Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail
Table of Contents
With the growth of the Internet, telephone companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP) have created numerous products offerings. The most promising offerings were evaluated to determine possible solutions for a dealership’s Internet access needs. A summary of each these methods including their strengths is listed below.
Traditional network access has been offered in the form of dial-up, leased, satellite, or Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) products (ISDN has moved to more of a backup strategy, but is still a viable option) There is widespread availability of these methods.
Their capacities have range from low-speed 28.8Kbps dial-up (about 29,000 bits per second) to moderate speed 1.5Mbps leased lines (about 1.5 million bits a second).
Cost will vary depending on type and speed of access. Dial-up connections can use an existing telephone line with an inexpensive modem. ISDN and leased circuits require special connections and equipment and installation costs alone can approach $2,000. In addition monthly fees can be more than $1,000. Because these products have been available for some time, suppliers can easily match requirements to the various products. When searching for a product, make sure you check with different providers. These different providers can offer different pricing depending on the area and services available.
Emerging technologies can be found in newer products such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), aggregate dial-up, cable modems, wireless access, and enhanced satellite. These new products provide high capacity, ranging up to 10Mbps, at costs that rival older technologies. However, since development and deployment of these technologies is ongoing, availability is often poor and suppliers have difficulty matching products to needs. However as these products mature, those problems should be remedied. Also, when looking at these new solutions, verify that there is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) associated with the service.
At the end of this chapter, a recommendation is provided based on the overall strengths and weaknesses of each access method. It will help to decide which Internet connection method is right for the dealership. Individual decisions are guided by availability of service, capacity requirements, and cost for the dealership. Products with high ratios of bandwidth to costs, like DSL, are usually the most attractive but may not be available in some areas. Therefore, a more traditional service may have to be used. Because the market constantly offers new products, it would be wise to avoid any long-term commitments to connection services. Reviewing connection alternatives on a yearly basis will allow dealerships to take advantage of new products or downward shifts in current product pricing.