Digi POS Case Study
The author of this response is asked to evaluate the DigiPos case study and offer responses to four major questions. First, the author is asked to examine and assess the main computing problems that DigiPos faced with regard to the system upgrades involved and discussed in the case study. Second, the author is asked to discuss the solutions that were used to solve the problem. Third, the author is asked to compare and contrast the Quantum Blade and Retail Blade hardware and software solutions. Fourth and finally, the author is asked to assess the means by which total cost of ownership (TC) was managed along with an opinion of what will or will not work in addressing the same (DigiPos, 2013).
As far as the challenges or problems that were faced as mentioned by the case study, the earlier part of the study enumerates that delivering unique retail solutions that maximized the return on investment of the firm as well as helped DigiPos retain its competitive advantage was one challenge. Another challenge was constructing a proper framework, or “roadmap’, towards offering predictability and acceptable levels of performance via the use of embedded processor technology (DigiPos, 2013).
As far as the solutions offered, those are also clearly articulated in the case study. It is noted that DigiPos has made it a point to operate exclusively and over a long period of time with a singular technology solution, that being Intel systems. It is also noted in the case study that they do not limit the technology used to Intel systems but also different chipsets in general, including the i7 and the Q67 Express Chipset (DigiPos, 2013). Also, they use Solid State Drives rather than traditional platter hard drives. The upsides to SSD’s are obvious. Even though the upfront cost of SSD’s are much higher, the reliability of SSD’s also much higher given that there are no moving parts in the drives which is far and away the most common cause of hard drive failure (Domingo, 2013).
As for the differences and similarities between the Quantum Blade and Retial Blade systems, there are clear benefits to both but the Quantum option is obviously much better. Both the Retail and Quantum blade offerings are better than traditional retail POS systems because upgrading the systems are not “all or nothing” propositions. In other words, if there is a part of the system that is deficient and needs to be upgrade, it is not necessary to scrap and replace the entire system. Instead, only the parts that are in need of upgrade, like the motherboard or the memory, can simply be swapped out. The two blade systems are different in that deviations of any sort from expected parameters was a fairly major liability with the Retail Blade systems and this was greatly improved upon with the better energy efficiency and performance curves of the Quantum Blade systems offered by Intel in 2009. Indeed, the case study notes that the power used by the processors is indeed a fraction of that used by a light bulb, coming in at 15 measly watts (DigiPos, 2013). The most common light bulb power level is 60 watts (Koch, 2010).
The end of the previous paragraph is an obvious clear extension to the answer ot the next question, which explains why the total cost of ownership is clearly being reduced. As noted by the case study, the Quantum Blades offer all of the benefits of the Retail Blade systems but with lower energy used but better performance, all at the same time. In short, processing tasks that are needed to be done by the system are done more quickly but while using less electricity than the Retail Blade systems and requiring much less cost to upgrade or change the system than non-Blade system and roughly the same as the Retail Blade systems were at the same point in their life cycle. It is noted on the third page of the case study that the mean time to failure for the older systems was 40,000 to 60,000 hours but the newer system can last 300,000 hours, which equates to 11 years of continuous operations. Obviously, continuous operations would be quite normal for many retail outlets as many stores nowadays are open 24 hours and/or the system are never fully turned off even if the store is closed. The case study notes that there is no other way to get this sort of life out of these systems without utilizing the low-voltage technology. The higher the voltage, apparently, the less life the system will have just as a matter of electronics and physics and how more voltage leads to more wear in almost all instances (DigiPos, 2013).
Obviously, the DigiPos/Intel case study is clearly written in a fashion that basically advertises for both. However, the benefits of the technology that they discuss is clear and concreted, including the use of easily-upgradable technology, the use of Solid-State Drives (SSD’s) and the use of low-voltage processors and other components to reduce or eliminate the different forms of wear and tear that occur with retail computing equipment as it is used over and over again. The fact that a computer processor can operate at a voltage lower than a common incandescent light bulb is fascinating and impressive. The energy-efficient dream realized by many environmentalists and conservationists is being realized more and more every day.
DigiPos. (2013, October 20). Digipos – About us. Digipos – Home. Retrieved October 20,
2013, from http://www.digipos.com/about_us/
Domingo, J. (2013, May 20). SSD vs. HDD: What’s the Difference? | PCMag.com.
Technology Product Reviews, News, Prices & Downloads | PCMag.com | PC
Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp
Koch, W. (2010, May 13). America’s most common light bulb gets LED replacement.
USA TODAY: Latest World and U.S. News – USATODAY.com. Retrieved October
20, 2013, from http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse
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