How to Set Up Connectivity in Your Office
Whether you’re starting a new business, expanding into an additional location, or just moving the location of your existing office, planning is absolutely essential.
Decisions made during the moving process will be instrumental in contributing to employee productivity, so it’s important to take the time to think through the various options before bringing everything in and setting it up.
As you go through the process of setting up connectivity in your office, you should consider the following:
1. Cabling. In a wireless world, it may seem old-fashioned to think about installing traditional Ethernet cable for wired connectivity, but there are many reasons for including it in your new office. The primary reason that comes to mind is that wired network segments allow businesses to easily control who and what gets online. When installed during the move-in process, it’s a cost-effective and future-proof strategy that maximizes network performance.
2. Storage. In the past, businesses had to buy and install sophisticated storage solutions – including network attached storage (NAS) or storage area networks (SAN) to ensure every file was properly secured. However, the emergence of cloud-based solutions has offered businesses an alternative option. Cloud-based storage solutions make it easy to store data and share it between devices – a boon for tablet- and smartphone-toting employees and partners. High-speed connectivity with unlimited usage makes it easy to make the shift to cloud-based services in a cost-effective, predictable manner.
3. Servers and Applications. The rapid growth in the popularity of cloud-based solutions is also influencing internal network design. As traditional locally-installed applications give way to subscription services delivered via the cloud, businesses no longer need to provision, install and maintain software on locally-installed servers. When setting up a new network, be sure to take the opportunity to review your application needs, as this is an ideal time to consider moving to cloud-based offerings like Office 365 from Bell.
4. Wireless. When choosing your connectivity type, it’s important to ensure the wireless network will have enough coverage and bandwidth to support the anticipated numbers and distributions of laptop, tablet and smartphone users. Once you’re setup, be sure to monitor usage over time to ensure available bandwidth keeps pace with demand. Bell’s fibre-based Business Internet service is a great choice because it offers unlimited usage and includes a modem with Wi-Fi capabilities as well as ongoing support.
5. Remote connectivity. It is no longer enough to give teleworkers and road warriors basic email access and assume it’s sufficient. It isn’t. Today’s remote workers expect the same level of functionality outside the office as they do within it. A virtual private network (VPN) can be a great way to provide secure, full-featured access to the full range of apps and services on the corporate network. Alternatively, cloud-based solutions can deliver similar capability without requiring a VPN to be setup at all. One example is Office 365 from Bell, which combines many of Microsoft’s most popular business software and apps (like Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) into one cloud-based service that’s specifically tailored to business owners.
6. Printing. The growing popularity of network-enabled printers makes it easy to centralize this still-important function and keep costs in check. Support for wireless printing standards lets smartphone and tablet users print directly from their devices, too.
The bottom line
Taking the time to size up your connectivity requirements before setting up your office is a smart move. Proper planning will ensure that you maximize your connectivity investment and allow your employees be more productive in the office and beyond.