Like many people, my wife and I tend to keep our cars for a while.  While we aren't one to tell stories about how our car "rolled over 250,000 miles", it is not uncommon for us to keep our cars for 10 years or so.  However, eventually, even the best cars need to be replaced, so we are starting to look for a new one. 

Part of the reason why I was relatively successful as a salesperson was that I tried to always do my research, and this is something that I continue in my personal life.  As part of this, I started to look at what were the best selling cars of the past couple of years, a list that seems to echo what I see on the street.  Among them are the usual suspects....Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and others.  It got me to thinking....why are these still among the market leaders after being around for so long and why aren't lower cost models knocking them off of the Sales "podium"? 

It turns out that when it comes to cars, consumers don't mind paying a bit more for what they perceive is a better overall this case, years of reliable service and an above-average resale value when they decide to move on. 

I only wish that more customers would think the same way when it comes to buying an IoT solution... 

I often hear this from customers...."I have some vital pieces of equipment in the field that I need to gather information from....what is the cheapest unit that I can use?"  Makes you wonder, why do they value the car that they drive the way that they do but not use the same mentality for something that may be just as vital? 

Instead of focusing on just one aspect of the solution (cost), they should be focusing on: 

Cost vs. longevity  

A $200 device may seem like a great bargain compared to a $600 one, but what if I told you that the $600 device would last 10x it still a bargain when you would have to spend $2000 on low cost devices to last as long as a single $600 device? 

Reliability vs. downtime costs

In some cases, there may not be a huge cost for downtime.  If your employee can reach over and hit a reset button to bring a solution back up in a matter of seconds, chances are that you aren't too concerned.  But, what if downtime of a device costs you thousands of dollars each MINUTE that it was down....and what if the device was located an hour's drive from your nearest worker?  Something tells me that you would be willing to put a bit extra money into a device that would save you downtime. 

Expandability vs. fixed solutions

One of the biggest reasons why LTE/4G solutions are taking hold in the world of M2M/IoT is that they give people a longer life than some 2G solutions (as those 2G networks may see an end in the next few years).  The same goes for products that offer expanded solutions, such as the ability to add a WiFi or GPS card after the product has been purchased.  This provides more flexibility and may save a device from being obsolete much sooner. 

Ability to capture data easily

Some devices are only part of the offering from a manufacturer....some actually help you gather data from them easily.  So, while you may only be thinking about using a modem for Internet connectivity, you may wish to look at a manufacturer that will allow you to add the ability to capture new data from your devices. 

The Bottom Line

While I can't say that I love car shopping, I find that if you go there prepared, you can usually get a good deal on a car that meets your needs.  The same goes for a what you need now and in the future for a better overall value.