Category Archive: Technology

Going Beyond Device Repair: Strategic Support Takes Ownership of Product Performance

For OEMs, a competitive service model yields longer lifecycle and reduced costs

Developing high performance computing systems for the long haul is a powerful tenet of embedded design and manufacturing. In today’s industrial PC landscape, a service department within the Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) is more than just a repair center, and extended support is more than lifecycle management.

A more strategic program of extended support and service – characterized by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) as a deeper level of partnership with the ODM or System Integrator – recognizes that embedded systems are often just too costly and too critical to tolerate downtime.

Strategic Support

Click image to download the white paper

These relationships are vital in keeping systems deployed and performing flawlessly, demonstrated by the use case of a global healthcare OEM, leading the industry with sophisticated surgical tools and systems. Its key platform was passing the 12-year mark in its worldwide deployment. As the manufacturer of the computing system, Dedicated Computing recognized the near-end-of-life for the product, and proactively reached out to the OEM to determine potential failures as well as preventative measures.

For example, one test demonstrated a ‘sluggish response’ from the computer, quickly confirmed as CPU performance being degraded by high temperature. A proactive course of action was recommended, including the replacement of fans in all deployed systems, an activity conveniently added to every routine service call. Costs and downtime were minimized – not only was this a low-cost part, but the replacement pre-empted more serious and more expensive failures from occurring. Dedicated Computing also worked closely with the organization’s repair depot to develop protocols for consistent verification of repairs: using remote diagnostics, test packets were downloaded and run onsite, testing devices at the repair depot with guidance from the manufacturer.

Successful partnerships between OEMs and ODMs require that service and support go “beyond the repair” and is considered integral to the design and manufacturing process. OEMs requiring mission-critical systems win big with this approach, reducing downtime and ensuring a path to longer product lifecycle.

As part of DC OEM Playbook series, Going Above & Beyond for System Support: Strategic Support Takes Ownership of Product Performance” provides a deeper view into how an ODM support program can extend the life of your device and the embedded system powering your device.

For greater insight and to empower a strategic approach to extended support and service, connect with Dedicated Computing.

System Selection: Smart Hardware Choices Enable a Cascade of Value

Lifecycle Longevity, System Performance, and Reliability

Smarter hardware choices and system selection enable a cascade of value for embedded systems, including cost savings, system performance and overall total cost of ownership (TCO).

OEM Playbook

Click image to download the System Selection white paper

OEMs and ISVs who live in a software-first world, can save big with deeper conversations and planning sessions with their ODM around the overall systems design. With early collaboration built into the design process, OEMs can combat unforeseen hardware challenges, while creating significant opportunities to improve their TCO.

As OEMs search for hardware partners for traditional contract manufacturing, evaluation criteria such as performance and longevity are often overlooked or sacrificed for price. Reliability and longevity for embedded computing systems are key. If not “baked in” early can lead to vulnerabilities throughout a long-term product roadmap. Field support and ongoing product changes can be anticipated and planned, eliminating costly surprises and creating a clear understanding of price versus performance.

Early Collaboration is Key

By seeking a purpose-built PC for their application, software-centric OEMs can rely on the competitive value of right-sizing a system for specific performance. Often, however the first communication between the OEM and their contract manufacturer is a high-level look at an existing bill of materials (BOM) or last-time buy. Preconceived notions about hardware could lead to potential issues, above and beyond cost and performance, creating impact in terms of longevity, parts availability, and ongoing maintenance. In reality, a strategic hardware supplier, or ODM, can help combat these issues early in the design process – recommending new products ready for smarter customization, or new technologies to consider based on a deeper knowledge of sub-technologies and their progress in the market.

Ultimately, with more collaboration as a best practice, a broader view of the hardware requirements can enable the OEM to bring just the right amount of technology to the table — meeting the application-specific needs for the long term.

As part of the DC OEM Playbook series, “System Selection: Smart Hardware Choices Enable a Cascade of Value,” provides six questions for OEMs to evaluate when aligning hardware to their application requirements. Click here to download the System Selection white paper. If you’re exploring a new standard for a PC Supplier partnership, click here connect Engineer-to-Engineer with Dedicated Computing.

Start-Up AND Scale Up: Entrepreneurship is Central to Job Creation

Insights on Building the Wisconsin Tech Economy

Don SchlidtDedicated Computing’s President & CEO, Don Schlidt offers a point of view on job creation in Wisconsin, advocating that growth is as much about scaling established businesses as it is driving new start-ups. Don brings more than 30 years of business experience and 20 years of technology industry experience leading high-performance organizations. In addition to serving on the Dedicated Computing Board of Directors, Schlidt currently serves on the Technical Advisory Board for Intel Corporation as well as the Wisconsin Technology Council.

To be clear, I am a big fan of Wisconsin as a place for entrepreneurs to start businesses! Wisconsin has done a lot to make the business environment more advantageous for start-ups. As an evolving tech-based economy, Wisconsin has developed some really smart ideas about how to make it easier to be an entrepreneur.

In addition, more than a hundred state-based VC firms drive steady start-up investments. Many of them began their firms in other parts of the country and then opted to capitalize on all the Midwest has to offer in terms of family lifestyle and moderate cost of living. And there is no question that a lot of today’s rhetoric is centered on the power of start-ups as job creators, as they certainly are, but we need to remember established firms have an equally critical role to play in fueling growth in employment with their ability to scale.

The proof is in the numbers. Today in Wisconsin, according to statistics from both the Department of Workforce Development and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, approximately 90% of jobs created come from existing, entrepreneurial companies (scale-ups) that are driving steady, continued growth. This is not a new concept, but it is one that does not seem to get nearly as much press or attention as start-ups and mega-deals. One of the best-known advocates for the concept of scale-up growth was Andy Grove, former CEO and Chairman of Intel Corporation. Upon surveying the Bay Area’s ecosystem of start-ups, he pointed out that there was a critical need to ensure that public funding and grants directed at start-ups, which aimed at one to three new jobs over a two-year period, would be matched with similar funds directed to scale-up firms poised to grow from three jobs to 300!!

If one of our goals here in Wisconsin is to attract and retain talent, we need to understand and embrace these dynamics – and appropriately balance our investments in start-ups as well as scale-ups. We will attract a more diverse talent base, protect our early investments, and generate a broader variety of the types and levels of jobs available to our residents. This is a smart, pay-it-forward strategy that not only values the business contribution of entrepreneurs but also recognizes that economic development comes from our established community of businesses growing the employment base throughout the State of Wisconsin.

I am not advocating pulling resources from start-ups, but rather a balanced approach to economic development. “Balance” means we begin at the start-up, invest and shore it up for greater growth. We also balance those investments by making similar investments in established companies already prepared to scale, protecting and accelerating their opportunities as well.

If one of Wisconsin’s important economic messages is that we help entrepreneurs create jobs, we must not lose sight of that entrepreneur until he or she has scaled their company and grown their job base to a sustainable level. The scale-up process relies on an entirely different set of skills and resources than new business ventures in start-up mode.

This post is featured in the latest Accelerate, a publication from the Waukesha County Business Alliance. Click here to read the full publication. 

Interested in learning more about Wisconsin Entrepreneurship? Read The Good News About Wisconsin Entrepreneurship from John Koskinen, Chief Economist for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, in January’s Accelerate starting on page six. To read more from Dedicated Computing, visit our blog.

Smart Design and Market Leadership: Go Hand-in-Hand as Requirements for Powering the OEM/ODM Relationship

How and when to capitalize on ODM resources for a competitive-edge with embedded computing

Leading Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) of embedded computing systems work diligently to protect the OEM from making costly mistakes that could occur along the way within the OEM’s product development process. ODMs focus on solving the unknown and unpredictable challenges common with on-going R&D.

Powering the OEM / ODM Relationship

Click image to download Powering the OEM/ODM Relationship white paper

This approach enables the OEM product development team to focus on their mission critical application and holistic product design, not the performance of the hardware. ODMs drive improved system performance, reduced time-to-market, and market leadership.

“Smart Design and Market Leadership: 2 Requirements for Powering the OEM/ODM Relationship” provides OEMs a simple road map for how to get more out of your industrial PC supplier. OEMs requiring embedded computing systems with components off the shelf (COTS) should be leaning on their partner relationship for in-house capabilities such as engineering, system design, and tolerance testing for thermal, electrical and acoustic performance.

Engineering product success starts early in the design process. ODMs can add a unique development perspective – a holistic approach that is both collaborative and engineering-focused, helping OEMs meet end-user goals on day-one and throughout the entire life of the OEM’s product.

With awareness to the product requirements such as performance targets, environmental challenges, quality expectations, and time to market, ODMs can value-engineer with smart off-the-shelf components as well as decades of supply chain relationships to handle extended product life and change management. When off-the-shelf is not an option, ODMs offer in-house electrical, mechanical, and software engineering expertise to meet otherwise impossible needs with custom designs for enclosures, electronics and applications.

ODMs focus on solving these kinds of problems with ongoing R&D – continually asking themselves ‘what computational needs are the OEMs going to require before they know they need it?’ Value-added relationships are the result, protecting OEM resources, enhancing system performance, reducing time-to-market, and creating market leadership.

Click HERE to read more. Then connect Engineer-to-Engineer with Dedicated Computing if you’re exploring the new standard for a PC supplier partnership.

Swing by our LIBRARY Section for additional captivating content for Global OEMs.

 

4 Great Questions To Ask When Choosing Your Industrial PC Supplier

When choosing an industrial PC supplier for your mission-critical product design, consider these four questions before you pull the trigger.

4 Key questions to ask when selecting a supplier for embedded computing:

  1. Can they prioritize smart purchase lifecycles? Choose a partner that understands the long-life demands of embedded, compute-intensive design.
  2. Proactive Change Management – Can they speak to best practices for eliminating unnecessary, and costly changes?
  3. Collaboration – Do they offer the design expertise and personal attention to help get your product to market?
  4. Do they understand the mission-critical value of your product — offering market that fuels a time-to-market advantage?

Build For Life

If you’re an OEM developing life-improving and life-saving devices, each computing problem you solve directly impacts the quality of your product and customer satisfaction. Partnering with an ODM will save you valuable resources that you can apply to developing other critically important products. Strategic partnerships with ODMs offer:

 

PC Supplier Checklist
Download the Build for Life white paper to read more
  • Intelligent lifecycle management: Choose ODMs that anticipate embedded technology availability for up to 7–10 years in the future, serving the long-life demands of highly regulated medical and life science–related systems
  • Proactive change management: Distinguish ODMs by their proactive change management strategies  that reduce risk and eliminate unnecessary or costly changes by providing product modularity and easier design adaptation for future iterations
  • Smart, collaborative design: An ODM should configure and validate systems early in product design, helping OEMs avoid issues later on and smoothing out production issues in the long run
  • Application-specific value: The ODM should work with the OEM to provide comprehensive hardware, software, and service solutions for each specific market vertical

Click the image above or click HERE to read more.

Dedicated Computing

Choosing the right ODM partner to develop your specialized products can save you time, money, and headaches throughout their life cycle.

Contact us to discover how Dedicated Computing can help launch your products and manage ongoing change in ways that will benefit your bottom line and ensure great customer experiences.

The Dedicated Difference in 4:40 — Watch the Video

Dedicated Computing recently released a new facilities tour video taking virtual visitors behind the scenes of their 130,000 sq. ft. Milwaukee-based facility. The 4-minute video provides a view into the company’s design and engineering facility, their performance analysis lab, and manufacturing facility.

For more videos from Dedicated, please visit our youtube page.