Our company just moved its offices. Recently the number of employees doubled, so we needed more space to work and play. A milestone to be sure, but frankly office moves can be scary.
We've all heard horror stories about the havoc a move can wreak on IT infrastructure. Regardless of industry, every company depends heavily on accurate, up-to-the minute data.
Thankfully, our move to new digs went relatively smoothly. In the interest of helping others, here are six lessons that we learned that might help you when you're company decides to move offices.
1. Plan ahead: It's all about planning, planning...and more planning. Start well ahead of the scheduled move, but keep it simple. At Etelesolv, we started six months in advance. Once the key people agree on the move strategy, a shared Microsoft Project document (or some similar program) with tasks to assigned individuals will do the job. Weekly reviews will help keep everyone on track. Be prepared to change your plans but make sure every key person involved will understand the changes.
2. Services: You definitely want to get these three things done before the move (you'll thank me later).
- Schedule cabling installation with enough lead time to complete the job before moving. Including network cabling in your general contractor’s scope of work may save you some issues.
- Ensure adequate power is available in your new server room (50A circuits for UPS for example).
- Make sure you can provide alternative network access to mission critical employees during the network transfer.
3. Continuity: The switchover does not mean you hit 'pause' on your operation. Here's how:
- Before the move, understand your critical employees’ network needs during the switchover, test your temporary connection and identify priority servers/services to be relocated (i.e. Exchange and PDC).
- During the move, have enough staff and ensure everyone is at the pre-defined location. Check in with the team at pre-determined times.
- After the move, test your connections and test your VPN tunnels to other locations.
4. Snail mail: Don't forget to alert Canada Post of your new address. You may have IT gear orders in transit that need to be re-routed to the new address. Make sure you re-route them to your new address. It'll save you lots of time you would spend trying to get your returned packages back to the company.
5. IT room: Your IT assets need a good and safe home, so ask the following questions:
- Does the new IT room has enough power?
- Does the IT room have enough cooling and ventilation?
6. Make it fun: Finally, make sure your 'fun stuff' follows you to the new space. At Etelesolv, we work hard and play hard. At the new space, we not only brought our foosball and poker tables, but also added a pool table and dartboard. A new office should mean new opportunities for fun at work Good luck with your next office move! With a little planning it can be painless.
Chris Thierry is the president and founder of Etelesolv, a leading provider of telecom and IT expense management software. Vincent Parisien is vice-president of the company. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com