From PCs and a server to Horizon phones, First Line kits out a whole office in just over a month

About Swanee River

Swanee River is a new property development company that has just launched in Oxford – with a fully kitted-out office. First Line IT installed a server, desktop computers, phones, broadband and wifi in nearly record time, going from site survey to completion in just over a month.

‘The smoothness and speed of the project shows what can happen when we are lucky enough to start with a blank slate in terms of the building and a clear brief from the client,’ said Operations Director John Crozier. ‘As we were project managers for the technical installation, we were able to set the timetable and coordinate all suppliers for the greatest possible efficiency.’

New office plan

Swanee River’s new offices are in the second floor of the old cake factory building in Middle Way, Summertown. Before moving in, they gutted the space and contracted an electrician to rewire it completely. This meant that when site support engineer Richard Woodwards conducted the site survey at the end of April, he was able to specify exactly how many sockets were needed and where they should go.

The plan included a server to be stored on-site, a desktop and a Horizon phone for every desk, broadband, printers, and wireless access. It was designed to be a ‘turnkey operation’ – one in which the client just has to turn up, sit down, and switch on. ‘In order for that to happen, and for everything to work, quite a lot has to go on behind the scenes,’ said Richard.

For once, Richard was not the one crawling round on the floor as the electrician did all the cabling – leaving just the ends for Richard to deal with. But First Line were nevertheless fully occupied. For example, they had to order the leased line, chase up the supplier, check when the line was installed and test it. Engineer George O’Rourke built the server, while Richard and Sergio Gotlieb put in the PCs and phones.

Early Growth

‘The only problem – if you can call it that – was that we initially planned for just five PCs. But even before everything was installed the business had grown enough that they needed more staff, so they bought another four PCs and Horizon phones,’ said Richard.

In the end, the First Line engineers even managed to beat their own timetable – sort of. ‘The office manager came in on the last day we were there to see how we were getting on with the final tests and tidying up,’ said Richard. ‘She had her laptop with her and we knew that the wifi was working well. So we connected her up to the wifi and she worked in the office for the whole afternoon as we tidied up around her.’