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We have been involved in many an office move and IT always appears to be more of an afterthought than an integral part of the move. This typically results in a longer delay than necessary in the resumption of business activities.
We have seen every mistake in the book, so if you are about to begin the process of your own office move, here are our suggestions on how to organise it around your IT company to ensure the break in IT availability is as short as possible.
Don’t believe everything you read
Most companies remember to order the fibre for their internet connection in the new premises, but sadly most believe the sales pitch that it will be installed and ready by the time they move – in our experience this is rarely the case. Sadly, many companies learn the hard way, and we have seen many companies having to source Wi-Fi dongles at the last minute, or having their staff work in pubs and cafés in order to take advantage of their “free” Wi-Fi. Whatever the salespeople tell you, it is generally a minimum of three months lead-time for your fibre to be ready. A contingency would be to use a copper-based broadband service with a shorter lead-time of 10 working days.
Getting your wires crossed
Most of the people who pack and ship computers typically do not care about keeping things together. This results in everything being mixed together – cabling, keyboards, mice etc – resulting in a big mess for us to untangle at the other end. When we are involved in the move from the beginning, our experts follow a segregation and decommissioning process, e.g. labelling things properly and having a floor plan and seating plan so we can install the right PCs on the right desks straight away.
Be aware of the packing order
The server room is usually the first thing that gets packed up. The night before the move, we go to the premises, strip out the rack and get everything packed and ready. Because this is often the first to be packed properly, it is usually the first thing the movers put on the van. Everything else is then loaded up in front of it, meaning that at the new premises, it will be the last thing to be unpacked. This results in unnecessary delays, with all the desks being assembled and staff members ready for work before we have had a chance to get anyone back online. Ideally, the server room should be the last thing on the van so it is the first thing unpacked at the other end, enabling us to begin connecting the IT immediately and enabling people to get back to work as soon as possible.
Too many cooks
On the day of the office move, companies should strongly discourage their staff from going into the office. We find that whilst we are trying to rebuild and connect all the systems, people are setting up their desks and expecting everything to be powered up straight away. When this doesn’t happen, they tend to interrupt us for help, which ultimately wastes time in getting all the systems back up and running
In our experience, there is never enough power at the desks. It does not seem to matter how much power you think you need, it is never enough! That is why we always have more than enough spare cables and adapters etc. with us, so everyone has access to the power they need without delay.
Choosing the right room
When it comes to allocating rooms in the new premises, the Comms Room is often forgotten. We have found in the past that the room allocated to the servers turns out to be unsuitable, but without our involvement, many companies find this out too late. Sometimes the room turns out to be insufficiently ventilated to host IT equipment, or too small. So involve your IT Company at the planning stages to ensure your servers are housed in the best place for them.
It is also important to remember to leave enough space behind the racking in the server room to enable an engineer to work freely.
Make sure the power provision for your IT is on a different circuit. We have had a case where the entire IT system was knocked out when someone plugged in a new fridge and on another occasion a hair dryer!
Check your cables
If you have been in your office for 10 or even 20 years, the old patch cabling has probably been doing its job well. But old cables get damaged, and many companies find that after a move, they no longer work. That is why we always put in new patch cabling for any office relocation. It is very cheap and prevents delays happening because of problems with the old cabling.
It is also a good idea to check that the structured cabling in the new premises is right for your needs.
Most people understand that the air conditioning needs to be efficient enough to cool your comms room, but not many know that it is possible for aircon to be too efficient! One client had a big comms room that needed a powerful aircon unit. However, after we virtualised their systems, they needed to use less equipment. They found the aircon tripped out on a regular basis and after much investigation, we discovered that this was because the aircon was too big. It was only supposed to work with a certain amount of heat output and because the output had dropped, it was over chilling the room, freezing up and shutting down. In the end, the client had to replace the whole unit. So you always need to ask the Goldilocks’ question to make sure the aircon system is not too big and not too small, but just right.
Keep everyone informed
You must keep everyone informed about what is going on in order to prevent delays and frustration. One weekend, we went into a client’s old office to start packing up their servers but were stopped by the security guard who had not been given prior warning of our arrival and, correctly, refused to let us remove them from the premises. It took a long time for them to contact the right person to authorise our work, wasting a lot of valuable time. On another move, the client shared a lift with the local M&S but no-one had liaised with them about it. At the time we needed access to it, we discovered the shop had filled the loading bay with deliveries and we had to wait a couple of hours for them to clear it.
We believe that your IT provider should not leave the site before they have checked everything and made sure that all your equipment is up and running, enabling you to get back to business as usual as soon as possible.
If you are relocating your office and would like our help with a smooth transfer of your IT system, contact us for more information.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories