Office migrations and relocations
Moving premises can cause a lot of downtime for your organisation if you don’t get it right. By getting us involved at the onset – it can go pretty smoothly. We will guide you through the process (we’ve done it for our clients many times!), deal with the glitches (and they will happen!) and ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.
These are some of the things that will need to be dealt with:
Surveying the new premises – network infrastructure and cabling
- If you are lucky your new premises will have network cabling and sockets already in place. You’ll need at least 2 sockets near each planned desk (for PC and PBX/VOIP). Shared printers will need sockets too. If cabling needs to run over exposed floor then can use Cable Safety Strips.
- If there is no cabling infrastructure in the premises then get it put in well before the move, it will make for a much tidier and safer office. Dual Channel trunking will house the data cables/sockets as well as the electrical wiring. Most electricians will put this in for little extra cost. Ensure you have enough wall sockets to deal with all your devices – PAT tests will cost more in the long term if you have to use extensions.
- Stay clear of wireless for your main network infrastructure, partly for security reasons but also for reliability – if there is a train line or underground line or even someone else’s mis-configured wireless device operating nearby the electromagnetic interference will very likely result in unreliable network connections. Many offices in the vicinity may also have wireless for occasional use, resulting in a crowded and wifi spectrum with not enough bandwidth for everybody.
- Speak to the new neighbours and ascertain how their broadband performs. Order Fibre if at all possible as this will enable the use of VOIP to replace the traditional (and expensive) PBX systems. Fibre will also improve the ability of your users to work remotely if you host your own server.
- Despite what your ISP will say, “Cease and Re-provide” (in our experience) always results in disruption, sometimes lasting weeks. We advise that you install a completely new phone line to the premises and get a broadband service on it from your chosen ISP.
- If your server is hosting your mail, you may need to arrange to have a Backup MX on your domain DNS so you do not lose email.
- Ensure the broadband is activated and tested some weeks in advance and of your move. It can take more than a month to book in a line install so start this process early. Remember your ADSL line can double as a fax line.
- Consider migrating your PBX systems to VOIP. You can port your local telephone numbers to VOIP at low cost and line rental for VOIP is as little as £1 per month. All the standard PBX features such as conference calls, voicemail and call redirection are standard with VOIP, but with much lower line rental costs.
- Consider upgrading/replacing your workstations at the time of move, the cost of doing this will pale against the other costs involved in a move and your users will have a fresh productive start in the new premises.
- Get your IT support involved from the onset to ensure disruption to users is minimised. If you run your own servers there are many things to be arranged in the background, and they have done such moves before so will be aware of suppliers that can do the jobs you need done on time Consider getting them in on the move day to troubleshoot start-up issues and do a health-check on the machines which are likely filled with dust from your old place.
- It is good practise to do a risk assessment, and ensure that in the event of any machine(s) failing to start up again when they are unpacked – you have a plan in place.
- Your server needs to be moved very carefully and disaster-recovery backups should be made prior to the move. Test reboots should be performed before the actual power down.
- Get each user to label their devices (not just the screen, but the computer, keyboard and mouse too). Draw a floor-plan of your new premises with user positions and give it to whomever is unpacking the boxes.
How Comm-Tech can help
- Planning, risk assessment, arranging network infrastructure and broadband installations.
- Visiting the premises and helping to specify infrastructure requirements. We can arrange to install additional points or an entirely new network cabling infrastructure, electrical wiring and emergency lighting.
- Arranging for the safe packing down and transport for your equipment by people experienced in just that.
- Making the appropriate and optimally scheduled adjustments to your domain’s DNS records.
- Once everything is have been moved we will reconfigure your server and networks for the new premises and have it up and running in time for your first day of work there. Our staff will spend part of the first day on-site to assist your staff with any system hiccups.
- Assessing the connectivity and broadband options at the new site and identifying the best value for your organisation. Liaising with the ISP to ensure you get the appropriate package, testing on activation and ensuring everything is ready in time for your move. Should there be a hitch with Broadband we’ll arrange for a temporary 4G uplink so users can continue work anyway. Should you decide to migrate to VOIP we can manage the process for you, arrange handsets/software and configure it appropriately.
For labour we’ll need between 3 and 5 engineer days, excluding driver / van hire and infrastructure cabling.