Getting Help from A Big Team

Oregon Partnership moved recently.

Moving, as we can all attest to, is never a “fun” thing to do. It’s full of lots of hard work, frazzled nerves, and long hours. But in the end, all of the hard work pays off when you are in your beautiful new digs. Our move is no exception. Our new space is fantastic. Our call center, which is still being transformed, will be “world class”. And this is all really cool stuff!

During this process, we also had to move a crisis line. Well, to be technical – five crisis lines. So this magnifies the “hard work” involved. When you move an office in general there are a lot of vendors and organizations involved. When you move a crisis line, it seems like there’s probably more.

Let me share the list with you:
* Phone/data provider (consisting of several team members performing different functions)
* IT/Phone equipment service provider
*National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
*Phone line/cabling contractor
*Property management company
*Contracting/construction company, security door contractor, and county inspector.

Not to mention connections within Oregon Partnership (OP).

So when all of these busy, independent organizations come together to move a crisis line the potential for scheduling issues, equipment issues, etc. is very high.

However, with lots of thoughtful planning and creative ideas from many different parties, the whole operation went quite smoothly. Of course, there were bumps a long the way. I’ll tell you about the most interesting one, and then wrap up;

In order to move a crisis line, we had the unique challenge of keeping the line operating when it went down at one site, and equipment was being transferred to another site. In order to do this, we devised a “fail over” method that transferred our calls to backup phones. Easy, right? Well not necessarily.

We had decided that we should test the failover system first, to see if it would failover correctly. It didn’t.

We tested this “pre-move”, and in order to do so, had to take all of OP offline (no phone or internet) for about an hour, early in the morning. When we went into test mode, calls were not being transferred correctly to the failover phones.

We had a technician, based in Colorado I believe, running programs and testing switches in order to get it right. We had time pressure to complete the test, so that we could get OP back up and running. The technician worked quickly, and efficiently, and was able to devise the correct switching to enable the failover system. Towards the end of the test period, after we had already worked out the kinks and tested it, the technician said to me, “let’s test it one more time, I wanna make sure it’s right, you guys aren’t a flower shop, you know?”

With that, the tech vocalized what I think everyone on every vendor’s team felt, but had not yet said…. “you guys are saving lives…. We want this to work for you”. And that kind of thing comes from the heart. It came from the heart of every organization that was involved in helping us move. It was more than “just a job” for them. And it’s more than that for us too.


– David C.


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