ASTi Support Philosophy & Labor Rates

Support Contracts

Administrative & Pre-Proposal Support

For customers looking for help in understanding the products available from ASTi—or trying to establish a price for a system—ASTi will usually provide up to ten hours free administrative support.

Similarly, where a customer requires access to an ASTi engineer for help in configuring a system, we are happy to provide a reasonable amount of free consultation. On occasion, this pre-award technical support crosses the line into becoming program-specific system engineering design services. Where this occurs, ASTi reserves the right to reflect this sunk cost into the subsequent pricing of NRE services.

Technical Support Contract (TSC)

The Concept of a TSC

Most digital audio communications problems are complex; with the advent of multi-operator integrated platforms, large distributed exercises, HLA, Information Assurance, and Level-D certification the solutions are becoming ever more sophisticated. Even though ASTi equipment makes these complex training scenarios feasible, it unfortunately cannot make them trivial because the underlying problem domain is complex.

There is no substitute for in-house expertise.

When ASTi provides their platform as commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), it is important that they appreciate that this does not obviate the need for their own in-house subject matter experts (SMEs).

ASTi will provide extensive support and training in support of these SMEs, but cannot replace them.

For OEMs who have developed in-house expertise and just want to avail themselves of COTS equipment and a limited amount of specialized support(1), there is the option of an ASTi Technical Support Contract (TSC).

The ASTi TSC provides a limited(1) bank of pre-paid support hours under which specialized support services are provided. This vehicle is intended to provide a responsive and informal mechanism to allow the customer engineering specialist to obtain immediate technical support from ASTi without invoking a separate purchase order for each occasion.

The cost of this support is kept to a minimum by avoiding administrative burden on either party. To accomplish this, the accounting of these hours is made at an engineer-to-engineer level.

This flexible arrangement relieves ASTi of the administrative costs of producing multiple trivial proposals, invoicing against minor milestones, and--most significantly--the considerable burden of expediting overdue payments. In return, ASTi grants the customer a substantially reduced cost for the labor provided under the contract.

Furthermore, the rates for this support are kept as low as possible (see table below) because we consider that it is in ASTi's best business interest to encourage and develop expertise with ASTi equipment in the customer community.

(1) The TSC is not intended to be a replacement for customer in-house expertise, but a supplement; therefore, we reserve the right to restrict the amount of support provided to a customer.

TSC Benefits

The support contract provides the following benefits to the customer:

With a valid support contract, support services are charged at a base rate of $195 per hour. An additional urgent-support rate may apply in circumstances requiring immediate resolution without prior notification, regardless of TSC status.

At any time, the customer may request an accounting of the tasks against which hours have been charged.

If the allotted support hours are exhausted before the completion of the contract effort, the customer will be notified, and may elect to restock the account.

Unused TSC hours may also be converted to cash-equivalent for minor purchases or unanticipated expenditures. This is extremely useful for minor repairs, spares and software maintenance purchases, or travel and per-diem for urgently required site trips. Hours may also be assigned to specific pre-agreed tasking such as custom model updates.

Please note that the TSC does not cover extended hardware warranty. This can be quoted on a per-contract basis.

Technical Support Rates

Rates below reflect ASTi’s base technical support rates. Other services such as development, program management, and specialized engineering consulting and support may have different rates.

Project/Program Management, Custom Development and other Specialized Engineering/Consulting rates

Description Hourly Rate w/ TSC (1) Hourly Rate w/o TSC Onsite Rate/Day w/ TSC
Project Engineer $195 $235 $1,950
Development Engineer
(such as HLA, Information Assurance, Level-D Tuning and Certification)
$215 $255 $2,150
Specialized Engineering/Consulting $255 $295 $2,550
Program Management $275 $315 $2,750

(1) Discounted rates based on pre-paid purchase of TSC with minimum bank of support hours. Rate reflects an approximate 25% savings over rates with no support contract in place.

Standard Rates

All rates above represent a discount for customers who are willing to adopt the COTS business model and procure goods and services from ASTi on a commercial purchase order basis for products and support services, relying upon our reputation in the marketplace to ensure that they obtain a satisfactory solution.

ASTi reserves the right to impose an additional 25% overhead charge for customers who utilize extensive bid and proposal, formal statement of work and contract based procurement methods.

This rate increase reflects appropriate overhead burden to allow recovery for substantial bid & proposal, statement of work and contract analysis and negotiation efforts, which it would be unfair to apply to other customers using a simple COTS procurement method.

All pricing presented on this website includes a 1.5% discount for preferred customers with established credit and a history of prompt payment. Prices presented are in $US, and for U.S. domestic customers only. International sales add 20%. Shipping not included in prices. Expedited shipping requires customer to provide FedEx account number for billing.

ASTi reserves the right to make changes to pricing without prior notice, and without reference in or to this publication. All trademarks mentioned are property of their respective owners with all rights reserved.