We had put in place a complex computer network that none of us knew how to support, maintain, or operate. Shortly after we implemented the practice management system, we experienced a virus attack that crashed our system. After the virus was removed, we experienced several lengthy losses of both telephone and data service. Identifying the cause of each of these system failures was a diagnostic problem well beyond our skills, with several possible corporate culprits. Before we went live, we had had a limited, inexpensive relationship with a small local computer support company; because we were paying annual support fees to both hardware and software vendors, we thought we would not need these local services after implementation. We were wrong. In fact, our relationship with the local company expanded rapidly in time, importance, and cost after implementation. Because we now rely on our system for core clinical functions (prescriptions, telephone calls, and accessing records), small technical malfunctions create major operational problems. Our expanded relationship with the local computer company now costs an unbudgeted $2000 per month, and the response time of our technical support is often inadequate.