Yes, for millions of kids around the world, June spells the end of the school year.  While it is always great to start summer vacation, more than a few kids may be worried about their grades.  For some, it will be because they are doing poorly, while for others, it will be to see if their grades are good enough to get into a particular program. 

As adults, unless we are taking additional courses, we often don't think of grades as being important.  However, in the world of IoT, it can be the difference between a successful deployment and a not-successful deployment. 

A bit confused?  Think I have totally lost it? 

Using the right "grade" can ensure your success

One of the most popular blogs that I have ever written spoke about how Ferrari owners don't generally scrimp on their tire choice.  The idea was that most of them saw enough value in their tires (namely the safety and performance benefits) that they generally chose premium rubber for their vehicle. 

Too bad that many people don't always think the same way when it comes to IoT equipment... 

Modems and antennas have a wide range of price points, with the highest cost ones often being five to eight times more expensive than the lowest cost (more with antennas).  And, in this day of people trying to do more with less, there is a natural urge to use the lowest cost device to save money. 

However, much like the fact that the military does not drive Kia Rios into a war zone, you need to pick the right equipment for the job. 

Three grades of success

The goal at Novotech is not to sell the most expensive piece of equipment to each customer. Rather, we do our best to ensure that each customer has the right tools to meet their needs now and in the future.  As such, we divide up modems/antennas into three main categories: 

  1. Standard  These products are designed to be reliable in many basic deployments.  They provide adequate security (for modems) and reception (for antennas).   They will work in all "carpeted" environments and in some light duty Industrial ones.
  2. High-Gain / Premium  These products are designed to provide an increased level of performance and durability.  They are often built to handle a higher range of environmental conditions (so, outdoors for Canada in the winter and Phoenix in the summer) and have an increased level of security to protect the vital data that you need.
  3. Corporate-Grade / Industrial  I lump these two categories together, as they are each equally demanding in their own way.  Corporations are relying on the data that comes from the device, so they need to be both reliable and highly secure.  Devices in this category are meant to handle long-term deployments in the harshest environments possible, providing the highest level of security/data-encryption and doing both for up to a decade.

    But, they cost a lot more...

    Sure, a $1000 modem costs 4 times more than a $250 one.  There is no getting around that.  However, one only has to look at the cost of an outage / security breach to know that there is much more to the cost of a deployment than the initial hardware....

  • What is the cost of downtime to your application?
  • What is the cost of lost data for you and your customers?
  • What was the overall cost to the back-end system that you use and how much more effective is it with consistent, clean data?
  • What is the longevity of the project (and how many times will you have to replace inferior modems over its lifespan)?
  • Does your IT / Operations team have better things to do than to reset inferior modems?

The Bottom Line

In this age of "disposable electronics", there is still a big demand for premium products.  Swiss watches still sell for thousands of dollars (even when your iPhone can tell you the time), luxury car companies are doing quite well and people still shell out two to five times more for a MacBook when they could opt for a lower cost Windows alternative.  The reason is that there is a value in these products, one that easily justifies the cost.  We need to use the right grade of products for the task....otherwise, you may end up in the "Principal's office" for something worse than a detention...