Blog

IT is complicated. Business relocation is complicated. Put the two together and… well, you can guess. But with so much of your business relying on IT, it’s crucial you thoroughly plan your IT relocation so you can move to a new facility without disruption. Here are the nine steps to a relatively stress-free IT relocation:

Step 1: Establish Your Goals

Like any business initiative, your IT relocation should have specific goals and KPIs to help you make decisions, manage resources and measure success. That’s because an IT relocation isn’t just a matter of moving equipment from Point A to Point B: it’s a matter of keeping the business operating while preparing it for the future. Look at the reason the business is moving. Is the company growing? Perhaps your equipment needs an upgrade to handle scalability. For many companies, a relocation is a good opportunity to assess current equipment and processes to see what needs to be upgraded, replaced or installed from scratch.

Step 2: Identify an IT Relocation Leader

Imagine taking on every possible IT task all at once. That’s what an IT relocation is like. Your team will have to oversee new wiring, new equipment, new systems, new vendors and new networks. Oh, and that’s all on top of doing their regular work of supporting the business at your current location. You should assign an internal IT relocation manager to work with IT and telecom vendors, equipment providers, construction contractors and the moving company to ensure everything is installed and working without business disruption.

Step 3: Give Yourself Time

You’re used to last-minute IT emergencies and working under the gun. But when it comes to a business relocation, nothing happens at the last minute. It can take 90-120 days just to install circuits, connect equipment and test everything. Factor in time for selecting vendors, establishing goals and making decisions, and your IT relocation can easily take six months or more.

Step 4: Establish Your Needs

Take inventory of your equipment now and consider your needs for the future. You can then work with a managed services provider (MSP) to make certain you have the right services and equipment installed in the new location. By using a hosted server or communications solution, you can actually save yourself the cost of transporting and reinstalling legacy equipment or the capital expenditures of buying new equipment.

Step 5: Select A Provider

Once you’ve determined your needs, you’ll want to partner with an IT provider as soon as possible. They will work with you to understand your needs, create a plan and organize your installation. If you’re upgrading from an on-premises system to a cloud-based system, you’ll be able to move your data and communications to their server while letting them handle IT support, giving you one less thing to worry about. An added bonus: a hosted solution like UCx will let your staff work remotely during the move, minimizing business disruptions even further.

Step 6: Conduct A Site Visit

Time to get your hands dirty. You will need to conduct a site visit at the new location to evaluate wiring, cables, wall outlets, server room locations and other infrastructure issues. Even if your new location had a previous tenant, their needs may have been very different than yours, so you can’t take for granted that it’s move-in ready. Your vendor will also need to know where you would like your circuit installed. In addition, work with the architect/space planner to know where desks, working areas, printers and copiers will be to ensure the proper location of power jacks, telephone and network cabling points.

Step 7: Prepare For The Move

As you near the finish line you’ll need to stay in constant communication with your partners to ensure everyone is in sync. On your end, double check that all data systems are backed up in the event something goes wrong during the move, and store those backups off-site or in the cloud. Determine a contingency plan for use if something goes wrong: for example, a cloud-based communications system will let employees work from home if the move delays the start of business, desks aren’t installed or something major is broken. Coordinate with employees, the movers and installers to ensure equipment is properly shut down, moved to the new location and properly installed in the right place.

Step 8: Test Everything

You already knew this one, didn’t you? You’ll need to test every aspect of your IT and communications systems to ensure there’s no business disruption when employees come in. That means checking all individual phone numbers and every aspect of the phone system. In addition to getting the network running, make sure all your data has successfully migrated, email is working and everyone can connect to the Internet. Plan to have your staff and MSP available on day one to troubleshoot any issues.

Step 9: Celebrate!

Pop some champagne. You deserve it.

 

Make sure you’re prepared when moving to a new location. Need a custom IT solution? We’ve got you covered.

About the Author

Stacey Kendall is a Product Marketing Manager at TPx Communications. Her role is focused on marketing for TPx’s suite of Communications & Collaboration offerings, including the UCx Hosted Unified Communications Service and SmartVoice SIP Trunking. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She resides in the greater Boston area.

For many businesses, relocation is an economic no-brainer. For example, the increased costs of logistics can make it worth relocating a facility closer to your main market. High energy prices or taxes in one state may be significantly lower in another. The need to attract a cost-efficient Millennial workforce could mean a move from the suburbs to downtown. Multiple offices may need to be consolidated in one location, or a business unit may have outgrown its headquarters and needs to be spun out into its own location.

But even if it’s a no-brainer, once you’ve made the decision to relocate you’ll still need to quickly get a handle on the costs. Some expenses, like moving trucks and new business cards, are simple line items in a spreadsheet and easy to account for. However, there are hidden costs to relocation that won’t show up on any checklist.

Your company’s on-premises network, information security, communications, data storage and collaboration tools all represent hidden risks and costs during the relocation process. TPx’s cloud-based data and communications solutions can help you mitigate the hidden risks and costs.

Here are five hidden costs you should be aware of, and how TPx’s cloud-based data and communications technology can help you mitigate them:

Lost Productivity

Moving day is the cumulative effect of your moving process, not the beginning. Months are spent in meetings planning the move, designing the new space, making a list of equipment needs, and packing, not to mention unpacking, getting phone and data systems online and getting back to business as usual. Not only will management be distracted with their relocation tasks, but the risk of disruption for staff is high. As a communications and data managed services provider (MSP), TPx can simplify your moving process greatly by storing your data in the cloud and using cloud-based unified communications services to enable your staff to use their smartphones and laptops for work anytime, anywhere.

Company Downtime

In today’s 24/7 business environment, your business can’t afford to be unavailable in the middle of a move. While some companies use a relocation as a good reason to switch to a cloud-based communications and data MSP, it might make more sense to switch to an MSP like TPx before you even move. That way employees will be able to keep working from the old office, the coffee shop or their living room while the move takes place, eliminating the risk of downtime or a customer unable to reach your staff. A managed backup will ensure that your data will be secure off-site before, during and after the move, while the MSP will be available 24/7 to ensure your system stays up and running.

Employee Stress

A move that makes sense for your company might not make sense for your employees, particularly your top performers. If an employee can’t relocate due to kids in school, a spouse’s job or personal preference, TPx’s cloud-based communications systems and productivity software like Microsoft Office 365 will make it simple for your staff to work remotely while still interacting with the rest of your team and your customers.

Equipment Upgrades

Remember your first apartment? You probably had an old couch, coffee table or BBQ that worked fine but wasn’t worth loading on the moving truck for your next place. In the corporate world, businesses often have the equivalent in phone systems, security or servers that are fine to use at their old location, but not worth the cost or hassle to move and reinstall. TPx’s managed services solutions can help you reduce up-front capital expenditures by hosting your communications and data systems off-site, turning those costs into a simple monthly fee while reducing your maintenance costs and enhancing your customer service.

Extra IT Time

A relocation is going to mean a lot more work for IT to set up systems in the new location, install new equipment, onboard new vendors and train everyone on new technology. In the meantime, they still have to get all their regular work done too. If you don’t carefully manage IT’s workload, a ball will eventually get dropped, significantly impacting your employees and your customers. With TPx’s managed services, you can have a single vendor install, support and manage your phone systems, productivity software, data storage and more, reducing complexity and freeing up your IT staff’s time for higher-value digital initiatives. Best of all, with a single vendor you will have only one monthly bill and one account manager to work with, reducing complexity even further.

 

By working with you to incorporate a cloud-based communications and data platform, a Managed Services Provider can help you navigate and mitigate the hidden risks and costs of relocation that can most impact your business. To learn more about the business benefits of taking your communications to the cloud, read TPx’s white paper “The Business Benefits of Hosted Unified Communications.”

 

About the Author

Stacey Kendall is a Product Marketing Manager at TPx Communications. Her role is focused on marketing for TPx’s suite of Communications & Collaboration offerings, including the UCx Hosted Unified Communications Service and SmartVoice SIP Trunking. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She resides in the greater Boston area.