VoIP Cisco Unified Communication System - FAQ | Office of Information Technology

VoIP Cisco Unified Communication System - FAQ

Last Updated: 07/26/2016
What is VoIP?

VoIP — which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and often pronounced "voyp" – transmits voice telephone calls over a data network. VoIP services on the CU-Boulder campus will convert your voice energy into a digital signal that is packetized and travels over the campus IP data network.  This enables the consolidation of voice and data networks on campus.

What will be changing as part of this project?

Campus voicemail service was upgraded in 2014 and will remain the same with the new VoIP phones. Phase 1 of the VoIP phone rollout occurred in 2015. More than 1200 VoIP phones were installed across 50 buildings at the Boulder campus.

OIT is continuing with Phase 2 of the telephone conversion campus-wide in 2016. We are replacing old phone sets with new VoIP phones on a building-by-building basis. See the Building Conversion Schedule for a more detailed project timeline. Voicemail and email integration is being planned and will occur in the near future. Please check back for updates.

Why are we doing this?

The existing telephone system is over 15 years old and the hardware and software are at the end of being supported. Migrating to the next generation voice system is a technical requirement and the best economic choice for the CU-Boulder campus.

How do I access my voicemail after July 23, 2014?

Refer to Voicemail - Set Your Greeting and PIN tutorial for step-by-step instructions, and the Voicemail - Basic Functions for more about the phone.

How does this affect me?

Before your phone is replaced you will receive communications and links to videos that will describe the replacement process and your new phone. 

When your phone is replaced you will receive a yellow Post-It Note that includes the Cisco VoIP web pages where you can learn more about the operation of your phone. You will also receive a Cisco VoIP Phone Quick Reference Guide.

The basic functions of your Cisco VoIP Phone are described at Cisco VoIP – Basic Functions.

What features will I gain as part of this VoIP project?

Enhanced features of the new telephones include a color display, a call log including incoming/outgoing/missed calls, improved speakerphone, and user programmable speed dial buttons. Refer to the VoIP web page for more information about the new telephones and their features and functionality.

Voicemail and email integration is being planned and will occur in the near future. Please check back for updates.

Will my voicemails be accessible through my email?

Yes, OIT will soon be offering a new feature called Single-Inbox/SpeechView (SIB/SV) for users who currently have a voice mailbox on the CU-Boulder campus telephone system. The SIB/SV service will provide an alternative way of receiving and listening to your work voicemail. You will still be able to dial into the CU-Boulder voicemail system to retrieve messages, but SIB/SV will additionally deliver a speech-to-text transcription and a .wav audio file attachment to your Outlook email inbox.

This feature will only be available for use on phone lines associated with a single-user IdentiKey and will not function for shared, group or general phone numbers that are not assigned to a specific person.

To prevent the written transcription and email transmission of highly confidential information, the SIB/SV feature is prohibited for any user who may receive this type of information by telephone. Visit the IT Security Policies website for more information about highly confidential information.

How can I get a VoIP phone?

OIT is currently deploying new VoIP telephones campus-wide. We are replacing old phone sets with new VoIP phones on a building-by-building basis.  See the Building Conversion Schedule for a more detailed project timeline.

How is the phone connected?

The existing data network jack in your office will directly connect into your phone. Then, a cable will be connected from your phone to your computer that will provide network connectivity for your computer. Your VoIP phone will not affect your network speed. Refer to the diagram below.

Will calls be routed over the public internet?

No. On-campus telephone calls will be carried by the CU-Boulder campus IP data network. Calls to and from the campus will be carried by our local voice vendor, Centurylink, as they are today.

What is the project timeline?

OIT is currently deploying new VoIP telephones campus-wide. We are replacing old phone sets with new VoIP phones on a building-by-building basis. See the Building Conversion Schedule for a more detailed project timeline.

What will this project cost my department?

Funding for this technology upgrade will be provided via the existing connectivity fee.

Will help and training be available?

Yes. OIT has support documents and videos available on the project website to help with step-by-step instruction, and we will provide in-person help as needed.

Will Auto Attendants be available in the new system?

Yes. Auto Attendant technology, which provides phone tree menus, are available in the new system. If you need assistance, contact IT Service Delivery at 5-3333.

My department has a call center. Will this be available in the new system?

Yes, the new system does have call center and agent technology to handle call volumes. OIT will be reaching out to existing call center owners to discuss the transition, requirements, and schedule.

Will the VoIP phones work during power outages?

In the event of a power outage, campus networks have been designed to maintain connectivity using UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) for a minimum of 30 minutes.

What other issues may affect my new VoIP phone?

Network problems on the CU-Boulder campus may occasionally cause a disruption of service. The OIT networking team, however, is constantly monitoring and actively managing the campus network to minimize the likelihood of this occurring.

If I have additional questions or problems, who do I contact?

To learn more or if you need assistance, please visit the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Unified Communications project page or contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone).

What happens if I get locked out of my voicemail box?

The new voicemail system will lock automatically after 3 failed login attempts. It will automatically unlock after 30 minutes. 

When I listen to voicemail messages, the new system plays the messages first, then the date and time that the message was received. Can this be changed to play the message information first (e.g., date and time), like the old system?

Yes, this setting can be changed for your voice mail if desired. Please call 5-HELP to request the change.

Can I use a wireless headset on the new Cisco phones?

The new Cisco 8851 VoIP telephones are Bluetooth compatible and there are a variety of compatible wired and wireless headsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, VTech, and Jabbra. We recommend checking manufacturers' websites to select headsets based users' unique preferences, budget, and requirements. For example, some people like single ear headsets and some like headband style headsets for both ears. People working in open office areas may need noise cancelling microphones, which are more expensive. Manufacturers frequently release new models and discontinue old models, so we are unable to maintain a current list of all models on our web site.

Headset manufacturers' websites will typically list compatibility, so be sure to check that the selected headsets are compatible with the Cisco 8851 telephones. OIT will not be providing or supporting headsets on the new Cisco phones. Once you have selected the desired headset model, we recommend you investigate its availability on the CU Marketplace.

Will my wired headset provided by OIT work on the new Cisco phones?

Yes, some of the wired headsets that OIT provided in the past will work on the Cisco 8851 VoIP phones.  However, an expensive adapter is necessary. If you wish to re-use your existing wired headset you will need to purchase a headset adapter for your new phone which can be ordered through the CU Marketplace.

Please note: When the new VoIP phones are installed, the existing phones and connected headsets will be removed. If you wish to keep your existing headset, please remove it from the phone and store it out of sight before the scheduled telephone installation.

OIT hopes that end users will instead take advantage of the new technology supported by the Cisco VoIP phones and select and purchase a Bluetooth headset which offers greater user mobility.  The new Cisco 8851 VoIP telephones are Bluetooth compatible and there are a variety of compatible wired and wireless headsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, VTech, and Jabbra.  We recommend checking manufacturers' websites to select headsets based users' unique preferences, budget, and requirements. For example, some people like single ear headsets and some like headband style headsets for both ears. People working in open office areas may need noise cancelling microphones, which are more expensive. Manufacturers frequently release new models and discontinue old models, so we are unable to maintain a current list of all models on our web site.

Headset manufacturers' websites will typically list compatibility, so be sure to check that the selected headsets are compatible with the Cisco 8851 telephones. OIT will not be providing or supporting headsets on the new Cisco phones. Once you have selected the desired headset model, we recommend you investigate its availability on the CU Marketplace.

When a call from an Avaya phone calls a Cisco phone, the caller ID is limited. Is this a known issue?

Yes, we are aware of the limitation with the caller-id from Avaya phones. This is due to the programming on the Avaya phones and a limitation of only 15 digits being sent from Avaya to Cisco. This will be resolved once all the Avaya phones are decommissioned.

What should I clean my Cisco phone with?

The Cisco phone models tend to scratch rather easily, so it is best not to use paper towels or rougher materials. Telephone cleaning wipes (available through the CU Marketplace) or soft towels are recommended.

What is the Corporate Directory function on my phone?

Corporate Directory is a function on all Cisco phones that enables searching contacts within an institution. This function is not enabled at this time but is a feature that will be available some time after implementation.