Submitted by Larry Bellehumeur on 

At Novotech, we sell a wide variety of modems, which allows us to provide products that fit the vast majority of any customer’s needs.  When asked what selection criteria they use to determine which modem to use, many customers list “Hardware Cost” as one of their top choices.  This makes a lot of sense, as everyone is trying to maximize their purchasing power by keeping down upfront costs.  However, it is important that decisions are made using the “true” cost of a modem, to ensure that the best selection is made.

For certain applications, a very low cost modem may be the idea choice.  This may include applications where the physical environment (i.e. temperature extremes, shock and vibration) is relatively controlled, as well as for applications that are not mission critical to your business.  As well, many applications simply do not have the “hardware budget” to support a price for any device other than the lowest cost offerings.  Since many lower cost modems now offer many features that were once the domain of the higher price modems, it can make a lot of sense to include these modems into your selection choice.

When you are deciding which products to go with, however, it is important to consider what the “true” cost of a modem may be.  Developing the true cost of a modem involves factoring in different items, such as:

Does the modem provide the ability to remotely monitor / reset the device, in the event that you wish to make changes or have connection issues?  If you have to visit each modem to make changes or perform a reset, this can add to your maintenance costs over the life of the modem.  A single visit once per year may result in a lower cost modem costing much more than even the highest price product over the life of the product....

What does it cost your company (i.e. lost revenue, impaired customer service, service level penalties) when a modem is no longer working?  As well, what is your tolerance for downtime at these sites?

What is your expected / budgeted lifespan for the modem?  As an example, if your equipment that you are deploying the modem with has an expected lifespan / replacement cycle of 8 years, will you have to replace a lower cost modem 2-3 times in that time period, whereas you may only replace a higher cost modem once?  

After factoring in these points, you will have a better understanding of what the true cost of a modem deployment will be over the lifespan of the product.  This will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether a lower cost modem will truly be less expensive in the long run, when compared to a higher price product….

Whatever your decision, ask Novotech how we can help!

Cheers, Larry