VoIP Cisco Unified Communication System - FAQ

Last Updated: 11/07/2014
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 basically means voice transmitted over a digital network. VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over the data network. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the destination.

What will be changing as part of this project?

Voicemail is the first customer facing component of the new Unified Communications system that changed on July 23, 2014. Voicemail and email integration will occur after the migration to Office 365 in the fall.

After the infrastructure has been thoroughly tested by approximately late October 2014, we will begin replacing old phone sets with new VoIP phone sets on a building by building basis for approximately 18-24 months.

Why are we doing this?

The existing telephone and voicemail systems are 14 years old. The hardware and software is at its end of being in a supported state; 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.

How does this affect me?

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).

Until a schedule is defined for the phone migrations and we begin contacting people per building occupancy, there is no additional action required on your part.

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

Enhanced features include color display, call log including incoming/outgoing/missed calls, directory, personalized contact lists, improved speakerphone, and future integration with email.

Will my voicemails be accessible through my email?

Yes. The integration of voicemail and email will occur in coordination with the Microsoft Office 365 project. You can learn more about this project on the Office 365 project page. Stay tuned for more information from OIT about Office 365, at which time we’ll provide online documentation and assistance with voicemail integration.

How can I get a VoIP phone?

In late December 2014, OIT will roll out new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones to a small group of beta testers to ensure they are operating properly. After testing is complete, general rollout of the VoIP phones will take place on a building-by-building basis and is anticipated to take 18 to 24 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 campus will be carried by our local voice vendor, Centurylink, as is the case today.

What is the project timeline?

The current project timeline is July 2014-August 2016. Phone set migrations start in spring 2015 and last for approximately 18-24 months.

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. As the project timelines progresses and implementations begin, OIT will provide support documents and videos 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?

CU-Boulder campus network problems may cause a disruption of service.

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 10 failed login attempts. It will automatically unlock after 10 minutes.

When I call voice mail, I am prompted to enter my ID, followed by #. On the old system, I could press # instead of entering my extension. Can this be changed on the new voice mail system?

Yes. If you have a model 8410 or 8434 phone with a button programmed for VoiceMail, follow the steps below. If you have a different type of phone, or do not have a button programmed for Voice Mail, call 5-HELP to request special programming.

For 8410 and 8434 Phones:

  • Step 1: Press the Menu button
  • Step 2: Press the Next button two times
  • Step 3: Press the button under “Prog”
  • Step 4: Press the button that is programmed for Voice Mail
  • Step 5: Dial: 56245xxxxx# (xxxxx is your  extension, so if your extension is 54321, you would dial: 5624554321#)
  • Step 6: Press the Speaker button
  • Step 7: Press the Exit button

After following the above steps, when you press the button programmed for VoiceMail, you will be prompted to enter your PIN (password) to access your voice mail. It will no longer be necessary to enter your ID unless you enter your PIN incorrectly, or call in from the outside.

When I listen to voice mail 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, some Plantronics wireless headsets are compatible with the Cisco 8961 and 9971 phones. OIT will not be providing or supporting wireless 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 Platronics 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 8961 or 9971 from model list
    • View Compatible Options
    • Bluetooth options not available for Cisco model 8961
  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 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 provides will work on the Cisco 8961 and 9971 phones. However, an adapter is necessary. If you need a headset adapter for your new phone, please contact IT Service Delivery at 5-3333.

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.