How to maximise your return on investment: Deploy rugged rather than consumer smartphones.

Yes you guessed it; we’re wading in to the Rugged versus Consumer debate!

We are now in the era of confluence: Where consumer devices have infiltrated the traditional enterprise space.

Heavy Equipment ET1_D3X4213 (2) 4 web bannerExciting new options from Motorola Solutions such as the new TC55, MC40 and ET1 tablet combine the best of both worlds for enterprise customers. Increasingly businesses are considering consumer smartphones for outdoor and challenging environmental usage, but they do not have the durability, manageability or functionality necessary for everyday use in harsher business applications. Some popular analysts report that consumer smart phones increase TCO by up to 50% compared to rugged devices. But not all situations are the same.

Hard & Soft Costs:

Hard Costs that are written into the tender are the ones that procurement departments are most concerned with, eg. the actual hardware, platform, peripherals and software costs. Hidden costs can range from 60-70% of ongoing contract costs, such as initial and ongoing training, system maintenance and technical support, downtime, including lost manpower, lost revenue and HW replacement. The time taken to repair and replace consumer devices can roll into weeks.

Each 1% increase in device failure equates to a 5% increase in TCO.

Consumer device longevity is much shorter than durable and rugged, with smartphone platforms only lasting for a year or two.


“A non-rugged device (consumer smartphone) will have a 27% higher TCO compared to a rugged device over 4 years based on the *Platform pattern using 500 unit deployment.”

Gartner – TCO Mobile Devices 2012 Update


The Hidden Costs of Consumer Grade Devices:

Key investment recommendations:

  • Let the application and environment drive device selection
  • Don’t make accessories an afterthought
  • Prepare for the ‘hidden costs’
  • Don’t underestimate post deployment management and support costs
  • Focus on sustainable application development
  • Develop mobile talent
  • Battery management is a key requirement

TC55 poster snapshotBuilt for all day enterprise use – unlike smartphones with a 3-5 year lifecycle:

  • 1.2M drop spec (military standard rating for reliability)
  • Tumble tested – survives 300 consecutive hits in Motorola’s tumble drum
  • IP67 – (Ingress Protection) survives submersion in water for 30 minutes
  • Corning Gorilla Glass  2 display/scanner exit – prevents scratches and shattering when dropped
  • TC55 vs. Consumer Products – TCO White Paper

Environmental factors:

  • Use of device in direct sunlight
  • Use of device with a gloved hand in the rain (perfect for Utilities, Construction & Field Service)
  • Use of device in wet conditions
  • Device exposure to extreme (high/low) temperatures
  • Device exposure to extreme vibration

Motorola Solutions TC55 Video: Business Tough Even in Wet Conditions:

Consumer devices forego Enterprise core values:

  • Security Vulnerabilities – No application lockdown/White listing, User vs. IT control
  • Limited WiFi Support – Poor or no support for 5GHz (interference avoidance & system capacity). Limited security profiles, limited fast roaming.
  • Consumer Lifecycles – Regular OS and device updates, often with compatability issues and form factor changes.
  • Durability/Impact Susceptibility
  • Low audio output
  • Limited data privacy
  • No roadmap, making future planning a challenge
  • Consumer focussed
  • Battery Management – lower energy batteries to maintain slim profile, no battery replacement or swap, lifecycle and management.
  • Multi-piece Solutions – Scanning, imaging, supplemental battery
  • Multi-User – Designed for single user whereas enterprise customers often need shared devices.
  • Limited Data Collection
  • Compliance to Rgulatory Mandates
  • Theft – Purpose built devices are not generally sought out for theft
  • App Procurements

New – Total Cost of Ownership Tool:

enterprise-application-tc55-field-service-rain-close-up-david-johnson-2-4-web-banner2Achievetec now have access to Motorola Solution’s latest online TCO calculator, which will enable us to make a comparison between the value of a rugged device against an alternate consumer smartphone you may be considering. With specific numbers and expected lifecycle and usage, we can produce a custom PDF report for our enterprise customers which give an executive summary, plus:

  • Detailed Results by Cost Category and Cost Year
  • Cumulative Project Costs
  • Considerations Beyond TCO
  • The Importance of TCO Analysis
  • Data Entered into Model & Underlying Assumptions

Other Resources:

GartnerTotal Cost of Ownership of Mobile Devices 2012 Update

White papers:

Selecting The Right Mobile Device – For Your Healthcare Environment 

IDG Connect – Field Mobility Research

VDC Research – Mobility In Manufacturing & Logistics

VDC Research – Tablets in the Enterprise


Mobile Enterprise – 3 False Assumptions About Enterprise Devices

Field Technologies Online – The Pro-Rugged Perspective — Why Consumer-Grade Just Won’t Cut It For Our Field Operation

Stephen Northcott’s Blog for Motorola Solutions

You are welcome to #AskAchievetec about ROI and TCO and also about any previous blogs or other aspects of your enterprise. We’d be happy to give you advice and information to help you with your enterprise mobility needs. Call us on 0800 542 0811 or email: or tweet us @achievetec.

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