Kraft Heinz did it. Motorola Solutions is following suit. And McDonald’s has it slated for 2018. What do these companies have in common? Office relocation. And that means moving a company network, something that can easily be left last on the list of priorities.
Businesses, from small to super big, move for a variety of reasons: upsizing, downsizing, relocating for a different tax bracket, expanding warehouse space, opening a secondary location, or even attracting top talent.
For small businesses wanting to make a smooth transition, thinking about your infrastructure should come long before the physical move. Why? There are a lot of moving parts in a network move. Once your IT people know about your plans, they can take responsibility for them. The risks for not planning early go from slight to steep. You could delay your entire network move or be working off of cell phones for a week or two instead of land lines. Parts of your business and infrastructure may not be up and running for a period of time. And, the worst, you may feel utterly frustrated that your business technology is stalling business opportunity.
We say: pitch the risks. Here are the five most important points to know when moving a company network.
1. The 60-day rule.
A network move is a project that requires a lot of coordination and time to set up. Optimally, get IT on board 60 days out from the time of the actual move.
2. Internet connectivity.
In a perfect world every Internet service provider (ISP) is available everywhere. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Your options, for example, will most likely decrease if you go from a highly populated area with ready access to Internet providers like Cogent Communications, AT&T Fiber and Comcast Business Class to a more rural area. At 3Points, we work with ISP brokers to get the best service at the best price and prebuild your circuit so you’re off and running on day one. The minute we know you’re moving, we’re there to help make it easy and cost efficient.
3. Phone system.
In many cases, it takes four to six weeks to properly cut over phone numbers. You can lose a lot of business waiting that long to call a client back! Here, we’re talking land lines, voice lines and alternate T1 lines. Your IT partner should connect with your phone vendor. What happens if you’re late to the phone party? Your default, of course, is forwarding calls to mobile – not the first choice but certainly a backup plan.
4. Moving your equipment.
At 3Points, we can box and move servers, switches, firewalls, and things like that. Moving 30 or 40 monitors and computers and printers though? Not in our wheelhouse for the simple reason that most of our technicians don’t drive an 18 wheel truck (thank goodness!). Of course we’ll lend a hand to anybody who asks us, but we recommend delegating the task of
moving hardware and equipment to a moving company that is 100% insured and a bit brawnier than us.
5. Early planning.
If you take nothing else from this post, remember the phrase: Let’s figure it out together. Inviting your IT team in during the planning or build-out phase is one of the best ways to move a company network. The big idea behind this is making sure things are properly set up for the new space. By being part of the process, we can help you determine things like where your wiring should be, and maintaining seamless functionality for both your phone and computers.
6. Move in, then move on.
Let the network move be a project all by itself. It’s challenging from an IT and client perspective. Other projects like implementing a new server or application, or upgrading a network should be viewed separately. Let’s get you moved in and settled first.
Moving your network is like moving your house. When you’re moving your home, there are things you want to take into consideration for your family – home Internet, cable TV, phone, mail. You have to set up new accounts for gas and electric. Early outreach ensures you don’t spend a day without these critical services. I mean who would want to miss a Mets game just because of poor planning? (Hey, I have to put a plug in for my favorite team; it’s summer! Go Mets!).