Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide and exclusive interview with VP Jim Whitfield
An interview with Jim Whitfield, Managing Director of High Country Workplace Technologies
If you’re relocating your office, maintaining continuity of phone and internet service should be among your top concerns. We spoke with Jim Whitfield of High Country Workplace Technologies to learn how companies can ensure all telecommunications needs are met during and after the move.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: selecting and soliciting help
Movemybiz: Tell us a bit about High Country Workplace Technologies.
Jim Whitfield: We’re in our 30th year of being in business. We’ve been servicing businesses of all sizes in the Denver metro area and actually, across the entire United States. We’ve stayed up-to-date with the latest technology while staying true to our principles of excellent customer service.
What’s distinctive about our company is that we are a comprehensive integrator. We do cabling, we can arrange voice and internet services, we can implement a premise-based unified voice communication solutions, or we can recommend a hosted or cloud-based solution. The customer base that we supply to can scale from an 8 person office all the way up to a 500-person multi-site organization. What makes us distinctive is our ability to take ownership of the customer’s project or endeavor.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: advice for beginners
Movemybiz: In many cases, the person in charge of the company relocation has never moved an office before. Any advice for beginners?
Jim Whitfield: Believe it or not, phone and internet service tends to be overlooked on occasion. The first thing I’d say to a beginner is to get in the game early. Once you know that you’re moving and you know where your new location is, start thinking about voice and data. It can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days from the point that the contract is signed with the new voice and internet carrier for the service to be installed and turned on.
You should have a checklist – there are several out there. You’ve got to work a lease, you’ve got to work out office furniture, you’ve got to worry about moving your technology, and obviously you have phone systems and unified technology. Phone systems are typically integrated technology that has special requirements, so it’s good to figure out a plan at least 45 days in front of the move.
For larger firms, moves tend to get planned out as much as a year and a half ahead of time. Sometimes for very large firms, it’s a new-build building, and it takes 6-8 months just to finish construction. In that case, if we’re involved, we tend to be a participant at most of the GC construction meetings.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: internet and phone service is critical
Movemybiz: What should the move manager be thinking about when reevaluating an existing voice and data service?
Jim Whitfield: Moving is a great time to refresh and say, “Hey, is there a new type of service out there, a new solution that could help us and our customers or lower costs?”
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: check and review your existing service contracts
The tricky bit in the voice and internet space is term contracts. Term contracts tend to run, for the most part, on a three-year basis. So the first thing is to see where you currently are on your term and see if the existing carrier can move your service. Sometimes that’s an opportunity to renegotiate your contract at a lower rate, because rates are changing constantly. Sometimes the existing service provider does not have a service footprint in the new area, and that’s when you have to do the research to find out if they can actually service your area.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: avoiding downtime
Movemybiz: Businesses run on voice and data. How can the move manager avoid downtime related to an office move?
Jim Whitfield: It’s always a good idea to have weekly meetings during the move planning stages, whether you feel as if you need one or not. Over the course of those weekly meetings, stay on top of your checklist. It’s a “measure twice, cut once” world where you want to double-check and not assume that things are being taken care of.
There are situations when service cannot be delivered on time – such as if a move came up very suddenly. And there are avenues to actually maintain continuity of service. With the new world of SIP-trunking, wireless internet, and also with a plain old telephone service that can be installed in 3 days, there are creative ways for businesses to execute a last-minute move and still retain some semblance of phone and internet service.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: solutions
Movemybiz: Today’s workers are increasingly mobile. What are some solutions they should consider?
Jim Whitfield: It’s becoming a smart-phone world these days. There are a number of manufacturers we represent that have a comprehensive set of mobility solutions that enable any mobile worker to use a smartphone to make/receive phone calls without advertising their personal cell phone number. They can have any voicemail messages delivered to their smartphone by an app or email interface.
Some manufacturers have even developed solutions that allow smartphone users to make and receive phone calls either over a Wi-Fi network when one is available, so they can keep their cell minutes at a minimum, or through their cell carrier when a Wi-Fi network is not available for use. This solution allows the mobile employee to go back and forth between cell phone coverage and Wi-Fi seamlessly.
Denver and Colorado Office Move and Relocation guide: phone systems and hosted VoIP
Movemybiz: How can you decide if your current phone system is right for you?
Jim Whitfield: The cost of new technology has gone way down, and there are many solutions out there. Businesses that are relocating may have evolving needs, so ask questions: do we have a mobile workforce? Are our employees desktop intensive? Businesses need to consult with solutions providers like Hi Country in order to best navigate their many options.