Welcome to the two Ts of your office move.
While an office move has many complicated variables (beyond the scope of this brief article), there are two bottom-line service categories you should address very early on in the process: Technology and Tenant Representation.
Both services are advisory in nature and work in lockstep to create lasting operating leverage and agility.
Are you planning a move? Even if it’s two years out, I would strongly recommend getting started now.
There’s a good reason for my impassioned tone. In 2016, ProviDyn successfully relocated to a new space paying close attention to every detail we are covering here.
We not only secured a space much better suited to accommodating our staff and serving our clients, but we also leveraged technology that helped ProviDyn and our clients smoothly navigate the COVID Pandemic of 2020.
Don’t try this on your own. It’s not uncommon for savvy overachievers to assume the wins they’ve experienced in their particular industry will be transferable when they try to negotiate directly with a prospective landlord.
Abraham Lincoln’s famous opinion related to law is 100% relevant here: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Hiring a tenant rep AKA “broker” is a must. An experienced tenant rep provides powerful financial leverage, detailed market information, transaction expertise, and negotiation skills. Even better, they don’t cost you a penny.
After negotiating the best possible deal on your behalf, tenant reps are compensated by landlords.
High-quality tenant reps will not only help you weigh the relative merit of various spaces based upon your stated needs. They will also identify dozens of other ideas you may not be able to develop on your own.
Getting the right broker is similar to finding the appropriate person to manage your money. They must have technical knowledge and also be a cultural fit with the right personality.
Be sure to ask your peers for referrals and evaluate a few tenant rep candidates before you make a final decision.
(You are free to ask me as well. I know a lot of people in this business. I owe my success in the telecom industry to dozens of brokers who made countless referrals on my behalf from 2003 to 2014.)
The men and women in this fiercely competitive industry have a wealth of general knowledge. Most of the professionals I’ve encountered can easily hold their own in a conversation about any of the following topics:
- General Contracting
- Interior Design
- Project Management
- Property Management
- Real Estate Law
- Relocation Services
- Specific Industry Verticals (since many of them specialize)
They tend to know everybody because it takes a good five to ten years to build a book of business. And many of today’s top producers rose through the ranks by canvassing buildings and making thousands of cold calls.
If their firm doesn’t offer a portfolio of in-house services, they most certainly have a LinkedIn “Rolodex” of resources they can quickly loop into the conversation.
They also know which areas have electrical issues or subpar underground telecom infrastructure. Nothing escapes their purview.
As a managed service provider (MSP), we are constantly re-thinking business technology to better serve our clients and to help our clients better serve their clients.
In all candor, many of the following concerns, products, and services were already incorporated well in advance of our move. However, for non-techies, a move is the perfect time to transition. Innovative solutions make you more nimble and less dependent on physical real estate space.
Since our founding in 2008, we have played a dominant role in office moves for our clients.
This includes countless meetings and extensive collaboration with client leadership, project management teams, brokers, landlords, general contractors, design firms, architects, low-voltage vendors, electricians, and building owners.
Plus, before starting ProviDyn, the owner of our firm, served as the CTO and Operations Director for a high-growth marketing firm where he leased and built-out multiple offices. (Office moves are part of our DNA.)
This following considerations need to be carefully vetted in advance:
- What is our IT architecture going to look like at the new location?
- Which services can we migrate from bare-metal servers to the cloud?
- Does the new office have a diverse array of high-speed Internet options (Cable, Fiber, Wireless, and Wireline)?
- Are there any grid-related power issues that will kill this deal?
The next few sections provide a brief recap of popular projects and initiatives we have implemented and recommended.
With hosted file sharing, collaboration, and office productivity applications like Microsoft 365, traditional servers are out of the phone closet.
This saves space, capital outlays, management overhead, and lowers your dependency on power.
Your team can also log in 24/7/365 from any location. Goodbye Exchange Server and annoying VPN!
On that note, you may be able to get by with fewer dedicated offices and implement a flexible work from home program.
You might also consider hoteling. This allows multiple people to use the same facilities on a rotational basis. The convenient calendaring feature in Microsoft Teams can help you with all of the scheduling details.
Data Backup Appliances and PBXs (Phone Systems)
Just like servers, these legacy “machines” have superior cloud alternatives. Benefits include expanded feature sets, flexibility, risk reduction, and cost-control.
Instead of buying and replacing equipment, businesses only subscribe to precisely what they need.
The marketplace is loaded with cloud storage and backup solutions that meet all of your regulation and compliance needs, including business continuity options that allow you to run everything in a private cloud in the event you ever experience an operational disaster.
Learn More: Cloud Backup Innovation
And while VoIP has been around for a long time, it’s getting more advanced every year. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), the updated name for VoIP, integrates with instant messaging, text, video conferencing, email, and more.
Learn More: Top UCaaS Solutions
It’s all converging. Microsoft now offers a service called Business Voice.
Firewalls, Power Over Ethernet Switches, and WiFi
With everything moving to the cloud, durable and secure infrastructure is a necessity. Don’t cut corners here. Now is the perfect time to replace end-of-life devices especially if any of the items happen to be “prosumer” rather than business-class.
Many providers will help you select a total solution that is not only easy to manage but also combines hardware, cybersecurity, power management, load balancing, and password-protected wireless networks into one package. (This is similar to what is being done with UCaaS.)
Equally important, firewalls and switches need to be properly selected to accommodate the two different ISP services we hope you will implement. You need a primary and a secondary connection with instant or near instant failover.
Learn More: Why You Need a Second ISP
Finally, modern offices can be transformed with smart conference rooms, AV, sound masking, security cameras, and tech-friendly cubicles – all of which may require additional cable runs. If you don’t have enough ports in your switches, these build-out projects will hit roadblocks.
Workstations with laptop docking stations
Even if the pandemic didn’t convince you to permanently embrace work from home, laptops provide flexibility that enhances productivity and cybersecurity.
While employees are advancing your mission away from the office, their workstations are safe if your offices are breached. Office burglaries are on the rise in many dense urban areas and it never hurts to build additional safeguards into your computer acquisition process.
Your data is also safe if you shift your file sharing, storage, and backup to the cloud. But it’s never pleasant having to spend $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 on a new laptop.
Ready for Your Move?
I hope you can answer this question with greater confidence knowing trusted advisors in the MSP and commercial real estate space can supercharge your success. And save you a lot of time and trouble.
Since I mentioned the pandemic at the beginning…
ProviDyn and our clients made a relatively seamless pivot to work from home. We attribute this to the adoption of secure, cloud-based solutions, designed to be location-independent. The foundation was already in place prior to the lockdown.
Is your foundation in place?
The ProviDyn team has decades of experience, and we look forward to helping you plan your next office move.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like some of the related content in our free eBook.