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

VoIP Cisco Unified Communication System - FAQ

Last Updated: 04/01/2016
What is VoIP?

VoIP — which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and often pronounced "voyp" — will improve the way we communicate by integrating voice service with unified communication tools, such as email. VoIP transmits your voice over a digital network. VoIP services convert your voice energy into a digital signal that is packetized and travels over the data network. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted back to a regular telephone signal before it reaches its destination.

What will be changing as part of this project?

Voicemail was the first customer facing component of the new Unified Communications system and was changed on July 23, 2014.

Phase 1 of the VoIP phone rollout occurred in the fall of 2015. More than 1200 VoIP were installed across 50 buildings at the Boulder campus.  

OIT is now ready to complete the conversion campus-wide. We will begin replacing old phone sets in spring of 2016 with new VoIP phones on a building by building basis for approximately 6-9 months.

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 and voicemail systems are 14 years old. The hardware and software are at the end of being supported, therefore, migrating to the next generation voice system is a technical requirement and the best economic choice. There are also many benefits to moving toward a VoIP system, including integration with other communication services, such as email.

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?

Voicemail:

You will be able to set your new 6-digit password and greetings on the new Cisco Unity voicemail system using the phone number 5-MAIL (303-735-6245 from an off-campus phone). Refer to Voicemail - Set Your Greeting and PIN tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

To use voicemail you will need to login to the new Cisco Unity voicemail system using the new dial up number 5-MAIL (303-735-6245 from an off-campus phone).

VoIP Phone Conversion:

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 web address (www.coloradoedu/oit/cisco-voip) for learning 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 also described at Cisco VoIP – Basic Functions.

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

Enhanced features include a color display, a call log including incoming/outgoing/missed calls, a directory, personalized contact lists, improved speakerphone, and integration with email that includes “Single Inbox” and “Speechview”.

With “Single Inbox”, messages left for you on the Unified Communications System will result in an email in your Inbox that includes a .wav file attachment of the message that you can play and listen to directly from your Outlook client.

With “SpeechView”, the email in your Single Inbox will also include a speech-to-text transcription of the voicemail message that you can read instead of listening to.

The deployment of “Single Inbox” and “Speechview” are being planned now and will occur in the near future. Please check back for updates.

Users of “Single Inbox” and “SpeechView” who are likely to receive sensitive information in Voicemail should warn their callers in their voice mail greeting not to leave sensitive information in voicemail. Their greeting should state something like the following: “Please do not leave any confidential or highly confidential information, including but not limited to, HIPAA and other sensitive personal identifiable information on this voicemail, as it is not set up to protect such information.”

If you have any additional security concerns about these features, please visit the CU Security website or send an email to security@colorado.edu.

Will my voicemails be accessible through my email?

Yes. The integration of voicemail and have email will occur with the deployment of the features “Single Inbox” and “Speechview”. Their rollout is being planned now and will occur in the near future. Please check back for updates.

Users of “Single Inbox” and “Speechview” though who are likely to receive sensitive information in Voicemail should warn their callers in their voice mail greeting not to leave sensitive information in voicemail. Their greeting should state something like the following: “Please do not leave any confidential or highly confidential information, including but not limited to, HIPAA and other sensitive personal identifiable information on this voicemail, as it is not set up to protect such information.”

If you have any additional security concerns about these features, please visit the CU Security website or send an email to security@colorado.edu.

How can I get a VoIP phone?

In late December 2014, OIT rolled out new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones to more than 1200 beta testers on campus to ensure that they were operating properly. That testing is now complete. The general rollout of the VoIP phones will take place on a building-by-building basis starting in spring of 2016 and is anticipated to take 6 to 9 months to complete.

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. Campus telephone calls will be carried by the CU-Boulder campus 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?

VoIP phone set migrations will start in spring 2016 and last for approximately 6-9 months.

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?

Yes, the new Cisco VoIP phones support Bluetooth headsets and some Plantronics wireless headsets (non-Bluetooth) are compatible with the Cisco phones as well. OIT hopes that end users will take advantage of the new technology supported by the Cisco VoIP phones and select and purchase a Bluetooth headset which offers greater user mobility. OIT will not be providing or supporting headsets on the new Cisco phones. However, you can purchase them directly using Marketplace.

 

To search for the model of wireless headset for the Cisco phones:

  1. Go to the Plantronics website.
  2. Select SUPPORT on the main web page
  3. Go to Compatibility Guide
  4. Select Desk Phone
  5. Select Cisco from Vendor list
  6. Select 8851 or 9971 from model list
    • View Compatible Options
  7. Select desired headset model
    • Also select Extender Cable APU-71 EHS to connect base unit to Cisco VoIP phone. This eliminates need for ‘handset lifter’ 

Once you have selected the desired 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, the wired headsets that OIT provided in the past will work on the Cisco 8851 and 9971 phones. However, an expensive adapter is necessary.

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.

If you insist on re-using your existing wired headset you will need a headset adapter for your new phone which you can order through 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.