PPDIOO: Prepare phase. Prepare your BOM in 10 steps

This post describes a hypothetical scenario which some of you may have encountered in System integration environment.

Story board

Supposed you are a project engineer, one fine morning you received an email from a potential client with attached PDF file, the content said:

“Dear Sir/Mdm,

We are from XXX company, we are currently expanding and construction of our new branch office is almost completed, we are seeking for a network solution that can handle voice, video (CCTV) and data, the requirements and information of the new site is attached, we preferred Cisco devices however if you have network devices from other vendor which can meet our requirements, please inform us the specification as well as project reference of your proposed vendor’s network products. Kindly review it and let us know your proposal asap. Thanks.



Well you are a greenhorn to the IT field, or specifically in a solution provider’s environment, this working environment has many dynamics to allow you to grow, learn and advance towards your career. You seek your senior’s advice on how to respond to this email from a potential client. After reviewing the attached PDF document, and some discussion you are assigned to do a bill of material (BOM) list to meet customer’s requirements.


Cisco.com has a huge database of information, if you are new in prepare phase (PPDIOO first phase) you may be tempted to dive into cisco.com and look through the datasheet and start to search for accessories and components for a network device for example a 4507R+E, after several hours of search you found that the information you seek has missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, you may be frustrated and may reprimand yourself for not doing a good job.

Cisco makes your life easier through Dynamic configurator tool

Cisco designed a web-based tool known as dynamic configurator tool, this tool is to help distributor and channel partners to compile BOM for their projects.

Step 1: Go to https://apps.cisco.com/qtc/config/html/configureHomeGuest.html and login using your CCO account.
Step 2: Search the product you want, you can search by Product number, Product family and Product description
Step 3: Choose the method you want to search. For this example we will use Product family.
Step 4: Choose the product family.
Step 5: Choose the correct chassis and start to configure the parts.
Step 6: Once you have selected the chassis, you can start to configure parts by clicking “Select Options” tab.
Step 7: Choose the appropriate cards for each required slots.
Step 8: Select the accessories and choose accordingly, for this example, I have chosen two power supplies for power redundancy.
Step 9: Choose the IOS versions and feature sets needed.
Step 10: After you have finished the configuration, click “Check Configuration”, you will come to this page to review your BOM, once confirmed you can download the list or email the list to yourself or to your colleague.

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