Interesting and common customer query this week…..

I was interested in purchasing a license for the NE-511 models we have gotten. We are planning to use 2 pumps connected to 1 PC, not necessarily simultaneously running at the same time (it will be programmed to run 1 pump first before the other one starts). Which license would you recommend?

My Answer

Ah there’s several factors to consider here. I guess because I am selling my software – you would expect my biased answer to be buy the more expensive 2 pump license.

Here’s my thoughts – I would be very interested to hear what were the issues in your final decision.

If you purchase a single pump license and operate by connecting/disconnecting your pumps as you need them, I think you will generate a lot of confusion, interruption and unnecessary computer fiddling around crap. I hate that. It winds up being a destroyer of your productivity, and if you slip because your interrupted or what ever – you may destroy whatever protocol you have set running on one pump or perhaps even two pumps.

For some of my customers that can destroy expensive protocols that have run for days. Possible loss of materials. Those materials cost money.

If you are using an accounting department – ask them would they prefer to process one transaction or two?Think about the paper work they need you to do to make a purchase – why do it twice?

If your being paid wages or consuming lab time or other resources – it’s more economical to avoid all this crap by going straight to the dual license key.

I am thinking about the lab that was losing mice by fiddling rather than spending. They were specially bred mice with special characteristic. Read expensive mice. I don’t know what the impact is on your work.

For example I have one customer who has 9 pumps and they use a single pump license – because of the cost of a multi-pump license. They are forever emailing with problems, that in the end are caused by ‘finger trouble’ or hardware wear and tear, bought about by them hot plugging pumps.

Don’t over look the wear and tear on the pump cabling whilst your hot-plugging pumps. This leads to a failure of communications with the pump, an email exchange with me to diagnose the problem, followed by purchasing delays for replacement cables. Lot of lost time…..

My other commonly seen issue is that suddenly someone will start plugging the communications cable into the wrong socket and again we email and diagnose the fault. This usually happens when operators change.

Yes it’s a saving in initial setup cost
A two pump license is $99 vs a single at $49 so you can save $50 for your organization. Your accountant will love you – at least for a while.

Now it’s time to think about what it costs your organization to pay you, and what the impact of lost work and materials might be on research time lines. This kind of thinking will make the people higher up in the organization love you.

Will an impacted research time line eventually lead to funding difficulties? Fifty dollars might be a minuscule saving against what the ongoing costs will be.

Even the consideration of this question 1 vs 2 pump license is costing your organization something for you to process at some level.

Two pump operation
If there’s ever the chance that you will need to monitor both pumps at the same time, synchronize their starting and stopping, or upload a pump program whilst the other pump is being monitored – you will need a 2 pump license.

License upgrades – the good news…
With my software you can purchase a single pump license and then at a later date upgrade to a 2 (or more) pump license with no cost penalty.  (Confession: Some upgrades wind up costing $1-$2 more than buying the correct size license up front).

I would be really interested in what you decide to do, and what your driving factors were. In the end you can safely purchase the cheaper license and upgrade when you need to down the track.

A couple days later…

Customer purchased the 2 pump license.


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