Strategic Test Corp has announced that free software updates and technical support will be provided on all future purchases of their UltraFast range of Digitizer, AWG, fast Digital I/O and Digital Pattern Generator cards. The decision also applies retrospectively to all UltraFast products supplied during the previous 5 years.
Customers will be able to register and download the latest software and manual releases from their website. The download area contains the latest drivers for Windows and Linux, and will be updated with Windows Vista drivers as they become available. Other drivers for MATLAB, LabVIEW, VEE, DASYLab and LabWindows/CVI can also be obtained. The only software not available is the driver sources for Linux that are available on receipt of an NDA direct from the client.
“We believe in fair business,” said Bob Giblett, President of Strategic Test. “It seems to us that if customer suggestions contribute to new features that make our products the most versatile in the market, we in turn should provide the benefit to all of our customers without cost. If the customer can see that they get a direct benefit by sharing their ideas within the community of users, they will be even more motivated to make the effort to contact us. I also fail to understand the argument for charging to supply a new driver because a new operating system has been released, when clearly we need to make that investment in order to sell our products in future.”
While technical support has been supplied without question to clients regardless of product age, Strategic Test has noticed an increasing trend to charge for prime support at a cost of $1000 or more by competitors and has decided to now formalise the lifetime support commitment. “If the product is well designed and the manual written clearly, the amount of support required will be negligible,” says Giblett. “In our opinion, charging for technical support is either necessary because you get a lot of questions, or your pricing strategy is to reduce the visable purchase price and claw this back later. “On average, we receive one post sales support question per product sold; it depends on the level of the customers experience.”
While the standard hardware warranty period is two years, Strategic Test is now offering to extend the period to 5 years for a one-off payment of 1% of the purchase price.
About Strategic Test
With a product range of more than 150 high-speed Digitizer, Arbitrary Waveform Generator and high-speed Digital I/O PCI, 3U PXI and 6U CompactPCI cards, Strategic Test Corporation is one of the leading suppliers of high-speed PC-based instruments. The UltraFast cards are designed at the R&D facility in northern Germany and distributed through our offices in Woburn (MA) and Stockholm (Sweden).
The first high-speed measurement card for PC’s was designed in 1989. All of the current range cards has been developed since 2002. The UF2 series based on the PCI-X 66 MHz/32-bit PCI bus is the latest generation and sets new standards in onboard memory size and user flexibility. Strategic Test’s clients include global electronics, semiconductor, defense, telecommunications and medical instrument companies, government funded research labs and universities in five continents.