What's with all the Downtime and Can Power Protection Help?

July 13, 2011

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

From Amazon to Go Daddy to Microsoft (News - Alert), big players all across the tech space are catching downtime fever about as quickly as they are catching heat stroke.

“As shown in a recent story on CNN, our demand on the aging power grid is greater than ever,” Duston Nixon, marketing communications specialist for leading power protection company Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), told TMCnet about this new trend. “Factors like unseasonably warm temperatures and the ever increasing number of electronic devices each of us own mean our current system is stretched to its limits.”

According to the CNN report, experts on the nation's electricity system have highlighted a worrisome fact that there has been a “steep increase” in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers. In fact, during the past two decades, blackouts have increased 124 percent – up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota.

Moreover, the extreme weather experienced across the country over the past three to five years has not helped matters, added Nixon. And, even though “smart grid” technology is rapidly being rolled out by utility companies, it is still a slow process.The result of this new trend is that businesses now live in an environment in which they no longer worry about if downtime will happen but instead worry about when.  

For power protection leader Minuteman, spreading the word about the dangers of downtime is an integral part of the company’s mission statement.

“Downtime due to power outages typically means no ability to communicate with the outside world if a power protection system isn’t in place,” Nixon said. “Every second a company cannot communicate with its customers is a potential disaster. An unanswered call at the least can lead to temporary dissatisfaction, and at worst can drive an established customer to a competitor.”

The best way to avoid the troubles associated with downtime is to develop a power protection plan – something which will eliminate any single point of failure within a business, according to Nixon.

“A system of intelligent uninterruptible power supplies such as Minuteman’s EnterprisePlus and Endeavor Series, power distribution units, as well as power management tools will ensure the lights stay on and the phones stay connected,” he said. “For mission critical applications, these products can be combined with backup generators to ensure operations in even the most extreme situations.”

When asked whether there is a greater need for power protection now, especially in the wake of so many companies experiencing extended downtime, Nixon was quick to answer “there certainly is.”

In fact, as more and more businesses become reliant on their lines of communication to the outside as voice and data systems converge.

“The movement to VOIP and cloud computing means that network connectivity is a must for even basic operations in every business, whether it is small to medium sized or a multi-national corporation,” Nixon said. “In a tough economy, a power protection plan is an investment that can provide a guaranteed return the moment an outage occurs.”

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 Chris DiMarco