Office Move Introduction
You have spent the last few months or even years visiting and evaluating many different buildings and spaces and meeting with real estate brokers to find the perfect new “home” for you and your team. That time was followed with countless hours reviewing contracts, negotiating lease or purchase terms, and planning the layout of your new space. So now the fun begins… planning for the physical move to the new location.
The move is the easy part, correct? The move can be the “easy” part if you read this document, utilize the checklist and then plan, review your plan, revise your plan, and have someone ACCOUNTABLE to execute the plan. This article details many of the steps and tasks involved in moving your technology to the new location. This includes:
- Assembling the team
- Timing the move
- Internet and voice service providers, installation, and important deadlines
- Server and data closet details
- Premise-based cabling and wiring
- Physical equipment move – (IT, voice, copiers, printers)
I would not be so bold as to claim this is an all-encompassing list for all types and sizes of businesses. There are details that may need to be addressed that are specific to certain companies, size of companies, or even specific to certain industries. All in all, this whitepaper is designed to give clients and friends of River Run a great head start with the opportunity to make your business move as smooth as possible. If you have any suggestions on items to add to the checklist, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Paul Riedl, Jr. at Paul@River-Run.com.
Assembling the Team
We all know it takes a team to create and run a successful business. A strong team is also needed to make your move extremely successful and worry-free. It is important to identify the vendors and service companies that will be involved in the move. It is important to identify all the team members and clearly define their roles and responsibilities. This is especially true for the team leader. The River Run Team has a great amount of experience moving clients and project managing the moves.
Some of the key players you need to include as team members are your internal team members, your IT vendor, phone vendor, printer/copier vendor, moving company, Internet and voice line providers, security system vendor, and furniture vendor.
Having employees and even their friends and family members volunteer to help out with the physical move could be a way to save on the cost of the move. It could also prove costly. You must take into consideration the potential for injury, if lifting requirements or limitations are in their job descriptions, and if it is appropriate to have non-employees participate for both liability and insurance purposes. Certainly the move of files and light furniture can be done by your team, but you may want to leave the “heavy lifting” to the professionals.
Timing of the Move
The timing of the move is very important for a few reasons: availability of professional movers, availability of elevators in multifloored buildings, and the costs.
As you look for the perfect date to move, most people want to move as close to the end of their current lease as possible, so they are not paying two leases. The challenge with this is that this usually occurs at the end of a month. If the end of the month is a necessary date, you may have to pay a premium for a moving service, and it may be difficult to get on their projects list because other companies are also moving at the end of the month. You may want to consider moving during the second week of a month and negotiating with your new landlord.
The other important time people usually want a move performed is after-hours or on weekends. There are many moving companies and IT vendors willing to provide move services at those times. What are the downsides to moving after hours and on weekends? Namely, the availability of the service providers' resources and the expense. The vendors providing the services usually provide the service for a premium. The best thing to do is to find a slow time in your business cycle and move during those times. Have as much of the move performed during the standard business hours as possible.
The benefit of moving after-hours or on weekends is that there will be fewer disruptions during the move. One variable that may require after-hours moves is the location of your new business. Some high-rise buildings have strict rules on when their elevators may be used for furniture and office moves. Check with your new building manager with regards to move-in regulations.
Internet and Voice Service Providers – Service to your Building or Office Suite
The selection of the Internet and voice services you will contract to use needs to be addressed months prior to the move. It is STRONGLY recommended to not wait till the last minute to order the services because you may find yourself and your team in your beautiful new space with a great IT system running internally but you do not have phone or internet service. ARGHHHH!
The line providers recommend ordering the service 6 to 8 weeks prior to the move date. The main providers usually need that amount of time to provision lines and in some cases physically install the lines. We recommend that clients have the lines installed and tested at least one week prior to their move date. This allows time to work out any bugs or issues prior to the move. It is also important to make sure that the line vendor does not cut the lines or services over to the new location till the actual move date.
Server and Data Closet Details – Within Your Facility
Since you are making a move and customizing your new office space layout, it is a great time to focus on the server room and cata closets. We will start with the server room. The server room is where most of your premise-based IT infrastructure should be located. This is where servers, firewalls, switches, routers, backup equipment, and security equipment will be stored. Keeping these items up and running and secure is a must for any secure and reliable network.
Some of the elements we recommend incorporating into your server room are a locked door with access limited to key personnel. The ideal server room must also incorporate a separate HVAC unit or at least a separate thermostat (zone) that allows for the room's temperature to be regulated separately from the general office space. Power to the room must also be included in the plan. We suggest contacting your IT vendor to determine exactly how much power is recommended for this room. A general rule is to have multiple 120VA and in some cases 220VA electrical runs to provide power redundancy for the equipment. The electrical runs (circuits) should not service anything else except the server room.
The server room should be large enough to hold all equipment, and the equipment should be in a rack or cabinet to keep everything organized, off the ground, and secure. Racks are available in full height and half height and should be sized based on the amount of equipment. It is also recommended to have a lock for the cabinet/rack in order to create an additional layer of protection for your equipment.
If you have a separate voice and IT vendor, you may want to separate your phone equipment from your data equipment just to make it easier for the vendors to identify the equipment they are responsible for, and if it is locked, you will increase the level of security for each service.
Separate data closets may be necessary in larger facilities to allow for complete cabling coverage. Data closets should follow the same rules that are applied to the server room but on a smaller scale. The data closet should be locked with limited accessibility, it should have proper ventilation, and it should be centrally located in order to provide the most efficient cabling runs to the end users’ locations.
Premise-Based Cabling and Wiring – Within your facility
By now you have found the perfect spot for your server room and any data closets. You next need to determine where and how many cable runs you will need. When moving to a new space, there are usually two main options. You move into a space that is set, and there is no build-out involved. You need to use what is there. The other option is to move into a space that will be customized to fit your needs. In either situation the guidelines in this section will apply. The only difference is that you will need to have cabling that is currently in the space tested and verified in order to ensure proper performance. If there is any doubt regarding the reliability of a cable run, it is in your best interest to replace the cable.
You will need to plan on cable runs for the following:
- Separate voice and data lines run to each desk
- Voice lines run to break rooms and/or lobby areas
- A cable run to each wireless access point location
- A cable run to your main printers and even other shared printers. If your printer is also a scanner and fax, you will need a separate voice line run to that location as well to support faxing. Yes… people still do need to fax.
- (CRITICAL) A cable run must be run from the DMarc to the server room. The DMarc is where the internet and voice lines from outside your building enter the building. It is either the landlord or tenant’s responsibility to cable from the DMarc to the server room. Do not overlook this! We strongly recommend meeting with your IT provider to review your office layout and determine what types of where lines should be run.
Physical Equipment Move
You have had to make quite a few decisions up to this point. Of course, there is one more decision that needs to be made. Who will be responsible for moving specific pieces of your infrastructure to the new location? Will it be movers, your people, or your vendors? Here are some options and the logic that River Run presents to our clients:
- River Run moves servers, switches, routers, firewalls, backup devices, wireless access points, and other critical pieces of the network to make sure the equipment is backed up properly, brought down properly, moved properly, and installed properly.
- River Run moves the workstations as well for the reasons noted in “A.”
- River Run moves the main equipment noted in “A,” and individual users move their own workstations to the new office and reconnect the machines. River Run tests the connections to the network. This can save the client some moving costs.
- River Run moves the main equipment noted in “A,” and movers move the workstations to the new location and leave them on the cart, and River Run sets the machines up.
Please note you will want to have any large copiers/printers moved to the new location by the moving company or the copier vendor. Check with your moving company to find out about their experience moving copiers before making this decision.
River Run Office Move Checklist
Assembling the Team
- Client's main “Team Lead” is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- IT Vendor Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Security Service Vendor is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Moving Company Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Phone Vendor Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Copier Vendor Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Line Providers Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Furniture Vendor Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified
- Contractor Project Manager is assigned, and responsibilities have been identified (If applicable)
- Building Manager has been contacted with the information noted above
- All vendors involved in the move have the contact information of each other
Timing of the Move
- Meet with IT partner and other vendors to determine availability
- Meet with moving companies to determine availability
- Check with building manager regarding move in restrictions
- Check with building manager regarding availability of elevators (if applicable)
- Meet with furniture company to determine timing if new furniture is being purchased
Internet and Voice Service Providers, Installation and Important Deadlines
- Call Internet and line providers to determine options available in new facility
- Determine if your service can simply be moved to the new location
- Determine if there need to be any service upgrades during the move
- Determine the date the line provider will have the service installed in the new facility (remember the 6- to 8-week guideline)
- Schedule IT vendor to test the lines one week prior to the move
- Proper number of power circuits are being run to the server room
- Outlets are located behind the server rack
Server and Data Closet Details
- Centrally located server room
- Combination or finger scan lock on the server room door
- Equipment list of all equipment for this room has been created
- IT equipment
- Phone equipment
- Security equipment
- Camera equipment
- Separate HVAC or zone with thermostat in server room
- Large enough room to hold the equipment and allow people to be able to move behind the equipment for service
- Cabinet and rack ordered for the server room
- Power requirements have been determined by electricians and IT vendor
- Outlets have been installed in the proper location, in most cases behind or above the server racks
Premise Based Cabling and Wiring
- Voice and data cable run to all workstations
- Voice and data run to all copiers/printers with fax capability
- Data run to all copiers/printers
- Voice run to all common areas where voice is needed (lunchroom, reception area, etc.)
- Cable run to all wireless access point locations
- Cable run from the server room to the DMarc in the facility
- All cable runs, new and existing, have been tested and certified
Physical Equipment Move – (IT, Voice, Copiers, Printers)
- List of equipment IT vendor will move
- List of equipment mover will move
- List of equipment the client will move
Share this article