The expansion of any business is an exciting endeavor. If you’re finally making the leap of securing an additional office location, it’s important that you take the right steps to ensure that your technology is working properly before you begin conducting business. Everything from phone systems, cabling, dealing with vendors and internet service has to be set up. It can be a little overwhelming, but with a little planning and assistance, office moves and new locations don’t have to be difficult. Here are the most important technology considerations when opening a new office.
Internet Service Provider
Your employees need to be connected in order to work effectively. Rather than settling for the provider that you’ve always had, be sure to shop around in order to determine what’s best for your organization’s needs. It’s important that you have the appropriate bandwidth to ensure that your employees can be efficient without paying for something that you don’t need. It’s best to find a local resource with knowledge of the internet service providers. Reliability of service is the most important factor, but you should look into how responsive they are when issues arise as well. Ask around to other local businesses in the space that you’re moving into to get a better idea for which providers are better than others.
Whether you’re building your office space brand new or moving into an existing structure, it’s important to look at building infrastructure to determine how you need to cable and set up your network. If you’re building new, you can obviously customize this to suit your needs, but keep in mind that you should engage your IT provider before you do any space planning. This will help ensure that you can get connectivity to every employee and workstation. You’ll also want to ensure that your network closet will accommodate your hardware and look into how you’ll control the temperature in that room.
When moving or opening a new location, it’s important to look at other phone options that might better fit the needs of a growing organization. There are many different options and VoIP providers that have begun offering continuous communication services and cloud-based phone service for flexibility that you cannot achieve with a standard phone system. Engage a professional and do your diligence regarding the phone systems for your new location. Here’s a great article offering three things to demand from your business phone service that may help.
Software and Hardware
Yes, there’s more. Don’t forget to navigate licensing for additional users, purchase the right workstations for your users’ unique needs and look into your network setup to determine if you’ll want to upgrade servers or make a cloud move. Use this time to make an assessment of the software that you’re using to ensure that it meets your needs.
Perhaps the most time-consuming part of an office move or expansion is the logistics. While you may think that your office administrator can handle the move from a technology and vendor management perspective, the reality is that they’ll be busy dealing with movers and other logistics. Planning workstations and meeting technology vendors (phone, internet, cabling, IT) is only part of it. There’s also budget management, long term strategy, coordination and timing. Your ISP has to connect service, your cabling company must drop the cables, your phone service provider has to set up your system… it can all be overwhelming. Make sure that you have a plan in place or designated individual that will handle all of the details. An experienced Managed Service Provider or Project Manager is the best way to ensure that all the details fall into line perfectly.
A little overwhelmed? It’s a lot to do and by no means is this an all-inclusive list of considerations. When it comes to the expansion of your organization you shouldn’t leave it in the hands of a single technology resource or administrative role. Make sure that you engage a professional to help you plan strategically for the long term and choose the technology infrastructure, phone service, hardware, software and manage all the details.