Preparing for Success: Building Out and Moving Into Times Square
Preparing for Success: Building Out and Moving Into Times Square
NEX Group, PLC, a publicly traded British fintech company, had several offices spread out across New York City: one on Fifth Avenue, one on Sixth Avenue, one on 42nd Street (split over two floors), and one in Jersey City. They were looking to bring all of their New York businesses (a team of over 600) under one roof with the NEX brand in mind, which would, of course, also have to maintain rigorous compliance standards while being located closer to their clients. As they focused on 82,400 square feet of 4 Times Square, formerly known as the Condé Nast Building, they began to realize that, as exciting as it was, it was also bringing some significant IT challenges. A space like that needs to be designed and planned for to support their core operations, which are heavy on bandwidth, resources, and throughput. They were also going to need a reliable process to make a successful move on one of the busiest blocks in the world in the heart of Times Square!
They were going to need a trusted technology services partner that could leverage project management experience to deliver a thoughtful design/build of the necessary infrastructure, a seamless relocation, and post-move support. After a careful discovery process, Pro4ia, a global technology services firm with offices in New York and London, was awarded the project. Pro4ia has a great deal of experience with Technology Relocations in the enterprise and mid-market spaces, including New York City’s largest ever technology relocation.
“We started off by doing IT Relocations for the biggest names out there, and so we know all of the best practices. Our business has been taking those same practices to every single client.”
– Steve Pirkl, Managing Partner, Pro4ia
Pro4ia set to work on a thorough discovery process and got to know the space at 4 Times Square. The Pro4ia team also spent time understanding the four existing offices and beginning to plan for success. What were the key elements that would drive success? How could you take four offices, meet all of their different needs, while also gaining efficiencies? And how would this be managed alongside NEX’s in-house team located in the UK?
Streamlining While Building
A McKinsey study found that office consolidation could lead to 20-30 opportunities for IT consolidation, leading to a net savings of up to 20% on IT budgets—that’s a sizable amount of savings for a company that is built around IT. But it takes careful planning. Having an IT partner along for the entire process, creates these opportunities for larger realized savings and increased efficiency. Pro4ia also strictly adheres to PMI best practices for project management to stay on time and on budget in delivering these critical services. This helps Pro4ia’s team make sure the project does not undermine critical business functions.
“When we take on a relocation, we know that the move date is Day Zero. There’s no flexibility, no margin of error. We have to be prepared, we have to have a plan, and we have to execute. Our client is counting on us, and we have to deliver.”
– Wayne Piccola, Technology Relocation Services Manager, Pro4ia
Pro4ia uses a 3+1 approach for every client they partner with. This means each of its three core practice areas of Technology Relocation Services, Technical Services, and Infrastructure Services are each built from a “Project Management First” foundation. Consequently, they follow the sequence of project management best practices: Initiation, Discovery, Planning, Execution, and Close-Out. This consistent approach to technology projects is combined with the deployment and application of PMI-certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs).
A strong indicator of project success or failure is the quality of the project management in the initiation and planning phase of a project. For Pro4ia, NEX’s design/build and relocation required a great deal of due diligence in the initiation phase. The team had to survey all of the existing sites, understand the core business functions and requirements, coordinate with the UK-based team, and develop a plan for the infrastructure that would power its new space, while also making sure that the idiosyncrasies of each office were catalogued for decisions to be made—would they be maintained or streamlined?
The key decision was to develop uniform IT protocols to realize significant savings and maximize efficiency in the build-out and in the operation of the space. This strategic decision enabled the Pro4ia team to identify numerous opportunities for efficiency, from retiring outdated equipment that was redundant to better negotiated service contracts with utilities. One of the biggest pieces was that Pro4ia was able to move from one phase of the project to the next with no loss of knowledge. Rather than having three IT vendors that each had to do Discovery, Pro4ia got to know NEX’s systems inside and out and made internal hand-offs to different specialists with seamless precision. Each of these specialists worked together to create a project environment where stakeholders and team members alike understood what to expect, when to expect it, and if there were any issues in implementation.
From Planning to Opening
In the build-out, Pro4ia took this opportunity to upgrade the network, to improve its resiliency and security, and to build with scale in mind. NEX’s critical business operations could not be disrupted at any point in the process. The logistics of moving into a building on one of the busiest streets into the world can also be challenging, so Pro4ia left nothing to chance and built a 4-phase plan to ease each team into the new space. Over the span of 6 months, Pro4ia moved the NEX teams from their respective offices into the new Times Square office, bringing each time online seamlessly.
From the technology analysis that began the planning process, Pro4ia knew that it would be the local go-to IT vendor for NEX’s UK-based team throughout the entire process. This allowed the team to keep business functions and strategy at the forefront of planning and goal-setting. When deciding on the 4-phase move-in, this planning played a critical role. Not only did the moves run seamlessly over weekends, but there were dedicated support teams on-site to make sure users were set up properly, understood new protocols, and had any issues addressed on the spot.
Thanks to the careful planning around the project, NEX Group was able to transition smoothly to their new home in New York City. The project ran seamlessly thanks to the strong emphasis on project management and strategy-oriented planning. By using this move to build a solid foundation of technology infrastructure and to integrate various network upgrades, NEX realized its goal of an integrated and more efficient office for its full team—with a view!
Pro4ia integrates project management best practices into every project, for enterprise and mid-sized companies alike. If your organization is looking to relocate or find out how technology can support your business objectives, speak to one our IT experts today, or visit www.pro4ia.com for more information.