When it comes to lowering the total cost of notebook PC ownership, it appears that neither the bait of a lower price from second and third-tier vendors nor the often promoted quality of first-tier service and support has as much value to IT managers as supporting fewer products.
"We try [to] buy only one or two brands," said Phyllis Koch, IT director for the City of Miami. "The people-time used up in learning a [new] box costs far more than the pennies saved on the hardware."
Kharim Hogan, president and CEO of N-Dimensions, a consulting company in Montreal, also believes "familiarity with the brand" will reduce potential service and support costs. Hogan is not impressed with support from system vendors.
"From third-party support I can get on-site service within the hour and knowledge of our in-house environment which is worth far more to me than what the manufacturer can offer me with their production line service options full of half-baked techies who don't really get the problem," Hogan said.
Price, surprisingly, is not a major decision point for some IT managers, who are confronted with the choice of similarly configured systems for hundreds and even thousands of dollars' difference.