Is Power Protection Worth the Upfront Cost? Minuteman Says Yes

April 12, 2011

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) - Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

It’s a common question that comes up: should you spend the few hundred dollars on a power protection piece of technology just so that you know that a power outage won’t cripple your company or should you risk it and stick to your philosophy of “it won’t happen to me?”

According to power protection leader Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), you may want to abandon that “not me” mentality in favor of a power protection device.

“One study conducted by J.D. Power & Associates found that the average business experiences 5.7 outages per year,” Duston Nixon, marketing communications specialist at Minuteman, told TMCnet. “Without protection, this means that 5.7 times per year business cannot be conducted. Though the average outage lasts only 10 minutes, the time to reboot equipment is much longer, not to mention time lost due to unsaved work and/or corrupted data.

”“The frightening part of all of this for business owners is that actual power outages only account for about 5 percent of power problems,” he added. “Other problems such as sags/brownouts, surges, and spikes can dramatically shorten equipment life and corrupt valuable data.”

Consequently, when weighing whether to put money upfront for power protection or challenge the odds and choose not to purchase a device, one should probably fork some money over. The amount of money spent upfront on a power protection device may be worth it since a power problem can wreak economic havoc.

The Electric Power Research Institute has found that, on average, a one second power outage costs a business $1,477, and the tab for a one hour outage comes to $7,795. Overall, this costs the U.S. economy between $104 and $164 billion annually.

“The initial cost of most of our UPS products can be easily recovered the first time an outage occurs,” Nixon said. “This is true for our lowest priced offerings, the EnSpire Series Standby, which can support a desktop PC or network equipment, as it is for our enterprise-level Endeavor Series, which can support an entire network or server system.”

“In the past, a business’ primary interest when purchasing power protection was preventing damage to extremely expensive equipment,” he added. “As time has gone on, equipment costs have decreased dramatically, meaning that while protecting equipment is still a high priority, the cost of downtime itself can far outweigh the cost of lost equipment.”Power protection does more than provide monetary benefits; it also allows businesses to have peace of mind, according to Minuteman.

“Protection for the phone and network systems means that customer calls will still be answered; protection at workstations means employees can focus on their tasks, not worry about losing an hour’s work if the lights flicker; and perhaps most importantly, managers and owners can sleep well at night knowing security systems, cameras, and DVRs will be active whether the power is or not,” Nixon said.

The need for power protection is only increasing, particularly as people and businesses become more reliant on uptime. Moreover, whether it’s a small or medium-sized business, IT managers want longer battery runtimes for their power protection products, according to a recent Frost and Sullivan survey.

As survey results indicated, with regards to servers and storage devices, 72 percent want more than 30 minutes of run time with their back up power supplies and 30 percent want more than two hours. When it comes to telephone systems, 80 percent want at least 30 minutes and 37 percent want more than four hours; for security and emergency systems, 75 percent want more than one hour and 44 percent want more than four hours.

“Today more than ever, a business is dependent on computers and connectivity,” Nixon said of the growing importance of power protection. “The convergence of all communications into a single system means that downtime is simply no longer an option. Gone are the days of handwriting receipts when a problem occurs – if power goes down, so does business.”

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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