Moving your IT system to a new location can be very stressful
Over the years, many of our clients have either moved into larger premises, or opened a new branch office. Some have gone smoothly, others have caused a great deal of stress as promises by ISPs, electricians, telcos or others have not been delivered.
As a participant to some extent in most of these situations, NetCare has gained a good understanding of what to do and what not to do.
The following is our checklist to ensure your exciting move into your new premises is not dampened by technical hiccups, delays and failures.
Our checklist for ensuring opening your office is stress-free:
- Ensure internet coverage is "very good" or better before you sign the lease!!!! There is nothing more important than performing this first step. You can affect the outcome of all the ones following - but not this one - you're at the mercy of ISPs. PLEASE call us before you sign the lease and we'll let you know what internet coverage is like at your exact address.
- Ensure there is a suitable area for your telephony and comms lines to terminate at. One that has easy access to your comms cabinet, your modem, your router and your PABX.
- Ensure that the fitout includes a comms cabinet with a patch panel, as well as room for NetCare to install a rack mounted switch.
- Ensure that there is a secure area for the server to be installed. Often of course this is next to the comms cabinet, if room permits.
- Ensure the comms cabinet and server area are well cooled.
- Resist the urge to install a conventional hardware based PABX based telephony system. A new office is a great opportunity to invest in an internet based PBX solution that offers substantial initial cost savings, ongoing cheaper phone calls, plus a number of enhanced features to increase business productivity. NetCare recommend considering the Windows server-based 3CX solution.
- Consider carefully how many "conventional" phone lines you need installed by your telco (typically of course, Telstra). Depending on the decision you make up above, the number may fall to ZERO.
- Ditto for that fax line you thought you had to have - a VoIP phone system like 3CX will probably negate the need for that too.
- Consider the type of Internet connection you install. NetCare are largely agnostic when it comes to ISPs - they ALL have their ups and downs. The ost important consideration is whether you get a standard ADSL2 link or whether you go for a faster synchronous link (known under various monikers including EFM, EoC and SHDSL). If this is a branch site that will be linking to the head office for your main business application then the latter may make a huge productivity difference for those working at the branch office. NetCare can assist navigating the ISP plans minefield.
- Ensure the electrical contractor installs two cable ports for each workstation area - one for the computer and a separate one for the phone. Installing extra cabling at this point is a lot cheaper than doing it later.
- Ensure the electrical contractor installs CAT6 cabling to ensure reliable gigabit performance. And make sure that the same cabling is used for computer AND phone connections.
- Consider installing a PoE switch if you're installing an internet based PBX solution. PoE (Power over ethernet) does away with those annoying power adapters that handsets all seem to need these days, and that frequently seem to fail. Far better to put a PoE switch in now, and use the cabling to provide the small amount of power the handsets actually need to operate.
- When getting quotes from office removalists, ensure you engage one that safely and securely moves all your office equipment – PCs, monitors, printers, fax machines and so on. It may even be necessary to engage a specialist removalist if you have a large multi-purpose printer/scanner/copier device from a vendor like Kyocera, Canon or Xerox.
- Check, CHECK, CHECK before move in day. We strongly recommend getting NetCare to make an onsite visit on your behalf prior to moving day to ensure that everything is as it should be:
- The fitout is complete (not a hanging out electrical outlet to be seen);
- The power is on (not just the lights - also the wall sockets - we've been there!);
- The cabling has been tested (NetCare has a tester!);
- The telco has terminated the cables (check the phone line can make an outgoing call with any old analog phone);
- The ISP has not only got the internet connection running but also running properly (this is a VERY common failure point). It is vital that NetCare visit onsite with a test modem to absolutely ensure this is the case BEFORE the removal truck turns up.
- On the big day, get NetCare staff to move the essential equipment – your server and the related networking equipment. We don’t want to be involved in moving all your other items like desktops, monitors and printers, but it is important for us to correctly decommission the server and its related devices. And we believe we are best placed to transport this essential equipment to the new site, so that we can begin the re-commissioning process at the new site as soon as possible.
As you can see, there are a number of technical considerations to be covered off with a site move, or the opening of a new branch office.
NetCare welcomes the opportunity to be involved in the process - either on a fixed price fully outsourced project management/research/activity basis, or on a time and materials basis for parts of it.
The reality is we’re going to need to be involved at some stage, so perhaps it’s a good idea to make us responsible for it all! Make the buck stop with us! Our Site Relocation services - including project management, testing, decommissioning, transportation, and re-commissioning - start from $1,590 (plus GST).Get in touch