University Telephone System Upgrade

Overview

Starting in November 2021 and through 2022, Computing and Technology Services (CTS) will be upgrading the University's telephone system to a modern communication and collaboration solution. This solution includes several tools and features that will meet the shifting communication needs of our campus community.

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About the University telephone upgrade system

Project overview

The University will transition to the new telephone system on a department basis. Before each department transitions to the new telephone system, members of CTS will consult with a department representative to discuss the new phone system's capabilities and identify how it can improve their department's telecommunication processes.

As part of this consultation, CTS will work together with each department representative to determine the type of phone (i.e., a softphone or desk phone) each employee in the department should use. In addition, CTS will provide training on the new telephone system to each department before and during their scheduled transition date.

How will this project affect me?

New telephone options available for faculty and staff

The new telephone system will enable you to choose whether you use a softphone or desk phone. A softphone is a piece of software you can use to make and receive phone calls over an internet connection using an internet-connected device, such as a computer or smartphone. This functionality lets you use your University phone number without requiring a physical telephone.

More information about these telephone options, including their respective benefits and features, will be posted to this webpage in the coming weeks.

Changes to calling University phone numbers from your desk phone

As the University transitions to the new telephone system, faculty and staff should dial 91 followed by the 10-digit phone number when calling a University phone number from their University desk phone.

Currently, you can call a University phone number from your desk phone by dialing the phone number's four-digit extension.

Example: To call the CTS Service Desk from your desk phone, you would dial 4357.

During the year-long upgrade of the University's telephone system, we recommend dialing 91 followed by the 10-digit phone number when calling a University phone number from your desk phone.

NOTE: There will be no long-distance charge when calling University phone numbers using this dialing method.

NOTE: If you have any four-digit extensions programmed as shortcuts on your desk phone, we recommend reprogramming them as 91 followed by the 10-digit phone number.

After all faculty and staff transition to the new telephone system, you will be able to resume calling University phone numbers by dialing the phone number's four-digit extension.

Calling emergency phone numbers

During this transition, you can still call public safety by dialing 2677 (COPS) or 6002. Similarly, you can still contact local emergency services by dialing 911.

Project timeline

Date Objectives

Nov. 15, 2021

University telephone system upgrade is announced to campus.

Faculty and staff are instructed to dial 91 followed by the 10-digit phone number when calling University telephone numbers from their desk phone.

Nov. 18, 2021

CTS employees will be transitioned to the new phone system

All faculty and staff should be dialing 91 followed by the 10-digit phone number when calling University telephone numbers from their desk phone.

December 2021-September 2022 CTS will transition all University departments to the new telephone system. Before each department transitions to the new telephone system, CTS will work with department representatives to discuss how calls are routed within the department and determine the phone system requirements for each employee. In addition, CTS will provide training on the new telephone system to each department before their designated transition date.
September 2022 University telephone system upgrade will be complete

Faculty and staff will be notified that they can resume call University phone numbers from their desk phone by dialing the phone number's four-digit extension.


Softphone benefits and features

A softphone is a piece of software that allows you to place and receive phone calls over an internet connection using an internet-connected device, such as a computer or smartphone. This allows you to use your University phone number without requiring a physical telephone.

Who is a candidate for a softphone?

We recommend using a softphone if you:

  • Work remotely.
  • Change offices regularly or do not have a permanent office.
  • Prefer not to have a physical telephone on your desk.
  • Don't share your desk phone with another person in your department.

Softphone benefits

Flexibility and business continuity: Softphones allow you to make and receive calls from an internet-connected device, eliminating the need for a physical telephone on your desk and allowing you to make and receive business calls wherever you're working.

Expanded privacy: Since you continue to use your University phone number with a softphone, you no longer need to share your personal phone number for business calls when working remotely.

Device options: You can use your softphone in a web browser or by downloading an app on your University-managed computer or cellphone.

Cost savings: Desk phones are expensive to install and maintain, and there are additional costs if your department moves to another location or building. With softphones, the software is installed on your computer and doesn't need to be rerouted if you move offices.

Network flexibility: You can use a softphone on most internet connections without the requirement of a virtual private network (VPN).

Softphone features

Traditional phone capabilities such as call forwarding, call hold, call transfers, University contact directory, incoming call notifications, caller ID and voicemail options.

Maintain your presence and let others know when you're available, offline, or in a meeting by setting your status in the softphone application.

Effortless conference calls with the ability to switch a call from your softphone on one device to another if needed.

Voicemail-to-email integration that delivers voicemails to your University email in a .mp3 format.

Desk phone benefits and features

CTS offers several Mitel desk phone models to faculty and staff, all of which take advantage of the University's Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to deliver a high-quality communications experience.

Who is a candidate for a desk phone?

We recommend using a desk phone if you:

  • Work on campus five days per week.
  • Have a permanent office on Duquesne's campus.
  • Share a phone with another employee in your department.
  • Are responsible for answering multiple phone numbers in your department.

Desk phone benefits and features

Traditional phone capabilities such as call forwarding, call hold, call transfers, conference calls, University contact directory, incoming call notifications, caller ID and voicemail options.

Color LCD screen that lets you quickly identify who is calling you and allows you to access a digital phone directory.

Voicemail-to-email integration that delivers voicemails to your University email in a .mp3 format.

Enhanced call management with the option to configure Speed Dial keys that will dial a specified number with one key press.

Seamless integration with your mobile phone via the MobileLink feature on select models. This integration allows you to sync your mobile phone's contact list and call history with your desk phone, answer a mobile phone call with your desk phone, and move active calls between your desk phone and mobile phone.

Support for Bluetooth, USB and Analog handsets on select models.


Documentation and training resources

Please see the following resources to learn more about your new desk phone or softphone and how to perform basic functions, such as making, receiving and transferring calls, setting up your voicemail, and customizing your phone's settings.

Instructions and preperation

Softphone resources

Desk phone resources

Set up voicemail

Mitel training session


FAQs

When will I be transitioned to the new phone system?

CTS will work with each department representative to determine their department's phone needs and use cases. During this consultation, CTS will work with each department to schedule their transition date. This date will be communicated to all employees ahead of time.

Will all employees be required to use a softphone?

No. CTS will work with departments throughout this project to determine what type of phone (i.e., a softphone or desk phone) is best suited for employees.

Can I still contact Duquesne emergency phone numbers using a four-digit extension during the transition?

Yes. During this transition, you can still call Public Safety by dialing 2677 (COPS) or 6002. Similarly, you can still contact local emergency services by dialing 911.