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Are you relocating your business?  If so, waiting until the last minute to assess your cabling needs is a recipe for disaster. Follow these steps for a proactive and organized solution.

Moving your business to a new location can be a stressful and exciting at the same time. However, when you don’t have the mental space or time to plan ahead for the move, you may find that you’re reactively spending more than you should on essentials like cabling.

With all the logistical challenges to ensure computers and IT equipment are delivered safely to your new location, infrastructure requirements may fall by the wayside.

Structured Cabling

With structured cabling, panels are installed throughout your office and connected to the communication backbone with a single cable. A user can then connect his device to the entire network by simply plugging a short cable into the closest cabling panel.

Structured cabling reduces install time by allowing for efficient changes and upgrades, reduces bulky cabling, and improves airflow in your office. A structured cabling system takes planning, but it’s worth the effort.

How About the Cost?

Providing large offices for your executives, and ensuring that your key employees will have a window by their desks is much less important than planning for your IT infrastructure. While the upfront investment in structured cabling equipment and installation may be difficult to swallow, knowing that you’ll have the flexibility you’ll need to make changes in the future should ease any financial concerns. Structured cabling supports future upgrades –

The modular design makes upgrades and changes easy to do. In this respect, you can often save thousands of dollars when using structured cabling. You’ll benefit from a neat, organized system unlike that with traditional point-to-point cabling systems. Plus, structured cabling reduces power and cooling usage and costs.    

Assess Your Cabling Requirements

Creating a checklist for your site visit is critical to ensure you don’t forget important details. Work with your IT provider when preparing your list.   And, be sure to think about your future IT requirements. Here are some things to consider:

  • Office configuration
  • Ideal locations for items like power jacks, network cabling points and workstations
  • Centralized locations for printers, scanners and routers.
  • Requirements for server rooms, including heating, cooling and electrical
  • The number and type of phone lines and whether Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables are needed.

Mapping is Critical.  It Requires the Assistance of an IT Professional.

A map for your structured cabling system should support your current IT needs as well as requirements for future expansion.  Your IT professional can help you map your system so you won’t have to rewire workstations with new features in the future. Having an IT partner join you for site visits and when preparing your map is essential.

Start by looking for existing structured cabling in your new site.  Be sure to hire a licensed contractor to assess the status of your new site to ensure all the wiring is up to date with current building codes.  Map where you’ll place your workstations, WiFi hotspots, cellular boosting equipment and DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems). The bandwidth you’ll require may change over time, so it’s best to plan for capacity over and above your current requirements.

Design your map so pathways flow from the data center to your workstations. Include modular data cabling stations, horizontal cabling connections, cable distribution points, and your data center in your mapped system.

What About Wireless Networking?

While wireless networking is often preferred by employees, structured wiring can be much faster and more reliable than wireless when there’s a lot of data to transfer. Structured cabling can be easily organized, while DAS and WiFi or cellular networks provide more flexibility than any wired infrastructure. Designing the ideal infrastructure solution is likely to require a mix of the various types of cabled and wireless technologies to ensure your employees have the speed they need, while maintaining tight security across all endpoints.

Planning for the Future

It’s important to cover your current and future business needs. If you’re already using 85% or more of your capacity, you’re likely to max it out sooner than later. This should be considered in your strategy. Also plan for unexpected office re-configurations if your leadership wants to move teams around.

Isn’t it time for you to make the switch from point-to-point cabling? BACS can install a structured cabling system for your business in The Bay Area. Contact us for a complimentary assessment of your cabling needs.  (650) 887-4601 sales@bacsit.com