One of the most complex things a business can go through is an office move. On top of how busy you already are, an entire team of people and all their equipment has to move. Over the years we have put together a checklist for our clients to help make the IT side of things go as smooth as possible.
While looking for office space
Before you sign a lease, make sure and check that the facility offers the speed of internet access you require. It is rare, but some locations will be stuck with old technology like DSL. While you can often get internet providers to build service in, there is a high cost associated with those situations.
Are you currently in a contract with your phone and internet providers? Will you be able to move those services? If so what is the cost?
Pre move prep
Internet Service Scheduling
This is the #1 thing that holds up office moves. The worst decision you can make is to try and rush your move. Internet service providers are massive companies and move at their own pace. Chances are good that if you need something rushed, they will not be able to accommodate.
Do not schedule the office move until you have a confirmation of the installed internet date from the ISP project team (NOT the sales team)
ISPs generally will require at least 60 days to get an internet circuit installed
This is from the date the order is submitted, not the day you sign it. This is an internal process and you will get a confirmation from the ISP that the order has been received once it gets submitted. Again, wait to hear from the project team, not the sales team.
It is not uncommon for a new circuit to have configuration or performance issues. Give your IT team time to make sure everything is working, this may take a few days on top of the install window
Internet Service Ordering
Gather all your current internet and phone bills. Make sure you are accounting for everything:
Backup internet connection if needed
Including alarm systems, faxes, etc.
VoIP systems may have issues with faxing and other non-voice services.
When comparing quotes, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The long distance packages can vary drastically, as can the Service Level Agreements (SLAs.) Some circuits will guarantee a 4 hour response time for an issue, some circuits effectively have no response time.
Make sure that you know where they are installing their equipment. Some ISPs will bring it all the way into your suite. Others will install in a building wiring closet on your floor or in the basement and will expect you to provide a connection to the suite. Make sure specify exactly where the install is going (building, floor, room) for any wiring.
Consult with your IT team about cooling requirements when designing the server room and any wiring closets. A need for full AC can drastically effect costs and location.
Power requirements for a server room are much different than most office space. Have your IT team talk with the general contractor and/or electrician. A minimum of two separate 30 amp circuits is a good starting point if you only have a few servers, but the actual numbers can vary wildly as you add more equipment.
Consider expansion – will you need to add additional servers or equipment in the future?
Room to work - while theoretically a small server room can be utilized, it makes some tasks such as troubleshooting or upgrades exponentially more difficult. Make sure there is room for someone to easily get to every side of the servers and/or rack(s).
Future proof as much as possible. For each wiring drop location, it is relatively close in price to install 1 or 4 network jacks. It will be much more expensive to go back later and add more ports. It is also a lot cheaper to get everything done at once (especially if they can wire before drywalling!) so put network jacks in places you think you may want to add desks down the road.
Often wiring companies will not quote the wiring past the wall jack without asking. If you need the cubicles wired for network access, make sure and specify that while getting a wiring quote.
A note about cubicles: you will likely need to hire an electrician to install power. Neither the furniture movers/installers nor the data wiring company can install electrical into the cubes. Plan this ahead of time to ensure the right power circuits are ready.
When wiring, take into account future devices, such as phones, copiers and printers, additional wireless access points, and other devices which require network access.
When deciding where to put wire drops in offices, consider where furniture will be placed. Often it is possible to place two drops on opposite walls so that there is a nearby port no matter how the office is arranged. Nothing ruins a nice new office more than a blue network cable running across the entire room.
For any phone lines or wireless access points, make sure that these are clearly labeled on the wiring rack. You might not be able to find network port “A32” when its hidden in the ceiling.