They saying marriage, death, and moving are some of the most stressful events in a person’s life. I think the same holds true in business. The terms may be a bit different but the situations are no less stressful.

I thought I’d chat a little bit this time about moving — more specifically, moving office locations and the technology implications that go along with an office move. This is no trivial task no matter what type of business you have. Through the years, I’ve seen my share of office relocation horror stories as well as success stories. It goes without saying, those that planned their office relocation well were the successful ones.

But first, a horror story….a large corporation (who will remain nameless to protect the innocent) had a small branch office NJ that was moving within the same building. They assigned the local office manager to coordinate their move. Ok, it’s the same building — not a huge move but a move, nonetheless. They gave this woman one month to move, a moving budget and that was it. The telephone and computer systems were managed by the corporate office. So, she focused on the traditional aspects of an office move, designing the office layout, furniture placement, hiring a moving company and the like. And they moved.

Surprise, surprise, when they got to their new location, they had no phones, no fax, no access to their file server and no access to the Internet. Unfortunately, this woman’s knowledge of technology was extremely limited. This woman had assumed that because the new location had the appropriate jacks in the new office that simply plugging in the cables would make everything work. Her IT department back at the corporate headquarters had given her no guidance or support in this area.

This is where I was introduced the situation. I had to educate the office manager about what’s involved in making the phones, fax, computers and Internet work. We moved all their computer and phone equipment back to the original location for temporary use while the needed cables, equipment and services provided by the telephone company and Internet Service Provider (ISP) where ordered and configured in the new location. Needless to say, this company learned a hard less about what’s involved in moving a company.

Contrast this with different company in NJ who had approximately 10 computers to move, two servers and of course, the usual telephone, fax and Internet services. They informed me approximately 4 months prior to their planned move and we were able to test and reuse some of the cabling in the new company. In addition, they took advantage of the move to purchase a new, more sosphicated telephone system that better met their needs. We ordered the telephone, fax and Internet services for the new location and they were installed and fully tested 1 week prior to their actual move date. This company moved out of their old office at 5:00pm on a Thursday night and their phones, file server and 3 critical PCs were up and running at 9:00am. Once the all the furniture was in place, it was a simple matter of unpacking the computers, plugging in the appropriate cables and everyone was in business.

Having moved dozens of companies throughout my IT career, including my own company twice; I have learned the importance of planning an office move. To this end, I have developed an Office Move Checklist for Technology that I share with my clients and that I’m happy to share with you. If you’d like to receive a copy of this list checklist, just let me know, it’s free.