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Thursday, 14 November

A Structured Plan - Is Office Cabling Slowing You Down?

Most office workers have been there. You arrive in the office, turn on your PC, go to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and return to your desk to find the PC’s Network applications seem to get slower and slower.

Routine job tasks take longer and longer and as you struggle to get work completed, your frustration grows. Cable issues are amongst the most common problems in today’s workplace.

 

Slow networks reduce employee efficiency

The cause of slow network applications is usually that cables or connectors in the communications room have become damaged due to the weight of poorly installed cables pushing down on them. With phone cables, this manifests itself as a crackly line. With data cables, the data is sent from the server, but the response to confirm that it has been received is not returned, so the data is resent. When this process keeps repeating, 'chatter' occurs, resulting in a lot of unnecessary data being transmitted, and the network becoming slower. One or more technical specialists will be required to oversee the process of identifying and solving the problem and meanwhile business productivity decreases and valuable time is lost.

 

Business downtime costs time and money

Many cabling issues go undetected until there is a serious problem and business operations are affected. If an application fails, there is a need to trace the cabling in the server room to check for damage. With a muddle of cabling, and no labelling or documentation, this straightforward task becomes slow, laborious and largely trial and error. Whilst it is underway, working cables may need to be disconnected, causing users to lose connectivity unexpectedly. The total repair takes much longer than it should, resulting in parts of the business being unable to operate normally and employees wasting time while they wait for things to be fixed.

 

We’ll tidy later never happens

Once cabling starts to become a muddle, the problem only gets worse. It is time consuming and challenging to sort out the initial problem, and the pressure of other jobs results in the decision to fix it for now, and tidy it later. When new applications are added or the business expands, cables are connected wherever there is space, and the spaghetti gets worse. Often, multiple companies are called in to install, maintain and repair the structured cabling network, which can also result in a confused and jumbled system with no overall plan.

When your comms room looks like the image in this post, you have a serious issue. The only option is to take the cabling apart and rebuild it. Working out what all the cables are for, and labelling them is a time consuming task, and you will probably be looking at several days of downtime for all your communication systems. Clearly not good news if your business runs 7 days per week and something you definitely want to avoid!

 

A structured plan

A better approach is to have a plan for your structured cabling network, with accurate documentation and labelling with a specific company to support you. In that way, if a problem does occur, it will be more straightforward to rectify quickly, ensuring that your business continues to operate efficiently and productively.

Wayne Connors is MD of ACCL Ltd

www.network-data-cabling.co.uk

ACCL designs, implements and supports the data and communications networks which provide connectivity and drive business performance. Privately owned, and with more than 25 years of experience in London and the South East, our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our specialist cabling services are designed with your current and future needs in mind, bringing high quality solutions that are excellent value.

 

Article written by Wayne Connors

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