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You Can’t Believe Everything You Read about Wi-Fi Equipment TCO

  • Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi equipment vendors are now frequently turning to Total Cost of Ownership studies as a way to convince customers about the value of their offerings. Operational considerations and expenses must be factored in alongside the initial price of a system to find its true cost. TCO studies, usually carried out by research analysts, are generally designed to help a network manager or CIO make a case to a CFO or other budget director in favor of a particular vendor’s equipment.

But, says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt, “You can’t believe everything you read. In their effort to build a convincing TCO argument, many vendors ‘cross the line’ in the editorial guidance of those preparing the study. They exaggerate, they make unrealistic assumptions, they tailor proposed usage scenarios to show off their systems’ best qualities. This is counter productive: such TCO studies lose their credibility, and smart financial decision-makers dismiss them.”

First-tier analyst firms will not lie, says Schatt. They will not prostitute themselves in a TCO study. But they will evaluate potential buyers based on criteria provided by the commissioning vendors. A new Research Brief from ABI Research aims to help vendors avoid some of the temptations they may face as they attempt to show their wares in the best light.

“The bottom line,” Schatt concludes, “is that a well thought-out TCO study that compares Wi-Fi equipment can be an effective sales tool, assuming that a product does have some real advantages. The most creative TCO study will not be able to compensate for a product that trails in terms of features and performance.” [ABI Research]

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