After a significant amount of time and effort, I am pleased to announce that on
July 26th August 3rd, 2017 (confirmed by AT&T), Sul Ross State University will have a new phone system, complete with many modern features and few old ones, such as Caller ID, that are unavailable to the campus on the old system.
The old Cisco Call Manager system, which SRSU has been using for over 10 years, is being replaced by a new Cisco product that is cloud based. This new system features Visual Voicemail, Call Blast, Forward Fail Over, Call Distribution Queues, a web page for phone configuration and reporting, and free and unlimited long distance in the contiguous fifty states, to name a few. But without a doubt, the one feature we will appreciate the most is Caller ID.
When the system goes live on
7/26 8/3/2017, the goal is to provide the current features we all use today followed by the introduction of the newer features over the coming months.
One requirement for the new system is compatibility with the existing telephone handsets already on your desk. This allows us to roll out newer handsets, the Cisco 504g (pictured here), and other models to the 623 extensions over several years, rather than all in one year. In this initial year, approximately 100 handsets across the institution will be replaced. We will continue this approach until all handsets are replaced in years four or five of the project.
As an additional component for this project, we have contracted with Big Bend Telephone (BBT) to provide a low bandwidth internet pipe. Since this telephone system is in the cloud, internet redundancy is necessary so the desktop handsets continue to speak to the VoIP host. While this internet fiber connection is only 100mb in size, it prevents SRSU from losing phone connections when our primary connection to the internet is cut or damaged and can no longer provide a connection.
Two items to consider as we make the move to the new phone system.
- Old voicemail messages cannot be moved to the new system.
- “Out of Office” messages that callers hear when you are not available cannot be moved to the new system. Information is coming soon that will help you understand how to set up your “Out of Office” message once you are connected to the new system.
Keep your eye on this blog and on email communications from OIT for more information about this new opportunity and chances for training and education on the new set of features.
Follow us on Twitter @SRSUOIT and on Facebook SRSUOIT