Top 10 Technology Considerations When Planning an Office Move
Office moves are a major undertaking. Companies will move offices for various reasons, including the need for more space, improvements to employee quality of life, or even downsizing due to increased remote workers. No matter the reason, office moves present a fantastic opportunity for organizations to upgrade and improve their use of technology.
At Protek, we advise numerous clients every year on technology upgrades and considerations around office moves. Make sure you take the following points into consideration when planning your move.Internet access and ISP services
1. Internet access and ISP services
In today’s digital economy, high-speed Internet access is one of the most critical services. Unfortunately, many business leaders under-estimate the long lead times and detailed coordination that is often required with ISPs and telecom operators when provisioning new services.
With every office move, it is an opportunity to upgrade the speed and capacity of a company’s internet access. Due to the mission critical nature of Internet access today, many companies also elect to install redundant Internet connections from different providers, further complicating new service provisioning.
Most challenges can be solved by planning ahead and making sure new Internet access and equipment are ordered in a timely fashion. This also means it is critical to involve your IT Services provider in this process so they can provision equipment prior to your move to minimize downtime, even if you aren’t upgrading any equipment.
Phone systems are one of the many pieces of technology where procrastination can set in. There is often an attitude, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s why an office move is often an excellent opportunity to upgrade a company’s phone system to the latest in unified communications and cloud-based phone systems.
The business benefits of an upgraded phone system include superior customer service, more successful sales people, and happy employees. Today’s unified communications systems deliver a host of practical benefits, including improved voice quality, better call control and call routing, computer-telephony integration with other software applications, and reporting and management from cloud-based contact center systems.
An upgrade to VoIP and a cloud-based PBX system also enables the expansion of enterprise-class telephony to employee home offices, along with productivity enhancing features. For example find-me, follow-me functionality on employee mobile phones will enable the employee to answer their important calls even when they are away from their desk.
When a company moves offices, it is a good time to consider moving server infrastructure to the cloud or upgrade and consolidate of any remaining on-site servers. Now, more than ever, cloud-based options should be fully evaluated. Moving servers to Microsoft Azure or AWS can improve availability, performance, and business continuity. Other servers can be decommissioned, since new SaaS-based applications may be good replacements.
Ultimately, many companies will still require on-premises servers for legacy applications. Even in these cases, there is usually an opportunity to upgrade server hardware and consolidate the infrastructure using virtualization technology. Lastly, it is vital to coordinate all of these moving pieces and plan server migrations and planned downtime, for the most opportune times.
Monitors are often over looked. There is plenty of research that shows the multiple monitor configurations boost employee productivity. At the same time, the hardware costs of monitors have declined substantially in the past few years. Multiple monitor configurations are pretty much a “no brainer” at this point.
Beware, upgrading an entire workforce to multi-monitor setups requires detailed planning, coordination and aesthetic considerations. Mounting arms, cabling, and integration with the desks and computers all increase the complexity and costs. Again, it makes sense to plan ahead while the space is empty instead of trying to rework the new space to fit everything.
Upgrading desk furniture is closely related to the opportunity for monitor upgrades. The new desks will need to accommodate the space and weight of multiple monitor setups if you choose that option.
Ergonomics and health and safety considerations should also be a the top of every employers list. New standing desks are in-demand from employees who spend long hours behind their computers. Moreover, with the increase in concerns about COVID-19 and social distancing, more considerations are being given to proper employee spacing and separation walls.
6. Network cabling
Physical cabling should not be overlooked. While Wi-Fi access is the standard for every office, video based collaboration, VoIP, and unified communications, still require a heavy load on the network. Therefore, companies should not overlook the need for upgrades to the physical network, including Ethernet cable runs, data jack densities, and integration with the office furniture system for tidy cable management.
7. IT equipment room
The location of the IT equipment room needs to be well thought out. Although many servers are being replaced by cloud solutions, there is still a need for several other pieces of equipment to help the office run properly. With more and more applications running over the network – from data, to voice and video, and IoT devices – the data room needs to strategically located, well designed, and properly secured.
All networks are critically important in today’s office setting, the Wi-Fi network included. While it makes sense to run voice and video communications over high capacity wired networks, Wi-Fi is vital for many other applications. Many offices are trading in traditional desktop computers for a more portable laptop that can travel to and from the office. Employees want to be able to connect and work from anywhere, including the lunch room, conference room, or from their desk without the hassle of wires. Wi-Fi is also critical for connecting other IoT type devices, such as video and security cameras and digital signage. World-class Wi-Fi is a must for the modernized office space.
9. Live dashboards
An upgraded office space can benefit from live dashboards. Successful businesses keep a pulse on data and key performance indicators. There are numerous reasons to leverage over-sized, wall mounted monitors to project and track key data, such as customer service or sales metrics.
Keeping employees informed and motivated requires constant communication and attention to the details and data that matter. Live dashboards are also important to upgrade the beauty, aesthetics, and branding of the office space as well. If clients and partners visit the office frequently, live dashboards can bring an added level of professionalism, and even help you show off how great your company is doing.
10. Conference rooms and meeting spaces
Collaboration is the name of the game for most successful organizations. Thoughtfully designed and upgraded offices should have a diversity of different meeting spaces, including “phone booth” style solo spaces, huddle rooms for small team meetings, larger conference rooms, and plenty of breakout, lunch room, and casual meeting space for colleagues. All of these meeting spaces need the right network connectivity, whether wired or Wi-Fi, along with the right monitors, cameras, and other video conferencing equipment to make collaboration easy and predictable.
Protek is standing by to help new and existing clients make the most of technology with your office move on the horizon. Reach out to Michelle Lawson to start the process of exploring your technology needs if you are thinking about or committed to an upcoming office move.