Crosstalk with Select Telecom (Winter 2015)

In the beginning stages of an expansion for its 230 students and 60 staff/faculty, the well-regarded Independent St. Luke’s School (located in NYC’s West Village) learned that it would need to relocate its server room.  Explains IT Coordinator Alfonso Espinal, “We’re erecting a third and fourth floor onto the building, and the architects and engineers had planned to implement an elevator shaft directly through our existing server room.”

Alfonso had an existing relationship with Select Telecom after a 2010 upgrade of the school’s old Nortel system to a VoIP solution from ShoreTel.  In the years since, Alfonso had appreciated the easy administration of the new system, and knew he could count on Select Telecom for reliable service and unmatched expertise.  When he learned of the need to relocate the servers, he didn’t hesitate to reach out to Select Telecom.

As Alfonso recalls, “There was a lot of analyzing to do before we could actually decide where to locate the new server room.”  He spent months going back and forth with the architects, oftentimes calling in Select Telecom for feedback on the discussions.  “They have a lot of experience in building data rooms,” Alfonso explains, “so I valued their opinion on what would be the best solution for us, not only to relocate this summer, but also for the long-term future of the school as we continue to expand our network.”

After several on-site and phone meetings with Senior Account Manager Peter Serri, VP Jerry Moscariello, and President Mike Durante, Alfonso and the team from Select Telecom finally settled on a plan of action.  Alfonso felt confident in the direction they chose.  “We compared Select Telecom’s proposal to other companies’, but it seemed like Select’s was the best.  After all, they were experienced in our building – they knew our layout, had run cabling, had implemented our phone system, and they understood our infrastructure and environment.  They’d taken the time to do an extensive site survey before recommending a plan of action, and I just knew it would have been a lot more complicated with someone else,” says Alfonso.

The move itself took place over the course of two weeks in the summer, with minimal interruptions to the school’s daily operations.  With Jerry Moscariello serving as dedicated on-site project manager, St. Luke’s always had someone to turn to with questions, and “everyone was approachable and friendly, and always very accommodating,” Alfonso recalls.  Alfonso was particularly pleased that Select Telecom prioritized moving the core wires for the main office – the first point of contact for parents, students, and staff – ensuring that by the end of the first day, the main office was up and running with phone and internet service.

A team of three to five technicians worked tirelessly for the duration of the project to make sure that everything went according to plan and that network outages occurred only as scheduled.  As Alfonso explains, the move was complex: “We have one main distribution facility (our server room), which every office, classroom, and shared space was directly connected to.  So we needed to relocate about 260 data cables, along with our server hardware, switching infrastructure, and our telecom equipment (phone system and ISP).”

Despite the challenges, Select Telecom executed an expert move.  “Everything went exactly to plan,” Alfonso recalls.  Better yet, the team even was able to improve on the school’s cable organization.  “One thing we were lacking before was cable management,” says Alfonso.  “Select Telecom helped organize everything so it’s neat and structured the room in such a way that it allowed us to access the hardware more efficiently.  They consolidated our infrastructure to allow us to better use the space, and in the end, even though we had all the same equipment, they helped deliver a better product than we started with.”

After this experience with the server room move, St. Luke’s is looking forward to partnering with Select Telecom as the school continues its future expansion.  As Alfonso put it in an email to Select Telecom, “I have to say I am extremely happy with my new server room. You and your guys did some outstanding work. I know it was not an easy job, but you guys handled it like the pros you are. As our school continues to expand, we’ll have much more work to do, and I know that with Select Telecom’s help we’ll accomplish everything we set out to do.”

View more before and after photos like these from the St. Luke’s server room move here!