Whether upsizing, downsizing or simply to move into new offices, there are many reasons for businesses to move to new premises. It’s often the case for project managers to be involved in lots of aspects of the move, from picking new furniture, to office layout and the all-important tea and coffee making facilities.
Whilst we certainly agree as to the importance of caffeine for any vibrant office environment, one of the most frequently overlooked, but crucial aspects for any successful office move is continuity of business connectivity and telephony services.
In the guide below, we simplify the office move process, allowing business to concentrate on the more exciting elements of the move knowing the necessities are safely taken care of.
First things first – Internet connectivity
Once you’ve found the perfect site for the next phase of your business, the first thing to consider is internet connectivity. Across the UK, not all sites are created equally and the connectivity options available to you are vastly dependent on the local infrastructure. It’s also worth noting that depending on the size of your organization, and your requirement for bandwidth there is a range of options available to you.
Most commonly, small businesses tend to look for Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband options, which are available widely across the UK. Increasingly, as the communication infrastructure is modernised, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are looking to take advantage of Fibre To
The Premises (FTTP) technology which offers much faster speeds than FTTC without a vastly increased price point. Unfortunately, FTTP is not widely available across the UK yet although Openreach are enabling new sites month on month.
For larger office environments, or for businesses with an appetite for larger amounts of bandwidth will often opt for a Leased Line. Leased lines offers business uncontended bandwidth up to 10GB, heightened Service Level Agreements (SLA) and faster fix times which make them the solution of choice for businesses that depend on a fast, reliable connection.
If you have decided on a character office in a rural area, as an SME you may struggle for connectivity options, as FTTC/FTTP may not yet have been enabled in that area, and Leased lines are comparatively quite costly. There is a national effort from the government to improve rural connectivity but as a worst-case scenario, ADSL connectivity can be utilised as a cost-effective option, but you may not be setting any download speed records with this option.
You may have gotten to this point wondering why internet connectivity is the first thing to consider, and the answer to that is lead times. Unlike the new hip furniture you’re able to go out and buy, internet connectivity has standard industry lead times across the product set, and often requires at least one site visit by an Openreach engineer. In the main, it would be sensible to allow 30 days for ADSL/FTTC/FTTP options and 75 days for leased line options. Leased lines have a lot more involved install process and you can find out more in our helpful Guide to leased lines blog here.
If you are in the process of moving office, or looking to update your internet connectivity to satisfy your offices ever increasing requirement for bandwidth, you can reach out to our Gradwell connectivity experts here.
Great, I’ve sorted my business connectivity, what’s next?
Once you’ve selected and ordered a suitable internet connection for your business, your office move project is off on the right foot. Once you have internet access to your site, as a worst-case scenario on your move date, your organisation will be able to access the internet, email, and any other cloud-based applications you use, however there is still work to be done. The next consideration is ensuring continuity of your phone numbers during the move, so you don’t miss that important sales call that’s going to pay for the inspiring office wall canvas you’ve had your eye on.
Often for project managers, the phone system aspect of the office move can be cause for stress, however with modern VoIP (voice over internet protocol) based telephony systems, this is not the case. In days gone by, most organisations had a phone system based in their comms cabinet (or mounted on a wall with messy wiring) on-site that would be connected to an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network for those wondering) bearer. The ISDN bearer would hold all your important business telephone numbers and allow the phone system to dial out to the wider PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Unless you were moving into a very nearby area with your new premise connecting back to the same telephony exchange, you would either have to set up costly forwarding on your phone numbers, or risk starting from scratch and losing all your numbers.
Office move projects are hard enough, without having to replace all templated documents with news numbers, so what’s the answer here I hear you ask. Simple, VoIP services. Over the best part of the last two decades, VoIP services has been slowly but surely replacing the traditional ISDN based phone systems, so much so that Ofcom have now announced the switch off of the ISDN network in 2025.
Whether you’re still using ISDN or are looking to refresh an end-of-life VoIP phone system, an office move would be the ideal time to look at upgrading to a modern VoIP phone system, such as 3CX.
If you are already using a VoIP phone system, you may be able to provide your phones with an internet connection at your new site, and provided your firewall is configured for your voice service, the handsets should pull down their configuration and work just as they did in your old premises.
For those who are moving from ISDN, or updating to a new phone system, a number port may be required. This is the process of moving your numbers from one provider to a new provider or service and is a key consideration when moving office. Number porting can be quite complex, but our helpful guide to business number porting can help simplify this process for you.
Like internet connections, number porting has an industry-standard lead time, ranging from 7 days to 25 days depending on the complexity of your number ranges. Once again, best practice is to allow yourself plenty of time to get this submitted in advance of your move date, as you can always push a number port back.
As mentioned above, the blank canvas of a new office presents your organisation with an ideal time to look at modernizing your phone system, or perhaps utilising Microsoft Teams as your phone system and unified communications platform. Gradwell was one of the UK pioneers of VoIP services, and with 8000 customers across the UK relying on our services, we are keenly placed to support your migration to a new phone system.
Ok, so I’ve got the basics, what are the other key considerations?
Once you’ve got internet services delivered to your site, and a plan to ensure the continuity of your phone system services, you’ve got two of the most important IT based jobs ticked off your list. Phone systems and internet connectivity provide the backbone of your businesses communication with the outside of the world, however there are lots of other considerations, including but not limited to the below:
- Firewall – will you keep your current firewall and relocate it, or plan the deployment of a new one
- Wi-Fi – Are you looking to provide a WIFI network for staff, and a separate guest Wi-Fi with separate log in credentials
- What print services are you looking to use in the new office?
- Meeting Rooms – do you need a Microsoft Teams meeting room Kit? Have you deployed an AV kit for screensharing and video?
- Disposal of old IT equipment – has this been done ethically and securely.
I’m in the process of moving offices, can you help?
If you’ve read the guide above and are feeling perplexed about the challenge ahead, we can help. Across all the office move considerations, from connectivity, to number porting and VoIP, we have friendly, experienced advisors who would be happy to help. They can advise on realistic lead times, source cost-effective connectivity, and help you decide which voice offering is best suited to your new office setup. Click the button below to chat to our friendly team.
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