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After 7 happy years at our current offices, Systemagic moved to new premises last Thursday, giving us more room to expand as the business continues to grow as well as some excellent training and meeting facilities and break-out areas.
Office moves are always stressful – for the business owner it’s a juggling act of making sure the move happens quickly and efficiently while keeping the business operating as normal.
Office moves are always stressful – for the business owner it’s a juggling act of making sure the move happens quickly and efficiently while keeping the business operating as normal. For an IT support provider with a busy helpdesk this is even harder but everything ran like clockwork thanks to our use of ‘cloud’ technologies, and I wanted to share some of the key points that might help your business too.
First and foremost, telephony is always a stumbling block. BT, bless them, can be a frustrating company to deal with and things rarely switch over exactly when planned. I’ve blogged before about VoIP telephony, and in the case of moving offices, this allows you to remain constantly connected at both ends without putting your fate into the hands of a third party. At no stage throughout the move was our helpdesk unmanned or unavailable, and some customers didn’t even realise we were moving because at all times we were in control of our own telephone system.
Similarly, a business without email is often a business facing disaster, and cloud email systems are a must-have for most businesses these days. With the marketplace offering everything from Microsoft’s Office 365 through to bespoke private Hosted Exchange solutions, there really is a solution to fit every business regardless of budget, requirements, compliance or volume. If your business isn’t yet using hosted email, now might be the time to start exploring your options as it brings huge benefits to almost everyone who makes the switch.
At this stage, I must thank our removal chaps from Firbank Removals in Bath. Firbanks have been a customer of ours for longer than I can remember, so it was great to turn the tables and become the customer. Having them deal with the boxing and lifting allowed us to focus on running our business and I really can’t recommend them highly enough. They also had a tricky spiral staircase to contend with at our old building which can’t have been easy!
So aside from cloud systems (I haven’t mentioned our helpdesk and remote support systems, which are also all cloud-based, but having your business critical systems hosted online is a great way of ensuring resiliency and reliability as well as saving on maintenance and equipment costs) how else did technology play a part in making the move less stressful?
We’re a big fan of Microsoft’s Lync software, which provides an instant messaging and collaboration platform to allow all our team members to be in constant contact with each other, including on mobiles and tablets, PCs and laptops. I really believe that collaboration is going to be a key differentiator for businesses in the next few years, dividing those who communicate effectively from those who don’t. At some stages of our office move we had a few technicians at the old office, some at the new, and some in limbo between both and at all times everyone was in contact with each other. If you haven’t explored Lync I would urge you to have a look – it’s even rolled into the Office 365 package now so is very accessible and affordable.
I really believe that collaboration is going to be a key differentiator for businesses in the next few years
So there you go – a combination of cloud technology, strategic connectivity and modern collaboration methods enabled us to operate while the rest of our world was packed into boxes, shipped across to the other side of Bath and unpacked again.
If you’d like to visit our new offices, please do get in touch. We’re based in a gorgeous 17th century manor house with stunning views over Bath’s Limpley Stoke valley. The kettle’s always on!