Relocating Your Office? Tips for a Smooth Transition of Your Communication Services
Many business owners experience the hardship of moving their office at some point in their entrepreneur journey. It’s not exactly fun, and things are typically chaotic, but whether you’ve moved before or plan to in the future, understanding the process for transferring your communications services will help ease frustration surrounding your critical business operations.
One of the most important things to consider is coordinating the transfer of business communications and internet services so they seamlessly function without interruption in service. Depending on the type of phone system you have (Cloud/VoIP or On-premise/Digital), the process will be slightly different.
#1 – Contact Your Internet Carrier
Carriers typically require at least 30 days notice when transferring internet or phone service to a new location– and that’s if their service is even available at your new location. Many businesses find out that their current internet provider does not have service in their new area or that they do not offer fiber internet options. If possible, we recommend starting this process roughly 45-60 days prior to your move to ensure your internet connection will be ready upon move in.
It is also important to note that if you are transferring internet services to a new address, rather than starting a new account with the existing Internet Service Provider (ISP), there could be a substantial delay if porting your numbers to a different carrier. Placing a transfer-of-service order on the existing account can cause the entire account to freeze so no other orders can be placed, including porting your phone numbers to a different carrier. In this case, it’s best to start a new internet account with the ISP so you can port-out your numbers without restrictions or delays.
#2 – Review Your Contracts
In addition to pre-scheduling your internet and/or phone service transfer, it’s important to review your contracts for early termination fees. Many carriers auto-renew contracts so it’s important to review your agreement diligently so there are no surprises or hidden fees.
#3 – Contact Your Phone System Provider Even if Your System is in the Cloud
Hosted “Cloud” or Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems* require minimal setup when moving offices, but there are still some things to consider:
- Update Your E911 Address in your VoIP portal (or contact your provider to make the change). Failing to make this imperative update would cause emergency personnel to travel to your old location should anyone dial 911 from their office phones.
- Update Your IP Addresses- You will most likely be given new IP addresses when you move your existing internet or start new internet. Failure to notify your phone system provider of the new IP addresses could cause your system to be unable to make or receive calls.
- Schedule a Site Survey/Cabling Assessment- It’s always a good idea to schedule a site survey of the new location to determine that the cabling is adequate for voice over IP services, and/or if additional data cable drops are needed for IP phones, printers, computers, etc. This is also a good opportunity to separate voice and data cabling in the building– which offers higher quality VoIP calling services then if voice and data cabling is shared.
- Introduce Softphones/Mobile Apps to Your Team- Most VoIP phone systems offer softphones and mobile apps that employees can utilize for little or no cost. Show your team how to download their mobile app clients so they can still assist customers during the moving process.
Moving a digital phone system requires the assistance of a certified professional. It is not recommended to have a member of your team or your IT contact move your digital system. It’s important to employ a technician that is certified on the hardware to avoid programming disasters.
*VoIP phone systems will save your organization a substantial amount of time and money, while delivering new age remote-working features. If you are considering a VoIP system–especially as the remote working environment continues to be our new normal– then check out our 3CX business communications system solution that includes video conferencing, mobile apps, softphones, chat, & more for every user.
#4 – Porting Numbers
If you are moving your phone numbers to a new carrier then it’s imperative to start the porting process as early as possible. Carriers will only accept port orders within a 30-day window, so start gathering the proper documentations immediately.
To ensure a successful port we recommend pulling the following information:
- Obtain a copy of your most recent phone bill and/or a Customer Service Record (CSR).
- Obtain a complete list of all numbers on your account and label each number (ex- main number, toll-free, fax, Carol’s DID, BTN, etc.).
- Verify who is listed on the account as an “authorized contact.” This person will need to sign the Letter of Agency (LOA) port order form.
- Verify how the carrier lists your company name. If the name is misspelled or appreviated, you must misspell or appreviated it on the LOA form as well. All information must match the losing carrier’s records exactly.
- Verify your service address on the carrier account. The service address (not billing address) is needed for porting purposes.
- Verify the Billing Telephone Number (BTN) or Account Telephone Number (ATN) on the carrier account.
- Verify if there is a PIN code on the account.
#5 – Scheduling “The Move” with ACC Telecom
Scheduling your order of operations should start with a cabling assessment, then contacting your carriers to confirm early termination fees and scheduling service installations including internet, analog lines, elevator lines, and security lines (if applicable), and number porting.
Next, schedule the phone system installation. To avoid moving your business phone system after hours or on the weekend, we recommend scheduling the move on a “government” holiday that falls on a Monday or Friday. Most likely your phone system provider will be open on this holiday, eliminating after-hours costs.
ACC Telecom has been assisting companies with their office relocation needs for over four decades! ACC Telecom is a certified VoIP provider and supports Hosted Cloud PBX & VoIP phone systems, 3CX, VoIP phone service and even some digital phone systems including Toshiba, ESI and Cisco UC. Please contact us for assistance with moving your business communications systems and services.