Morehouse VoIP Phone System FAQ (v.2)

  • Question Why now for a new phone system? Why not wait?

    • Answer Our current, obsolete legacy systems-inherited lease ended January 2016.

  • Question Why not just keep paying for the legacy system?

    • Answer The legacy system is in such bad shape that it is nearly unserviceable without significant (six figure) investments.

  • Question Are the tech folks just chasing the next, shiny, new thing?

    • Answer The lease on the old system ended.

  • Question Why is it so hard to get a phone installed at Morehouse?

    • Answer We are simply out of them and funds have been short to purchase new ones.

  • Question Why are we leasing new phones?

    • Answer The old phones are simply not compatible with the new system and are obsolete as well. Even with the new lease, we will still be spending less than the current system!
  • Question Why don’t we have an online directory, like most places that have phones?

    • Answer Our new system will feature a complete, easy-to-use and accurate directory.

  • Question Will this project be complete in time for the new semester?

    • Answer Yes

  • Question Was funding moved from any other project to complete this project?

    • Answer Absolutely NOT!  This system costs less than our current system!  The budget for this is the same as it has always been. We will simply end up spending less of it on phones.  We can then redirect the surplus funds to things like new classrooms and lab tech.

  • Question What about Microsoft’s Cloud, Skype for Business offering? Why aren’t we going with that?

    • Answer It’s absolutely on our radar and roadmap, but that system has just been released and does not have the features of the system that we selected.  The physical polycom phones that we selected are the No. 1 partner with Microsoft and fuse.  Once the Microsoft O365 phone offering fully matures, we can easily switch to that platform, if we choose.

  • Question Is this system going to be safe and reliable?

    • Answer This system will be far more reliable than our current system.  Even if the Morehouse campus loses power, the system will still be up and running.  We will have an E-911 plan that will give building locations to first responders, something our current system simply cannot do.

  • Question When exactly is the deadline date for the old phone to be removed from our offices?

    • Answer Once we have completed the full transition (date still to be locked in) we will be telling folks when we will be collecting the old phones.  We will be returning some of the phones since they are being leased; the other older phones will be sold.

  • Question Why do we need to receive voicemails to two phones instead of 1?

    • Answer Since we are actually still running two separate phone systems, you have voice mail queues on each system.  If you publish your new number and start to use the new phone you can simply discontinue using the old phone.  If, however you are currently receiving calls routed to you from the operator through the old system, you will still need to maintain and manage the two different voicemail queues.  This will end once we go live on the new system and shut down the old system (Estimated October 20th 2016).

  • Question Why aren’t names on the contact directory of the new phone?
    • Answer The names of all current employees are currently in the new system; to see them you need to scroll down the list.  Currently un-assigned and spare numbers are at the top of the list giving the impression that names are not associated with the numbers.  We are working on masking the spare/un-assigned numbers to make the directory experience better.

  • Question How do I access name(s), if available, from the contact directory on the new phone?
    • Answer On all of the phones you choose the home button and then choose the directory button and scroll through the list; you can also dial by name.

  • Question How are calls being forwarded when there’s a staffing change?
    • Answer We have currently not received any requests to do this, though I’m sure that we will.  All a manager needing this change would have to do is send an email to phonerequest@morehouse.edu and give a detailed description of the needed call flow (a fancy way of saying who should now be receiving the calls)

  • Question How does Information Technology Services get notified of a staffing change so phone calls can be forwarded?
  • Question How we can access an electronic directory of new phone #s instead of just relying on our new phones?
  • Answer The directory is available through the web interface of the phone system.  The web directory is looking directly at the system and is always up to date.  People are free to print it out, but that defeats the purpose of a dynamically updating directory.