NovaONE Networks: The most overlooked item when choosing new office space could be the most important

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MADISON, WISC – Your business is growing. Good for you! However, a thriving business may require expanding into a new space or spaces. The decisions that accompany a move to new office and/or retail space are many and can range from the seemingly benign to the utmost important.

There are so many factors to consider: location, square footage, rent, employee and guest parking, signage, growth possibilities, etc. Everything from lighting to lease terms comes into play. With so many things to consider, inevitably something will be – at best – compromised and – at worst – completely overlooked.

Jim Sauter, owner of NovaONE Networks, a Madison-based VoIP, Fiber, & Cloud business, says that in his company’s over seven years, he has fielded many panicked calls from business owners because they have relocated and didn’t take one thing into consideration: Internet connectivity (internet options).

“Honestly, so many of NovaONE’s clients first came to us because they just moved into new office space only to discover they were severely lacking internet options,” Sauter says. “It’s so important, yet fiber optic internet connectivity is vastly overlooked. Even on, there’s a ‘new office checklist’… and it doesn’t include technology!” (

Sauter says that in recent years, the discovery of substandard internet connectivity has gotten more and more prevalent because businesses are moving their IT and communications to the cloud. The cloud is driving many businesses towards synchronous internet speeds (same speed up and down) and that is only achieved with fiber optics.

“Fiber optics is thought to be commonplace, but it isn’t quite as widespread as believed,” Sauter says. “Bearing that in mind, when one is looking for a new work environment, they should never forget to ask the question, ‘Does the space meet my technology needs not only now but in 5 or 10 years down the road?” Sauter also says “It’s very apparent some buildings will be wired in the next year or two but there are some buildings that won’t be in even in the next 5 years”.

Internet connectivity is too often unnoticed until it becomes a challenge, he says. If a building is not well connected, the costs can be substantial to update it. If technology needs are unmet, business may not be able to function properly or efficiently. Having fiber internet connectivity can save a business in other areas of IT and phone service options. Sauter says it more than pays for itself for a medium size business.

“Slow or inadequate internet service can wreak havoc on overall productivity and be a daily frustration preventing business activity,” he says. “One thing you do not want is to be locked into a lease and then find out the internet infrastructure does not support your business needs.”

Sauter says the best advice he can offer in evaluating a new or different location is to inquire about the technology infrastructure as part of an evaluation process. For example, a business that uses the internet to transmit large files (e.g. drawings, layout plans, etc.) requires a certain internet speed to send and receive these files without delay or disruption of other devices using the network. A common Coax, DSL, or T1 connection may not provide the speed needed and a fiber option may be necessary.

And what if the site does not have fiber service?

“Obviously, that would be a problem and could be very costly,” he says. “Installing fiber where none exists can cost tens of thousands of dollars.” Sauter says he has seen one building off of Highway 151 over a hundred thousand dollars – the company did not move forward and continues to operate with substandard DSL . Sauter also says he has seen connectivity infrastructure costs (if amortized over the lease term) be as much as the lease.

The good news? NovaONE Networks offers a technology evaluation service at no charge to a business. Sauter’s company will identify a buildings preexisting connectivity fiber infrastructure so a business owner will know if it meets the business’s needs. After determining if the site meets expectations, NovaONE can assist in obtaining a technology service suited for the specific needs of any business. Again, NovaONE does not charge for this guidance.

“It makes sense to factor in internet connectivity costs into the overall office space decision process,” he says. “NovaONE offers a free service that will allow businesses or commercial real estate brokers to call and we can let them know how well a building is connected to the internet along with the providers who have fiber facilities.”

NovaONE Networks was established in 2010 and provides experienced, unbiased telecom consulting and independent agent services to help businesses manage telecommunications services and reduce expenses. They have helped businesses in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. They are based in Madison with offices at 2009 W. Beltline Highway.