When to Get IT Involved in an Office Move
Office moving and in-house upgrades require an understanding of timelines required by all trades persons and staff members. Certain aspects of the move will go well, while others may present stumbling blocks which could be prevented with a little forethought. The goal is for a move that has a positive effect on clients and staff alike.
An important challenge to overcome at the very start of proceedings, especially if your office environment is located near other businesses, is appeasing business owners and assuring them that your renovation will cause minimal disruption. Delays caused by uncooperative tenants can set the project back, causing numerous headaches for trades persons and clients during the office moving. It will be of no avail to confirm your relocation date two months before commencement if access is denied during successive weeks prior to the date.
A lot can be achieved in five weeks, such as relocating walls, or installing a server and air conditioning. Walls can be painted, a kitchen constructed, bathroom fittings modernised, and more. It’s also possible in this small time-window to add a security system complete with automated alarms and smoke detectors. Electricity, cabling, and even a new switch board can also be installed to cope with the upgrade requirements.
Most of the above considerations, although essential, are relatively easy to factor into a short time frame. Dedicated experts with years of experience have performed these tasks enough times to foresee any potential delay well before it happens. Almost all of the bricks-and-mortar type jobs are predictable and can be performed on schedule by office fitout experts.
The harder part of the job to factor into an accurate time frame is the data delivery network, especially for a business that is reliant on speedy communications. Getting a bonded fibre ADSL backup line installed can be frustrating, as the technicians are working for national companies and don’t have independent decision making ability. Regardless of budget, a business has to wait their turn for the giant telcos, without options for hurrying the connection along. In the meantime, it is important to at least get the initial connection installed prior to the move, and possibly rely on 3G failover until the backup is up and running. It’s good to have options.
Technology is often difficult to factor in during the move as its function is invisible to the untrained eye. Setting up a network is nothing like arranging office furniture or painting walls, and is the domain of cyber geeks with specialist capabilities. Technology is nebulous, and often has a mind of its own, sometimes confounding even the experts and resulting in delays. The uptake of telephony technology is also an in-house learning curve for staff and management as they attempt to get a handle on new systems.
Building a Microsoft Lync enterprise voice system, for example, can be a daunting experience for staff, and it’s a good idea to begin as soon as practical, preferably at least nine weeks prior to opening. Every service will need to be ported and tested, while keeping the help desk up and running. The primary phone lines can be the last to port across in joining the new system. If possible, aim to have the data services ported late on Friday, then have the hardware removed from the server rack, and relocated in the new office.
Finishing touches to furnishings can always wait until after the move as they are not mission critical. Hanging pictures, installing a new coffee machine, and adjusting door handles will seem a breeze compared to the mental trauma involved with technology. The lesson to be learned in relocating your business, especially if you can’t afford interruptions or outages, is to get the IT started at least two months prior to the change to guarantee connections are in place on time.
By George B (follow me on Google)