IT Relocation Checklist

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1 This IT Relocation Checklist will help you prepare & manage your entire IT Relocation safely, efficiently and without disruption to services. Your IT & Telecom Solution Provider

2 IT Relocation - the importance of getting IT right. Your business technology equipment is the lifeblood of your company. If your systems aren t working and your phones aren t ringing in your new office then you can t operate. It cannot be overstated that getting this aspect of your office move wrong (i.e. delays & downtime) can have dire operational and financial consequences for your business. This IT Relocation Checklist will help you assess vendors and plan for a successful, low-risk move. Before you begin... 6 Assumptions you should NEVER make 1) Calling your carrier a month before the move is plenty of time To avoid expedite charges and other unwelcome surprises, begin working with potential carriers at least 75 days prior to the move. The more bandwidth you need the longer the lead time. Decide if you will consider changing providers, or simply want to move or upgrade with your current provider. 2) Installed cabling goes where you expect, and is functional to specifications Always insist vendors test and certify their work. Even mixed up labels on patch panels or wall outlets can cost a lot of wasted effort, and usually premium pay for move personnel. Even if you are not at the end of a contract term, its still advantageous to terminate an existing contract early - or to use potential termination as a negotiating tool. 3) 3rd Parties like Telcos, ISPs, Riser Management vendors etc. will execute their portions of your move plan as you expect. After all, you signed an order form and sent it in you even have written confirmation! Rule of thumb the larger the vendor, the more ways it can mangle your service delivery. 2

3 Ensure you do the following to eliminate the risk of moving into an office without connectivity: i) Engage professional technical project management. Carriers and ISPs can tell when experienced project management is being practiced - and are more likely to assign their best people to your project, and to have a backup plan or resource. ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Order new overlapping service wherever possible - and require a functional pre-test. If your T1 line is noisy, or there s only one way audio on your SIP trunks - you want to know BEFORE moving in. Where possible, plan split telco provisioning so that a carrier s failure to properly move your service legacy to new location will not leave you out of touch. Voice lines - analog POTS - if you have 6 lines in hunt (A-B-C-D-E-F) provision 5 new lines at the new site (G-H-I-J-K) and order call forwarding with remote control on line A. Why? If the carrier fails to move main # A as promised, you can always forward A to line G and you re still in business. Never move DSL service from 1 location to another. Often your fax # is tied to the DSL, and a 3-9 day outage can result from the complex process of unbundling and moving them. Instead, either order a NEW DSL circuit at the new location, or provision service from a different carrier. Bonus - new service can be installed for testing prior to the required move-in date. Require certification pre-testing of broadband circuits eliminates the risk of moving into a space without internet or phone service. 4) Equipment that was working and powered down at your legacy location will boot up with configurations and data in tact at the new location. Taking a pre-move backup may cost some time or inconvenience, but it is completely worthwhile. Imagine the results if your server or phone system were dropped or crushed in a traffic accident during the move. 3

4 5) You ll be able to look up contacts, account numbers, passwords & escalation contacts during a move if unexpected situations arise. Create a document with all your contacts, separate from a database, which you might not be able to access during a move. Carry it on your smart phone and in a paper copy and have your cell phone charger with you at all times during the move. 6) Furniture & carpeting decisions won t affect the business technology relocation. This is false in a multitude of ways: a)many carpets can serve as static electricity generators - especially in dry climates. Frequent crashes or reboots, even premature equipment failures result from excess static electricity around your computers, phones and printers. Ensure your carpet choices are technologically safe. b)the most frequent causes of schedule cramping (which can lead to premium labor charges for site preparation) are the delayed delivery and installation of modular furniture and carpeting. Plan adequate time for cabling completion after furniture and carpeting are complete. Your cabling vendor will be able to provide reasonable schedule expectations. Voice and network cabling cannot be completed through modular furniture until it s delivered and assembled. Quite often, delays in delivery and assembly create the need for cabling teams to work through the night. This is needlessly expensive and stressful. When purchasing furnishings, put strict penalty clauses into your contracts so that furniture and carpet vendors are responsible for any premium labor costs which are caused by their late delivery or installation. 4

5 1. IT RELOCATION PLANNING Assign an internal manager (preferably from the IT Team) to co-ordinate this part of the move Source, meet, brief and get quotes from IT & Telecom solution providers in your location Select & hire an IT & Telecom Solution Provider Confirm the move in date to your IT & Telecom Provider and devise a move day packing schedule Arrange a site visit of both locations with IT & Telecom Solution Provider to review network cabling Ensure you book the move date as early as possible with the IT & Telecom Solution Provider (especially if you want to move over the weekend). Short notice can lead to disruption & disappointment. requirements Liaise with your Office Moving Company so that the IT move and the office move do not have conflicting schedules Contact all carriers, ISPs and technology vendors at least 75 days prior to the move and tell them when and where you are moving to 5

6 2. BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT REVIEW Inventory all your business technology equipment to assess whether it is adequate for your needs and suitable for the new environment. Inventory all Business Communication Service Agreements; who the service provider is and what you are paying for each service If you are terminating service contracts with telecom carriers or IT vendors, ensure you give plenty of notice as some insist on a 12 month notice period An office move is the perfect time to consider new business communication solutions that will boost your business efficiency and productivity. Determine what equipment is and isn t required in the new office Return any leased IT and phone equipment that is no longer required Eco-dispose of any old or broken equipment. Check with your ISP (internet service provider) what the internet speed is provided in your new office well in advance, as it might even influence your choice of the new office location if the internet access is not good - as it s all too late once you ve moved in! List any technology equipment that needs upgrading or replacing Order any additional computers and phones Evaluate server room requirements If you are buying new technology equipment, test it before you move and complete any necessary training to staff

7 3. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS Don t assume that the new office will already have the installed cabling and infrastructure you require. A previous tenant s requirements may differ greatly from your own needs. Arrange a site visit to your new office with your IT & Telecom Solution Provider to check whether the new office has the following: INFRASTRUCTURE WE NEED NEW OFFICE HAS How many phone lines? How many analogue lines? How many ISDN2 lines? How many ISDN30 lines? How many Cat 5 cables? How many Cat 6 cables? How many power outlets? What is the broadband speed in the area? What size is the server room? How many servers will it hold? 7

8 4. SITE VISIT CHECKLIST Review configuration plan of new office with IT & Telecom Solution Provider Assess the existing voice and data networks and identify what can be moved, what should be replaced and what extra network cabling is required Work out where you will need power jacks, telephone & network cabling points Try to plan & implement the network cabling well in advance. It will greatly minimize disruption and avoid any delays to your office move. Decide optimum location for printers, faxes, copiers, modems and scanners Confirm whether minimum requirements for the server room are met (electrical, cooling, dimensions & security) Confirm whether new office supports structured cabling, if required Not all buildings offer wireless networking so if wireless computing is a priority - be sure to confirm it s possible 8

9 5. TELECOM CONSIDERATIONS Review line capacity to see whether you need to order new phone lines Order new phone lines (if necessary). Note that new phone lines can take up to 9 working days to install so plan in advance Try to install new telephone lines and internet routers well in advance of your move date so that issues can be resolved before moving in Work with voice & data carriers to obtain quotes for new telephone and internet circuits If you are changing phone numbers you will need to set up call forwarding With increasing telecom deregulation, new offerings are constantly becoming available - so make sure you shop around for the right phone system & service contract that best suits your requirements. Order internet access and ISDN for the new location. Be aware of that some carriers insist on long lead times for installation so don t leave this till the last minute Consider what phone system (and it s capabilities) is best for the new office. You may want to look at options such as VoIP, ISDN, PBX systems or KSU-less phone system What kind of growth or expansion do you expect in the next 3-5 years? This will determine whether you need to consider a new business phone system for your new office 9

10 6. DATA PROTECTION & BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING Make several backup copies of all company data systems including firewalls and servers Arrange for copies of the backup to be stored at an off-site secure data center where it will not be affected by the move Create a Business Continuity Plan in case you encounter unexpected problems during the move. It should include: - Inventory of all software and hardware, servers, storage and networking equipment Use of temporary resources like disaster recovery shell offices, cloud or backup servers, virtual phone systems. List of business priorities and data classified according to business criticality A Business Continuity Plan is vital to have at all times, but never more so than during an office move. Your BCP will represent careful planning that establishes procedures and decision points for how to continue serving customers during a resource outage. (Emergency) contact details of telecom and IT vendors Test your BCP to see whether the information and backups that have been provisioned actually allow a full recovery Evaluate the benefits of server consolidation, if appropriate Ensure the collaboration between your IT & Telecom Solution Provider & your General Contracting Team to ensure optimum location of workstations and network cabling are met Work with ISP and other carriers to switch and DNS to the new IP address 10

11 7. MOVE DAY PREPARATION Transport copies of your data backup to the new location separate from the main system and each other Ensure all wiring & data cables are labelled correctly and to which piece of equipment it belongs If you are moving to a large multi-floor building and intend to use the goods elevator, establish what the call out time is for a elevator engineer, and if necessary request an engineer onsite to avoid lengthy delay Make a Contact List of everyone involved in the move, including IT and Telecom Vendor Technicians Order new corporate stationery with new office address and don t forget to include new phone and fax The safe transportation of your business technology equipment requires special handling, expertize & transit protection. It is therefore strongly recommended you hire a IT & Telecom Solution Provider to conduct this part of the move on your behalf. numbers if they are changing Assist with the disconnection of services and technology equipment at the old office and ask staff for their full co-operation in shutting down all equipment properly before leaving on the final day 11

12 8. NEW OFFICE TEST PLAN Ensure all cabling, technology equipment and phones are in the right place Triple check all individual telephone numbers and their locations, including each fax, DDI, modem, and any other special devices you have on your system Test to see whether the call forwarding from the old number is working and being forwarded to the right phone Test every aspect and feature of the phone system Start all servers and test network capability and whether all data has successfully migrated Check incoming and outgoing s Ask for feedback from staff soon after the move about whether they feel the communication infrastructure can be improved. After all, they are the end users & need to be happy with the layout and services. Check website, intranet and extranet Perform a Broadband Frequency Test on each network connection Make sure your IT & Telecom Solution Provider is with you on day 1 to assist any staff with network connectivity issues or functionality queries.

13 IT RELOCATION - ACHIEVING BEST VALUE Best practice says that companies should use an office move as an opportunity to review all of their business communication equipment, IT and telecom vendors & service agreements Moving office provides a trigger for renewing and/or switching telecom vendor contracts on favorable terms Speak to independently sourced and approved IT & Telecom Solution Providers as to what efficiencies and cost savings can be achieved - both throughout the moving office process and beyond Cabling Solutions I 7000 Central Parkway, Suite 1700 I Atlanta, GA I Ext

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