Talk to a Mid-Market CIO today, and they’ll tell you what they dread most about on premise networking – the infamous truck roll. Indeed. This is not a routine IT activity to be undertaken lightly. Far cry from Python scripts that run routine batch processes, and written from the comfort of your couch. A truck roll involves hard costs, skills, tools and most importantly, speed. There is no sophisticated business in the world, that doesn’t put aside a substantial sum towards an unplanned truck roll. That’s simply the hidden cost of On-Premise HW equipment that legacy vendors won’t tell you about. Sure, they’ll happily sell you a maintenance contract that’s 30-50% of the HW cost itself – but hey, who’s counting right?

Well, savvy CIOs are counting. And they are looking at it from every angle. In a world, where Cloud Services for virtually every technology sprout like mushrooms, setting aside budget to pay for onsite HW replacement and truck roll is not a profitable strategy. What’s more, the decision that leads to an onsite replacement is often hastily arrived at, based on incomplete and sometimes, inaccurate issue diagnosis. Take a branch Wi-Fi network for example. Many Access Point vendors simply advise their partners and customers to return an Access Point or eat the cost of truck rolls, often for minor issues. One wonders why. It’s economics, after all. Let’s assume a distributed 10-site company with 40 APs (4 APs per site):

  • Retail price paid per AP: $500-700
  • Average cost of labor: $150/hour (See here)
  • Average truck roll time: 8 hours
  • Total customer cost: $150 x 8 x10 = $12,000 (may not include price of AP)

It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that customers could end up paying twice as much for the HW, not including the diagnosis time involved prior to the truck roll and replacement. Sure, things fail. That’s life. But what if technology could preempt or predict that failure – such that diagnosis and replacement did not have to occur in a rush, or cost customers a fortune? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that technology, and it’s here. AI based preemptive maintenance is about reducing total operational cost of your IT solution. By letting AI monitor and identify patterns of erroneous behaviors in the background, a more actionable (and contextual) insight can be gained, and action taken accordingly. Moreover, with Machine Learning, it has become a lot easier for IT to apply corrections that have worked at one branch to another branch, that have similar networking behaviors. With the diagnosis work done preemptively, anyone (yes, anyone) in a branch office should be able to successfully install APs and restore the Wi-Fi network.

  • Average cost of labor: $150 (per hour/per site)
  • Average truck roll time: $0
  • Total customer cost: $150 x 10 = $1500 (includes the APs!)

An 80% cost savings! No need to engage in discovery and troubleshooting onsite, no burdening your customer, or end user for logs and other data. No truck rolls. A totally hands-off troubleshooting experience. What a relief!

With AI on our side, it’s time to rethink the role of truck rolls in guaranteeing business continuity. And free up the IT budget for more meaningful activities like growing the business. So, are you focused on making AI part of your IT strategy?

Nilesh Savkoor
Director of Product Marketing

 

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