Managed IT Services: Relocating or Setting Up Your Office? Try a Stress-Free Approach with this Checklist
Without a doubt, setting up or move your office can be a high stress situation. However, it need not be overwhelming. Especially, if you set the right expectations and plan properly.
Before you dive into the list below, keep these things top of mind:
- Is your anticipated move and setup timeline realistic?
- Keep in mind that some third-party vendors (such as movers) may be able to schedule quickly with little advance notice whereas others require weeks (think telephone and internet service providers).
- Check in with your managed IT services provider (MSP), if you have, as early in your process as possible so they can help you prepare and plan more effectively.
Though this list of questions and to do items is not exhaustive by any means, it will provide you with some guidelines on how to assess your needs, your timeline and any additional help you’ll want during the move.
Your New Space: How to Search, Vet and Secure
Here are things to think about when searching, vetting and securing a new location:
- How will you conduct your search?
- Will you be working with a commercial real estate broker to locate properties and negotiate the terms of your lease or purchase?
- Do you know the square footage and cost per square foot at your current location for purposes of comparison?
- Will you be expanding any time in the near future?
- If yes, what are the requirements of your new location?
- Square Footage?
- Single Story vs. Multiple Story
- Individual Access vs. Common Entry
- Nearby Business Services? (Printing, Shipping)
- Proximity of Dining Locations
- Shipping/Receiving Convenience? (UPS, FedEx, USPS)
- Proximity to Customers?
- Proximity to Employees?
- Have you compared similar locations to properly assess value?
- If you are planning on changing locales, what are the tax implications of your move?
Your New Space: Design and Configuration
Your new space may or may not need adjustments to make it work ready. If you plan on making space improvements, the questions below are for you.
▢ Is the new space configuration going to remain as-is, or are tenant improvements (TI’s) planned?
▢ If TI’s are being made, are they included as part of the lease and subject to property owner approval?
▢ Will a space planner be used to coordinate the improvements and design of the new space?
▢ If tenant improvements are being made, what are your electrical, data and telephone wiring requirements?
▢ If a space planner or designer is being engaged, will a floor plan be available and will the general contractor be responsible for addressing power and cabling requirements?
▢ Will accommodations be necessary to accommodate persons with disabilities or special needs?
▢ Will the new location facilitate keeping equipment (server, PBX, etc.) at proper temperature levels?
▢ Will dedicated HVAC systems be required for cooling systems during the weekends or after hours?
▢ Does the new location provide for physically securing critical equipment and sensitive data?
▢ Does the new location have an appropriate fire damage mitigation system?
If you don’t need or are not planning any improvements, then you’ll likely only need to address your power and cabling needs. You can do this via a simple walk-through to note where desks, telephones, conference areas, etc., will be placed. After which, you can work with an electrician and cable vendor to test the existing wiring and add additional drops and power as needed. Here are things to keep in mind, when addressing your cabling, electrical and other general office needs:
▢ Install Voice & Data Drops
▢ Install and/or at a minimum test all power outlets.
▢ Augment as needed to support required equipment.
Other General Office Needs
▢ Will new furnishings be required?
▢ Safety Plan.
▢ Are there an adequate number of fire extinguishers?
▢ Access Requirements
The most important part of your office technology set up are your communications systems (i.e. the telephone) and your data connectivity (i.e. the internet).
- Are you using a PBX? Or Analog?
- Are you using Voice Over IP (VoIP)?
- Will you be changing or upgrading your phone systems?
PLEASE NOTE: You will need to plan your telephone connectivity NO LESS THAN 6 WEEKS IN ADVANCE. So, be sure to notify your phone service provider in advance because there are a number of considerations involved:
- What is the maximum number of concurrent calls expected?
- Will remote call forwarding of any existing numbers be required?
- Plan timing of the cut-over.
- Will you need to port DID numbers?
PLEASE NOTE: You should plan and order your internet NO LESS THAN 3 WEEKS IN ADVANCE FOR DSL ORDERS and NO LESS THAN 4-6 WEEKS FOR T-1 SERVICE. Your internet needs depend on your voice configuration.
- Re-Point mx record for email?
- Service type and number of IP addresses required?
- Would the new location be better served by a split PRI using a number of channels for voice and the balance for data, or by a separate data connection and/or analog lines or another T-1 for voice?
- Will separate analog lines be required for dial up modem, fax machine, fax server, postage meter, security system, credit card processing terminal or other devices?
- Are any systems being upgraded? Will any additional equipment be required?
▢ Internet Router?
▢ Equipment Rack?
▢ KVM Switch?
▢ Wireless Router / Access Points?
▢ Postage Meter?
▢ UPS Power Backups & Power Strips?
▢ Patch Panels?
Relocation: Getting your things there safe and sound
Many things can be damaged or misplaced during a move. Here are things to keep in mind to minimize the occurrence of either one.
▢ Is your mover qualified and properly insured to relocate technology equipment?
▢ Does the mover have a special technique for relocating computer workstations? (Most qualified movers will have special carts for computers and computer equipment. Many will also shrink wrap such equipment to further protect it from damage during transit.)
▢ Are your movers available for a walk-through of the space?
▢ Have your employees prepared your equipment (cords, keyboards, speakers, handheld cradles, mice) for the move using location, box and equipment tagging?
▢ Is your I.T. vendor prepared to relocate your server equipment?
▢ Is your I.T. vendor prepared to pick up servers BEFORE the movers arrive and to set up equipment in the new space AFTER furniture is in place? (This avoids unnecessary charges if they’re forced to wait for the movers to finish.)
Business: Announcing your move and sharing your updated contact information
Finally, you need to make sure that everyone can easily find you in your new space. Make sure you’ve completed the below items:
- Send change of address letters to customers, vendors, friends & family.
- Design, order and install proper interior & exterior signage, building directory listing, etc.
- Initiate a change of address, telephone no., etc. on legal documents. (Customer contracts, IRS, EDD, etc.)
- Change address on employee manual and related materials.
- Change the company’s address and telephone numbers as applicable on business cards, letterhead, websites & relevant marketing collateral.
- Update address and telephone numbers (as applicable) with various directories, professional associations, etc.
- Change address & relevant info on email signatures (server & mobile devices; Blackberry, etc.)
- Request postal mail forwarding & assign a staff member to handle missed address corrections as they come in.
- Address any new insurance requirements with insurance providers – make certain coverage is secured for new address. (General Liability, Worker’s Compensation, etc.)
- Change address with all relevant insurance providers.
- Update employment posters with new emergency info. Update company contact lists and emergency procedures.
- Secure cleaning & maintenance personnel to service new space.
Congratulations! You did it. Hopefully, you had a smooth transition from your old office to your new space. We wish you the best of luck!