Based on soon to be published research generated from VDC's 2011 Data Acquisition Solutions Market Intelligence Program in which VDC surveyed almost 600 end users, OEMs and other stakeholders involved in using, purchasing and/or specifying data acquisition solutions (i.e. data loggers, paperless recorders, Compact PCI plug-in analog I/O boards, etc) price was the #1 most often cited vendor selection criteria among hardware users.
Price remained the #1 factor among respondents using external chassis & modules and became the #1 factor among users of plug-in analog I/O boards, where price overtook application support as the #1 factor as compared to VDC's 2008 research. VDC asked survey respondents to select their top 5 most important factors (out of 16) they considered before selecting a supplier from which they would procure their data acquisition solutions.
However the remaining top 10 supplier criteria respondents selected varied by hardware platform such as external chassis & modules vs. plug-in analog I/O boards. In fact, the top 10 commercial requirement selections even varied among respondents of the eight different vertical markets under study as users in different market segments possess some unique requirements and/or perspectives on what is deemed most important to them.
VDC provided new analysis in the 2011 research asking software respondents to rate their top 5 most important factors when considering their vendor selection. Among software respondents the most important factor was receiving strong application support. Price was rated the 2nd most important factor among software respondents.
Clearly cost containment is a critical factor which users consider before investing in a data acquisition solution and suppliers need to make every effort to strip out as much unnecessary costs as possible from their data acquisition solution.
That being said there are other important considerations which users make when considering selecting a supplier from which to procure their data acquisition solutions. In many cases these other factors may play a more dominant role in a user's decision-making process than price, if the supplier can effectively frame a value proposition that may include concepts such as ROI, TCO or a valid cost/benefit tradeoff analysis. By selling on value suppliers can more effectively overcome any price objection; every sales person knows that you never want to sell on price alone.