Quality Pays Off: Focus On TCO In Mobile Computers
Mobile technology has progressed to a point where we can access anything, anywhere, using affordable and powerful tools. Companies experience a great deal of pain, however, when they buy hardware that is not up to the task of mobility.
A June 2006 report by analyst firm Gartner stated that the average failure rate (AFR) for enterprise-class notebooks, in their first year, is 15%—and that increases to 23% in year three. In its annual reader survey, PC Magazine reported business notebook AFRs of 23% in the initial 12 months.
For any business, that’s a recipe for operational aggravation and a source of financial pain. Perceived savings on acquisition costs can easily balloon to thousands of dollars in ownership costs once lost productivity, replacement parts, and labor from IT are accounted for.
With increased mobility, hardware quality must be considered. It’s true that quality comes at a premium and that’s why it’s important to engage prospects in a conversation about total cost of ownership (TCO). Every moment a user spends unable to work due to a hardware failure, their organization’s TCO rises, as it does when IT spends time on repairs, ordering replacement parts, and even migrating data to a replacement device.
So, is it better to sell a prospect two cheap notebooks – one for active use and one as a backup to guard against failure – or a single reliable device? Reliability wins every time. According to an October 2005 report by VDC analyst David Krebs, an average of 4% of rugged mobile computers used in harsh environments fail per year, while standard notebooks in similar environments fail at a rate of 36%. This illustrates why it’s critical that your customers buy the right tools for the job at hand — and that doesn’t just mean workers in the field. Executives and mobile professionals are candidates for semi-rugged or business-rugged notebooks with embedded wireless technology.
When your prospects challenge you to justify a premium purchase, be sure to ask:
* How many times per month have your employees been unable to work due to a hardware failure?
* How many hours per month have your employees spent trying to self-diagnose a hardware problem?
* How many hours per month has IT spent trying to fix problems with technology?
* What does it cost your company for every hour an employee cannot work?
Do the math on the spot — the result is sure to come as a shock to them. The cost of recovering from failure is often greater than the initial investment. Quality pays off every time.
About the author: Sheila O’Neil is Senior Director of Channel Sales for Panasonic Computer Solutions Company and has more than 16 years of experience in computer IT distribution and the reseller channel. In her role, O’Neil is responsible for developing and expanding Panasonic’s TP3 channel programs while overseeing Panasonic’s ongoing support and commitment to current relationships with solution providers and distributors.
For more information, visit http://panasonic.com/toughbook