Asatte Press Moves into Commercial Office Space

Austin Oaks Medina Building

Austin Oaks Medina Building

We are taking the plunge. On Thursday we accepted the key to our first commercial office space. After investigating different possible locations for a few weeks, we eventually settled on a 1350 square foot suite in the Medina Building of the Austin Oaks complex.

Austin Oaks is a half million square foot, Twelve Building Corporate Campus located in Austin, Texas at Spicewood Springs Road and Mopac Expressway. The buildings were mostly built in the 1970s, but they are very well maintained. Furthermore, because of their age, the oak trees surrounding the buildings are all very well grown in. The exterior environment around the buildings is very nice.

Another key factor in our selection of this building is its proximity to a stop on the University of Texas Far West shuttle route. We employee a lot of University of Texas students and some of them don’t own cars.

Interior of Office Suite

Interior of Office Suite

The suite was originally laid out to support something like an attorney’s office. It has two offices with windows, an interior office, an interior conference room, a utility room and a receptionist’s area. We asked the landlord to remove the doors of the offices to create a semi-open environment. We also asked the landlord to install a small sink and kitchen cabinets in the utility room. We will then install a small refrigerator, coffee maker and so on to create a compact kitchen.  This small kitchen will be a handy for those wanting to eat lunch. It will also make it much easier to setup food and drink arrangements when we are taking close up photographs for our books.

We have ordered furniture from the local Ikea store. It is remarkable how cost effective Ikea is. We are using very simple, lightweight items. We don’t expect this furniture to have the durability of furniture from Steelcase or Herman Miller.  On the other hand, we were able to equip the entire office for just over $4000 – including sales tax and delivery.

Our interior office cabling and IT equipment approach is very current: we won’t have any.

Our phone service is provided by RingCentral. We have separate 800 numbers for voice and fax. I will be having them record the voice prompts professionally. The “extensions” behind this 800 number simply route to our employee cellphones. It very cheap and it works really well. When someone calls the 800 number and enters your extension, you get a call on your cellphone. The caller ID string is from the original caller, not from RingCentral. When you answer, you hear a voice that says “You have a call. Press 1 to accept”  This prompt clues you in that you are getting a business call and allows you to collect your wits, take a breath, press “1” and say “Hello? This is Dave at Asatte Press”.

We are a true cloud-based business. Our e-mail is provided by Microsoft (Office 365). All of our development and web servers are rented from various hosting providers. Internet is key. I was shocked and initially panicked when I started trying to contact the central ministry of stone hammer installation services at the local internet service provider. The service provided is much slower than that offered to home consumers – at five times the price…AND…it takes more than a month for them to dispatch a tree sloth to turn it on for you.  I didn’t have a month.  In two weeks we will have ten interns working in this office. What was I going to do!?

4G Wireless Broadband Modem from Clear

4G Wireless Broadband Modem from Clear

Luckily, I was rescued by Clear.  Really impressive. Call them up. They overnight you a 4G wireless modem with integrated wireless LAN router. Their website even has a utility to show you exactly where their nearest tower is. The Medina building is on the top of a hill and we are on the top floor. Our office has an unimpeded line-of-site view to their nearest tower about 1000 meters away. It works perfectly. I was setup and running within 15 minutes and my initial speed tests showed 6-9 megabits of download and 1-3 megabits of upload speed, even in the farthest interior corner of our office suite.

Our students will bring their own laptops. The only IT equipment will be a printer (connected to the wireless LAN) and a single PC which will host the expensive software licenses for book production software tools from Adobe and Antenna House.

So, we are off and running!  Our summer interns start on 21 May….

 

 

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