance Partner support teams deliver and what each team covers.

Cisco responsibilities

Here's what Cisco delivers during issue resolution--and what isn't covered by this service.

  • Direct support for Cisco software and hardware: Resolves your issue using product, architecture, and interoperability expertise.
  • Coordinated support for Cisco software and hardware: If the Solution Support engineer determines additional expertise is necessary, they coordinate support with Cisco product support teams--no action is required on your part to involve these additional resources.
  • Coordinated support for Solution Support Alliance Partner software and hardware: If the Solution Support engineer determines your issue involves an Alliance Partner product, they work with you to open a product support case with the Alliance Partner based on your current product support contract with them, coordinate support discussions between Cisco and Alliance Partner product support teams, and actively manage your multivendor case until the issue is resolved.
  • Not covered by Solution Support: Direct support by Cisco for Solution Support Alliance Partner products, support for custom software code, or maintenance window support.

Alliance Partner responsibilities

During issue resolution, Alliance Partners deliver:

  • Direct support for their software and hardware when a Solution Support engineer works with you to open a case with them to coordinate a multivendor issue, or when you open a service request directly with them because you have definitively isolated the issue to their product.
  • Other support includes RMAs and OS updates for their hardware, patches, and updates for their software, and other capabilities and deliverables as defined by your product support contracts with them.

Coverage catalog

  • Coverage catalog - Understand Solution Support process details, Cisco areas of expertise, and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Engage and connect

Join Cisco Community

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Reference library

Setup resources

Cisco TAC worldwide: Open your Severity 1 or 2 case via phone.

Cisco Support Case Manager: Open your Severity 3 or 4 case online.

Cisco ID help: Request changes to your Cisco ID associated with your Solution Support contract.

Virtual Spaces / Webex Teams: See how to set up this contact preference for real-time communications with a Solution Support engineer.

Webex Teams set up: Create your account to leverage Virtual Spaces.

TAC Connect Bot: Get started with the bot for fast answers to common questions.

More service details

Cisco collaboration solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco data center solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco enterprise networking solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco IoT solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco security solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco service provider solutions: Complete service details and covered Cisco and Alliance Partner products.

Cisco Support Services overview: See a comparison of Cisco Support Services to understand the breadth and depth of what Solution Support offers.

Solution Support on Read more about the service and watch case study videos.