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New site, ups and downs

By tbragsda ·
I just completed about six months of grueling work, building out a new site, shutting down and moving our entire company home office. It was unlike any other project I have done before. Although I have worked with larger co, and bigger moves, thiswas a complete move! Very dramatic, traumatic, exhausting and lastly fun.

I thought I might share some of the successes, and some failures for others.

First, plan plan plan. Most of the details I had scrutinized, and mulled over for weeks and months. They worked as planed, with little trauma. The things that I thought others had thought through were my biggest problems. For example, my wiring subcontractor I gave updated plans to several times throughout the process. New locations, changes etc. I thought that was enough, but the main technician took few notes on our meetings, and it turned out to be a huge problem. The changes were sporadically done. Some that he could recall others he forgot. His teem of techs rarely worked off the same set of plans, and I don?t think the scope of the project was made clear to them.

I had personally ordered most of the new equipment needed, but left some to the same wiring contractor. I had provided detail layout of patch racks, wire management etc. Till the last week, we were short two relay racks, mounting hardware, and I ended up ordering additional wiring management that has just arrived.

Electricians should be our friends. Throughout the build out, the onsite electrician pointed out a number of problems that the electrical engineer had overlooked. Without a good working relationship with him, the move would have been a complete failure.

Printer plans are a big deal. A good portion of the first week after the move was used up with technicians relocating printers, installing drivers etc. Just a waste of time. Make each department head signoff on a printer plan. I thought my plan was

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by tbragsda In reply to New site, ups and downs

I thought my plan was the best, most efficient, but others thought differently. It was my fault for not really talking it over with the users it was to serve.

Moving people and cubicle builders. Well these folk were completely out of my control, but held us hostage. We couldn?t drop workstations till the cubicle builders finished, the PC carts were staged wherever the movers could fit them etc. For this, all I can say is work with whoever is facilities management in the co, or directly with the subs. Communication is the real problem, and solution.

Get plenty of help. I have a habit of overestimating what I can do myself. Simply, you are only one person. Get some help. The process was tiring to an extent that I haven?t felt in a long time. At 3 AM with raw fingertips you will wish someone could make some &**(&* patch cables.

Open frame racks. Purchased APC 4 post open frame racks. Simply lovely. Much easier to work with than full cabinets, or any other system I have worked with.

Use project management software (MS-Project etc.), and make everyone else on the project team use it. Working off several different lists, in different formats was a problem until we all were working off the same plan.

Most ofthe problems were from external companies, subcontractors etc. The best advice I can give for these problems in hindsight is; keep up with them. Call as often as needed to keep everyone on track. Schedule time in your project weekly to checkup onprogress. COMMUNICATE!

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Good Advice

by madroxxx In reply to Part2

I'm about to go through the same situation. Might I ask, did you have to purchase a new phone system? If so what did you choose and why? Also how big is your company?

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by tbragsda In reply to Good Advice

Moved the switch, adding to the general anxiety.

Coordinating with Verizon to switch POTS lines, and a new LD T1 provider etc. kept me awake at night.

I have some intresting notes on the switch move. Best bit of advice I can give on that is order some POTS lines as backups, and to catch calls while in transition. Point 800 numbers at the temp lines etc.

The switch is a Toshiba DK424 with 4 cabs.

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Going through a similar situation

by TomSal In reply to New site, ups and downs

While we aren't moving to a new location, we are doing a massive renovation to our current 2 story building. This renovation even includes knocking down about 80% of the front brick wall to the building and extending out with new construction. MIS is currently on the 2nd floor, we will be relocated downstairs once our spiffy new datacenter is built.

We have an old (actual that's being kind -- its ancient) Merlin Legend phone system in place right now, which is also on the 2nd floor as I type this. That is being gutted and we have purchased a brand new Nortel VoIP phone system which features Cisco Switches - we are feeling pretty good about the system, since the life blood of our business model is using the phone (hopefully the new system will prove its worth the $175,000 + price tag). This new telecom equipment will also be in the data center on the first floor.

We currently employ about 93, but only have homes (workstations) for 87. With this renovation we plan on expanding our facility to support 110 - 130 users. The whole IT infrastructure is being updated with new equipment, down to the dedicated power outlets and brand new CAT 5e cabling.

Plus we are rolling out our brand new, business operating system (developed in house this is patent pending its so unique to us)...

So in summary, I appreciate the info and I feel your pain with being busy. lol

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Good Luck

by tbragsda In reply to Going through a similar s ...

Hope all goes as planed.

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