FPA Technology Services, Inc.
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IT Factors to Consider When Moving

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Whether you’re moving to a new floor in your building (like we are) or across a state, the key to making a successful move is investing significant time into careful planning. One of the first steps in the process is setting a realistic budget; it's important to consider overall cost as well as the economic impact on the company. Budgeting realistically will help you understand how your organization can use the move to support a long-term strategy, including, future expansion. Careful planning is critical to ensure a effective move while also helping you stay productive during the whole process -- everything from managing consultants, vendors, and suppliers to using the move as an opportunity to implement an office-wide upgrade needs to be considered.

Here are a few tips for a successful move:

  1. "Plan the work, then work the plan!"; Make sure you have a project plan detailing all of the touchpoints along the way and then use it during the move!
  2. Evaluate the new location with the help of an experienced consultant BEFORE the move.
  3. Create a diagram of the proposed office layout and ask vendors for feedback and suggestions.
  4. Plan to make the move during slow periods or over weekends to reduce business disruption.
  5. Include a schedule for dismantling and reassembling your server room in the plan.
  6. Let your clients know alternate ways to reach you while the network is temporarily down.
  7. Schedule the move around the shut down and restart of business critical applications and their impact to your business.
  8. Take the transport of your server room equipment seriously.  Spend the time to make sure equipment is properly wrapped and packaged and that appropriate casing is used, and consider an investment in an insurance plan.
  9. Take care of cabling issues as well as internet and phone set-up before the move to prevent unnecessary delays. Ensure you've left enough lead time to setup the circuits at the new location with your phone and internet service providers (sometimes these can take weeks or even months).
  10. Leave enough time to troubleshoot the functionality of the reassembled server room.
  11. Have adequate help desk or onsite support available for when users return to their workstations.
  12. Expect the unexpected - unanticipated issues will arise.  The best way to prevent a crisis is to devote enough time to the move, giving yourself enough time to address any last minute issues.

Staying Productive

Depending on the size of the company and the distance of the move, a typical relocation can take anywhere from a weekend to a full week, sometimes even longer when unanticipated issues arise. The best way to stay productive is to plan for delays and proactively combat looming issues. New workstations may not arrive on time, unexpected cabling issues may become apparent at the last minute, equipment may become damaged in the moving process, and so on. With some planning, the right hardware and software can be ordered in advance, cabling can be taken care of before the move, and appropriate care can be allotted to the process of packing. The key is to research, consult experts, and examine how the event can be used to your benefit. For instance, taking this opportunity to upgrade hardware and software may be the best way to take advantage of the disruption that is inherently associated with a move.

Building a Realistic Budget

When budgeting for a move, it is critical to consider where the company is going, especially if aggressive growth is anticipated. An IT consultant can assist in the planning process in more ways than one; we not only help you manage all the details, but use our expertise to identify and anticipate costs.

Careful Planning

The best way to manage the consultant-vendor-client balancing act is to begin by creating a Move Checklist. Plan to take steps to let your clients / customers know alternative methods of contacting you, coordinate a new office walk through with your IT service provider, cabling expert, and phone vendor, or if you’re upgrading, contact vendors and order workstations and new software licenses well ahead of time. Creating a plan a few months before the move will help you minimize disruption and downtime and ensure a success (and painfree) transition.

With significant experience over the last two decades assisting our clients with moving their IT infrastructure, FPA can help. Please contact us if you have any questions about moving servers, workstations, or peripherals or for a draft of an IT Move Checklist.

Money Saving Technology Tips

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Now more than ever, during these tough economic times, it's important to keep our eyes on the ball, cut costs where necessary, and invest in things that can have a measurable return on investment. At times like these, it's easy to think about cutting costs in technology investments and expenditures.  However, technology can provide many opportunities for returns with a huge bang for the buck.

We've put our collective heads together and compiled a list of Money Saving Technology Tips which can quickly impact your business' performance. This list is not all-inclusive and each component is not necessarily applicable to every organization – the purpose of this compilation is to provide insight into unexplored avenues of business growth and to serve as a "grab bag" of ideas that we hope will inspire you to take action that you haven't previously considered.


  1. Automate your KPI's (Key Performance Indicators). Many times the automation of this reporting can save days or weeks of time in providing the information you need to run your business successfully. Whatever accounting or ERP system you're using, there are always ways to streamline the process of creating this data in a more timely, accurate, and efficient manner.
  2. Invest in the technology needed to provide remote access so that you and your staff can work more efficiently. Why sit in traffic for an hour when you can work at home during rush hour and then only take a half hour to get in? This simple change would improve your productivity by 2.5 hours per week which equals over 120 hours per year.
  3. Build an intranet to improve your effectiveness and better share documents and information across your staff and locations.
  4. Implement EDI with your strategic partners to save money by eliminating the need for data entry and the costly printing of paper documents.

Enhance Systems

  1. Look to implement a VoIP phone system to increase capabilities while significantly reducing your ongoing telecommunication costs. VoIP is bundled with features such as conferencing abilities, caller ID, and call forwarding at no additional cost, and not only makes securing calls easier, but allows for user location independence.
  2. Scan documents and save them on the network rather than printing them. This will help you avoid ongoing costs associated with paper, toners, printer maintenance, storage space, and more.
  3. Implement bar coding and scanning if your business requires heavy data entry. Implementing bar coding and scanning in your warehouse can capture data entry at the point of origin and eliminate after-the-fact data entry. This will not only save you money by eliminating or minimizing reliance on data entry personnel, but will also reduce data entry errors.

Review Tech Expenses

  1. Audit your telecommunication costs, especially if your contract is over two years old.  This is an area where we're seeing HUGE cost savings with many of our clients.
  2. Audit your internet costs. Odds are, if your contract is more than a year or two old, better deals are available now.
  3. Organize and review your ongoing software and hardware maintenance fees. This is an ideal way to track down licenses you no longer use and allows you to discontinue payment and unnecessary coverage.

Go Paperless

  1. Configure your accounting application to email or fax client invoices and statements. This will help make your accounting functions flow more smoothly and efficiently and save you hundreds of dollars by eliminating printing costs.
  2. Switch from printing paper forms to using computer-generated forms.

Conserve Energy

  1. Implement a policy to have staff power off their computers, printers, and peripherals each evening as they leave the office.
  2. Have an IT Support Provider automatically shutdown all business devices at the end of each night and power them up before your office opens for business each morning.

Improve Hosting

  1. Change various applications from the purchase model to SaaS (Software as a Service) to run them hosted via the internet. This includes Anti-SPAM filtering, MS-Exchange Hosting, and much more.
  2. Move servers to a third-party co-location facility to eliminate the cost of server rooms. This can also serve as a great disaster recovery solution!

Outsource Your IT Services

  1. Consider replacing in-house IT staff with outsourced support, eliminating all of the costs associated with full-time staff (salary, payroll taxes, workers' compensation, benefits, vacation days, sick days, training, etc.).
  2. Eliminate vendor responsibility avoidance by outsourcing. There is no multi-vendor finger pointing when there is just one, resourceful solution provider.
  3. Do away with technology that is not the right fit for your business model. An outsourced IT provider with an intimate understanding of your business can guide your technology decisions based on your business objectives while steering you away from hidden pitfalls and overspending on unnecessary purchases and upgrades.

Modernize Marketing

  1. Look into advertising on social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, if business appropriate.
  2. Generate email blasts using simple, outsourced online companies such as Swiftpage, Constant Contact, or Campaigner.
  3. Implement a contact manager or customer relationship management (CRM) system to allow you to effectively manage your customer list, generate email blasts, or various marketing and advertising campaigns.

Optimize Website Function

  1. Consider adding B2B capabilities to your website to automate your interactions with your strategic partners. This will help automate and standardize correspondence.
  2. Add eCommerce capabilities to your website and sell your wares online!
  3. Allow your customers to enter orders through your website. The less time a client has to spend to place an order, the more likely he or she is to do business with you.
  4. Integrate order taking on your website with your back office accounting to eliminate data entry costs and errors.
  5. Optimize your website for search engines to drive more traffic and potential customers to your site.
  6. Launch a pay per click campaign with Google or Yahoo to drive more traffic and prospective customers to your site.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject...

About the Author
Craig Pollack
Craig Pollack Blog Profile Image Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, their business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology most effectively to achieve their business objectives. Craig focuses on ensuring that the technologies implemented by clients are "business centric" and key components of their businesses' success, and that this approach is shared by every staff member of FPA.
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