By Josh Tafoya, Bold Technical Trainer
From time to time, it becomes necessary to move one’s Central Station. Whatever the reason (hopefully it’s because your business has simply outgrown your old office), it pays to have a plan.
In my time here at Bold, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a number of Central Station moves over the phone, and I’ve been onsite for two. If you have an upcoming move, there are a few things I’ve observed which will make the process easier. I’m listing them here, in no particular order, in an effort to help your process.
- Consider having Bold staff onsite. This allows you to have the full attention of the staff member and will also give you an experienced and patient presence during a particularly stressful time. Your staff will appreciate that the person from Bold is not panicking.
- Get a hardware VPN set up between the two sites. Once the VPN is in place, replication can be established between the two sites. This will allow you to move your redundant systems to the new site while still running at the old one. When it’s time for the move to happen, the Manitou part of the failover will be as simple as a controlled failover.
- Start communicating with your telephone provider as far in advance as possible. The actual moving of the phone lines is the one part of the moving process you have no control over. Start planning with them. Start discussing scenarios, possibilities, and concerns. Telephone companies are notoriously difficult to work with. On some levels, it’s understandable because they are responsible for the actual physical connection for millions of homes and businesses. Most telephone consumers don’t understand the minutiae involved in moving a telephone line across the street, much less across town. So, because it’s complex, to say the least, start talking to them now.
- Consider a telco consultant. If your organization is large enough, it may be to your benefit to pay someone to do all the worrying about the phone lines. Telco consultants have relationships with the phone companies for this very reason. They are able to cut through the bureaucracy because they know which numbers to call and which digits to select. They should be able to guarantee some level of response, something the telephone company may not be able to do.
- Consider an IT consultant. For the same reasons listed above, it may pay to let somebody else worry about all of your IT concerns.
The real key moving a Central Station is planning. Plan, discuss, plan some more. Start the plan with the stakeholders in the company. Plan with your IT staff. Plan with your managers and supervisors. Then plan with everyone. Ask them to consider things you haven’t thought of because it’s quite possible they will come up with something.
Also, remember to be patient with the process. Even with all the planning I just talked about, there are still about a million things which can come up that nobody remembered.
In any case, call us ahead of time and let us know. It helps us, too for planning, and allows us to discuss all the available options, should you decide it’s necessary to get us heavily involved.