“I got a great price and a great warranty. What else do I need to worry about?”
The cost. The initial outlay may only be a small part of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Platform support, customization, integration, connectivity, and inadequate durability may make your “bargain” very expensive. AMREL builds its rugged computers to be goo
Will your support last as long as your product?
COTS products are attractive for the price and established supply chain. However, there is a fundamental problem buying mass-produced off-the-shelf items. New and upgraded products typically generate more profit than old ones. Corporations prioritize the overhead of product support for the greatest revenue earners, i.e. the new products. Support for older platforms is phased out.
“COTS Obsolescence” has hit the military especially hard. Despite its behemoth budget, the Defense Department is still only a tiny fraction of the electronics market, so vendors do not always place their needs first. Obsolescence of COTS products and parts has been estimated to cost the Navy alone $750 million annually.
Don’t worry; buy AMREL
For AMREL, COTS Obsolescence is an important issue, because our mobile computers are often integrated into more complex systems. Even if our clients could replace our computer with a similar platform, could integrators ever be sure that it would truly perform the same? That’s why we support our computers for years longer than typical (WE support the computer; repair services are not outsourced to third parties). In an era when graphic cards become obsolete within a year, and computers fade as quickly as the latest fad, AMREL supports its platforms for at least 5 to 7 years, even longer.
No rugged computer is an island
The computer you buy may be great as a stand-alone item, but it may not work well with your overall system or network. Also, you should discover if it can be configured as an integrated solution; peripherals can add expense, because of increased power consumption, footprint, and logistics. Before you can evaluate the computer’s true cost, you need to calculate the resources necessary for connectivity and integration. AMREL has a long history at delivering cost-effective, practical integrated solutions.
“It’s possible to translate a $100 supply problem into a $100-million problem.”
– John Becker, DMSMS Director, Office of the Asst. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Logistics, Plans and Programs. Getting a Handle on COTS Obsolescence, Avionics
Cut customization costs
One major factor of TCO is the support, service, and repair of a customized solution. AMREL is the only major manufacturer who extends their warranty over its customization. You get one-stop service, repair, and support for your entire unit. No more running around after third-party vendors.
AMREL has this unusual policy, because customization is the core of our business. Over 80% of our products are customized, often at very low volume numbers.
How do you know a computer is truly rugged?
Claims of ruggedness proliferate on the web. Are they all the same? The short answer is no. Claims of “compliance,” “built to standards,” and “semi-rugged” are almost meaningless. There is no central authority that oversees the testing of military standards for vendors selling to commercial markets. Suppliers often take very creative approaches as what constitutes compliance.
To get a truly rugged computer, a consumer needs to ask two questions:
- Is this a proven, mature system? For years, AMREL has been supplying mobile computer systems to battlefields around the world. Our ruggedness had been proven countless times in the hands of warfighters who depend on our platforms to keep them alive.
- Is it certified by a third-party? The ruggedness of AMREL’s computers is verified by a professional testing company. We don’t play games with our testing.
“The Rocky units we purchased from AMREL are utilized twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. They have continuously performed above expectations and with minimal service and/or repair; in fact, all of the units we purchased in 2000 are still being utilized today”
Thomas E. Carlotti
Deputy Chief of Police
Finding out a computer’s basic price and warranty is just the beginning. To find out more about how to determine a computer’s Total Cost of Ownership, contact AMREL’s experts at (800) 882-6735.