One of our largest personal expenses is our car. It’s pretty easy to spend $35,000 or more for a new one. Then you need to service it, keep it tuned up, and occasionally repair it. It’s a big outlay, and it’s tempting to skimp on maintenance and insurance. But when you load your family in the car, suddenly the cost of the vehicle itself seems small relative to the value you entrust to it. And the cost of keeping it well maintained pales in comparison to the cost of an accident or breakdown.

Computers are a lot like that—especially for smaller businesses. Today, even small to medium-size businesses can afford to buy powerful systems with virtualization capabilities. But they often walk a tightrope between saving money on system support and protecting themselves from service interruptions. Many times it is only when they have a situation that they realize they don’t have the right level of service.

Like your car, your system requires regular monitoring to be sure it’s running at peak performance and no problems are developing. Just as you can change your own oil, you may try to save money by doing that yourself. But that takes you away from the reason you bought the system in the first place—serving your customers and growing your business. Depending on your business, the loss of a single customer or transaction can easily exceed the cost of the system. So you should think of your computer system not just in terms of its cost, but in terms of the business value you entrust to it. And you should provide a level of support consistent with that value.

Many times it is only when they have a situation that they realize they don’t have the right level of service.

We provide a warranty with our servers and storage devices that is an important part of protecting your investment in them. Warranty protects you from product defects. But it may not protect your business, so you should consider extending the warranty or upgrading the level of service to match your business reliance on the system. We’ve been working to make system support both more affordable and easier to buy, so you can buy the right support for your situation. Here are some options you should consider:

HP Foundation Care

Foundation Care offers reactive system support at levels more in tune with your business’s reliance on the system. For example, you can get 24 x 7 service with four-hour response—you call any time you experience a problem, and our service team will respond within four hours. That can prevent your business from being down over the weekend. If you need even more timely repair and you’re located within 50 miles of an HP support office, you can get 24 x 7, six-hour call-to-repair service. That means we’ll actually commit to restoring your device to service within six hours of your call.

HP Proactive Care

We usually associate HP Proactive Care with the needs of medium to large businesses, but remember it’s business reliance, not business size, that determines the level of support you need. Proactive Care is designed to prevent downtime by keeping systems properly configured and spotting developing problems before they interrupt service.  If you need your solution available 24 x 7, 365 and you need to avoid downtime, then HP Proactive Care is your next step up from HP Foundation Care.

To make them easy to understand and buy, we package all our support options as HP Care Pack Services. So when you buy an HP server, storage or networking solution, you’ll find an optional Care Pack Service to upgrade the support to the level your business needs. It’s actually one of the easier ways to protect your business.

Written By: John Flowers, Global Channel Marketing Manager, Technology Services at Hewlett Packard Enterprise