EWA Investment Model Helps Users Make Network Decisions
Monday, March 28, 2016 | Comments

Making a decision on what type of communications network to use is a complex process that involves a variety of factors, variables and questions. Is the application more suited to a private or cellular network? How do the number of users and devices impact the cost? What type of network is best suited for that number? How do the short-term benefits compare with the long-term benefits?

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) recently launched its Wireless System Investment Model to help make that decision easier for its members and their clients. The model uses a comprehensive questionnaire to analyze and identify an organization’s needs and compare the costs of different options for that organization.

The varied questions involved in the model ensure that the results will address a specific organization’s needs, said Sarah Beerbower, executive director of marketing and membership for EWA.

Once a user answers all the questions, the tool uses a variety of expense data points, such as equipment costs of handheld and portable units, the required towers and equipment, rebates and trade-ins, taxes and surcharges, and maintenance, to determine the cost of each network type. The model also provides several graphical representations of the costs.

Development of the comparison model came out of feedback that EWA received from its membership. Several members said they would like to see a neutral and comprehensive tool for comparing different network options. The new tool allows dealers to provide their clients with a report from a third-party, nonprofit organization that looks at what’s best for the client, Beerbower said.

Chicago-based dealer A-Beep was one of the beta testers for the model. Owner Frank Anderson said the tool is a useful way for organizations to compare different network types. Anderson likes how the model shows that one option, such as a cellular network, which might seem cheaper at the start, could be more expensive over a long period because of device replacement, fees and other factors.

Find the investment model at http://model.enterprisewireless.org.

More information about how the model works and its development process is available in the March issue of MissionCritical Communications on Page 36.

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