Baltimore’s GLCCB will be moving to its new home (2530 North Charles Street, third floor) this coming Saturday, August 7th. I have been lucky enough to be able to help the GLCCB with the move from a technical point of view. This article will look at the two primary things you need to consider when moving into a new space: phones and network.
As for your network you have two choices, wireless and wired. Unless you’re an office of only one or two workers in a very small space you will most likely want a hard-wired network. Work with your electrician to help determine where to place the proper network ports throughout the new space. My suggestion is a minimum of two network drops per room, and – depending on the size of the space – a few network drops in the ceiling. You will also most likely want to purchase wireless access points as part of your network. I won’t suggest a specific brand but if you are able to purchase PoE (power over ethernet) capable access points and mount them on the ceiling network drops as determined by your IT professional. Just a quick explanation of PoE: it’s a technology that allows devices to power up by connecting to an ethernet cable versus having to plug into an electrical outlet. Your IT professional can help make sure your network is PoE enabled.
As for phones, unless again you have only one or two people working in your office you most likely will want to purchase some type of phone system. You have two options these days, digital or VoIP. A digital phone system typically will require traditional copper wiring where a VoIP phone system will only require your data network which will already be in place. As a result I typically suggest a VoIP phone system these days. Other advantages to a VoIP phone system is that it allows the users to move the phones to any location within your office space and continue to keep the same extension since the extensions are assigned to the phones themselves. While phone systems themselves can be pricey depending on your budget you can go with a hosted solution where the phone system is hosted at a remote data center and you just plug in the phones to your network or you can purchase the phone system and place it in your network. For a small business I suggest going with a hosted solution.
Please send your tech questions to firstname.lastname@example.org