An office move is never much fun, so when you’ve got two sites to relocate, it can be double the stress. We recently assisted a client of ours with moving both of their two companies to new premises – here’s their story:
Back in 2013 we installed a ShoreTel IP Phone System for Open Reality and Brightcloud. The server was situated in a data centre, with ShoreGear Switches at both sites and a ShoreTel Mobility router in place at the Abingdon site. At the time of installation, both sites had ISDN30e, but Abingdon made the switch to SIP trunks shortly afterwards with the implementation of a Ubigate device which effectively converts SIP trunks to ISDN30e as far as the telephone system is concerned.
Brightcloud's Project Operations Manager - Sam Webster was responsible for moving both businesses to 2 new locations - so quite an undertaking. He commented:
“Growing our business means our team grows too; when the time came for us to move to larger sites, Cranberry were approached to consult on the best way to achieve this with as little downtime and cost as possible and to see through the transition of connectivity and telephony services” .
Once Cranberry were made aware of their office move, our Project Management Team started our moving office process and promptly arranged for our Sales Director, Mark Nelson and Head of Technical Support, Michael Mulvaney to meet with Sam and his team. The face to face meeting is crucial to planning a successful office move. The discussion centred around their requirements in more detail and to formulate a detailed project plan to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible.
The move was an interesting one – Open Reality moved within the same building and Brightcloud moved to another unit on the same business park. There may not have been much distance involved, but the moves were complicated nonetheless. The moves involved a fibre shift, an ISDN30e shift and a review of the PSTN and ADSL services in place.
As a company they offer their own clients 24/7 support, so it was vital that down-time was managed. This is the biggest factor in any move, and most organisations underestimate what might be involved. Thankfully that wasn’t the case in this instance. Open Reality/Brightcloud are extremely forward-thinking so were open to any ideas that would keep their business running at this crucial time. Sam said “The nature of our business means we cannot afford downtime. Cranberry visited to discuss the approach to moving our data and telephony systems seamlessly with no degradation to the services we supply to our own customers.”
Although no additional hardware was required at either site, Cranberry was able to loan some ShoreGear switches which were set up as a mirror image of the switches on site. This allowed the customer to have them running in tandem while they made the move. Down-time was therefore greatly reduced.
Brightcloud and Open Reality also relied heavily on their mobile devices while the move was taking place. This was possible for two reasons – firstly, they have ShoreTel Mobility in place, allowing users to take calls on the mobile device as though they are a part of the system. The second reason this was an option is because they are using Inbound, a Gamma service which allows them to route their non-geographic numbers to a mobile or landline. This is even configurable to route depending on time of day or day of the week.
As part of the review, it was decided that some additional SIP trunks would be ordered. This would not only help with the move where there was the possibility that calls for both sites would be routed over the SIP, but also means there is now additional capacity in place for future growth and Disaster Recovery. With the cost of SIP trunk line rental so low, this was a no-brainer.
Another smart move was to order temporary ADSL data connection service at the new Daventry site to ensure there was some connectivity in place. Following the move, it was decided that these would be retained as a back-up. Having back-ups in place is certainly a recommendation for any customer relying on their connectivity for major business needs.
Unfortunately the customer encountered a delay with their fibre shift at Abingdon. With any move, it is vital to factor in unexpected delays. It is very common for things to crop up that are beyond anyone’s control. The important thing is to remain as flexible as your move allows you to be, and to have alternative options available to you – even if it means struggling for a few days on a slower circuit or with calls diverted to mobile. Brightcloud/Open Reality were fortunately able to delay their move and remained adaptable and positive throughout.
In speaking about their dealings with Cranberry, Sam said:
“They managed all aspects of the service transition including timely orders and cancellations of services at to fit in with our move plan and incur as little overlap costs as possible. We were given a dedicated lead contact for the whole project which ran for five months."
Sam also identified project management is the key to success and commented:
"They kept in regular contact with us to ensure the target dates were being met during the project. Inevitably with a project of this size and complexity there was some delay caused by external controls, they managed communications and helped to agree resolution plans quickly and represented us well. "
Cranberry are pleased to have been able to assist Brightcloud/Open Reality with their project. Due to the number of factors involved it was a complicated move. However the ShoreTel solution and the customer’s willingness to think outside the box enabled us to help things run as smoothly as possible.
Cranberry were thrilled to be part of a successful move and Open Reality/Brightcloud summed up their experience as:
"Cranberry were experienced, flexible and friendly which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from our three years as a customer.”