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Overview
When moving from one office to another it might seem that you could simply disconnect your computers and move them to a new office. However, as you move closer towards your office move date you will bump into unexpected issues that need addressing. This guide is designed to give you a heads-up overview of the common IT related issues. Not all of the issues listed below will be relevant to every business, and some businesses will have issues that we’ve not touched on here. Therefore, this list is meant as a thought provoking guide and is not exhaustive.

Anatomy of an office move

  1. No new computers - It’s commonplace for people to think “Let’s start out in our new office with brand new computers”. This is not necessarily a good idea as it allows extra variables into the equation. Our experience tells us that it’s usually best to move your existing network across to your new office and get it working in exactly the same way as it worked before. This way if it something doesn’t work it will be easier to find the fault and therefore quicker to correct it.
  2. New infrastructure - Whilst new computers are discouraged, new IT infrastructure like hubs, switches, routers, server cabinets etc can be a very good idea. The main reason for this is the ability to move from one working and tested environment to another. For instance, if you re-use your old router you won’t know if there’s a broadband fault until you try and move in. A better option would be to install a new router prior to the move date and ensure that the internet actually works.
  3. Broadband migrations – AVOID AT ALL COSTS! If you plan to have your broadband swapped across from one BT line to another on a particular day, then you are likely to have problems. All migrations of this kind involve BT regardless of your broadband provider (with the exception of Virgin Media) and sadly many people experience issues with this procedure. The better option is to arrange for a new broadband service to be installed in the new premises in advance of your office move. If you have on-site servers or CCTV etc then remember to ensure that your new broadband will have a ‘Static IP address’.
  4. Phone line for broadband – Broadband has to be installed on an analogue line. This means that if you have an ISDN phone system, you will also need an additional standard analogue telephone line. Typically, businesses often have an analogue phone line for their fax machine and place their broadband on this line. NOTE: You should not have anything like Redcare alarms attached to your broadband phone line. If in doubt, please ask us. Using an existing active phone line for broadband is usually fairly easy and takes around 10 days from the point of order. If you need a new phone line then this usually takes 7 – 10 days and, if not ordered together, the installation needs to be complete before you can order broadband on the line.
  5. Ordering Broadband - If you plan to use BT’s broadband and you are ordering a new line to put it onto, then you should request the broadband at the point where you order your new phone line. BT can order the two together. If you plan to use a different ISP, then you must wait for the new phone line to be installed before you can order your broadband. Often you will need to wait a few days after the installation date before other ISPs learn of the new line. Broadband usually then takes 10 days from the point of order.
  6. Testing broadband – Ideally, you would install a new broadband router in the new building at least 10 days prior to your intended move date. This gives you another 10 days to re-order the broadband if anything went wrong.
  7. Ordering ISDN lines – ISDN lines take longer to order than standard phone lines and often take upto a month from the point of order (check with your telecoms provider).

    Office Move Timeline

  8. Location of phone sockets – The location of your telephone sockets within the building is important. If at all possible, ensure that your main phone sockets (analogue and ISDN) are situated in the location where you intend to put your server and phone system.
  9. Fully structured cabling – The best cabling solution for a business with several PCs is usually fully structured. This uses a central point in your office and cables are routed to convenient sockets on the walls of the office. The central point usually has a panel with one connection per network point and we then use ‘patch leads’ to connect a network socket to either a telephone port or a data port. A user could then move from one socket to another and use the same telephone extension by simply re-patching their phone to a different socket (this may sound complicated but it takes about 5 seconds to do!). To do this, you would usually have a data cabinet to house the patch panel. This keeps everything neat and tidy and also allows you to store your server, router, switch, UPS etc within the cabinet.

Contact us TODAY to ensure your move is as smooth as possible.

 

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Article by: Eddie Palmer
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