In my experience, clients who think hard about cost justification have a much more important concern than just price. They want to make sure that they're not spending their company's money on a system that doesn't work as advertised.
That's smart. You have to be careful when working with equipment vendors, especially on protocol mediation projects. Most vendors can't support all your legacy equipment, and they don't have the development capabilities to make integration work.
Some vendors will charge you large NRE (non-refundable engineering) fees up front for custom work, and give no guarantee that the resulting product will meet your performance requirements.
Personally, I think that's a lousy way to do business. I give all my clients a 30-day guarantee: If my product doesn't completely satisfy you, return it for a full refund. If I can't give you a solution, I don't want your money. If I'm doing custom work for you, I don't expect you to pay for it until I've proven that it works to your satisfaction.
Very few vendors will make that guarantee. But you need to demand the best level of service from your vendor to ensure that your implementation is 100% successful.
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