Introducing a new voice over IP (VoIP) phone system to campus requires careful planning in order to convert the campus with minimal interference. We began in the summer of 2017 by starting to upgrade our network infrastructure so that it could handle the additional voice traffic. That process included upgrading fiber optic connections to buildings, installing new power over Ethernet network switches, and replacing some of the old network wiring.
During the spring semester of 2019, we issued an RFP to solicit proposals for a new VoIP phone system. We received 17 proposals and after several months of evaluations and on-side presentations, we selected the Avaya IP Office solution.
Below is the implementation process we will be following.
Telecom and IT will meet with executive staff, dean's council, and other campus leadership groups as well as releasing a newswire to build awareness of the project.
New gateways and servers will be installed and linked to our current PBX to allow both systems to operate during the implementation process.STL Communications the contractor providing the new phone system, will begin installing new hardware in early November 2019. New servers for the phone system and call centers will be installed and configured and gateways will be setup to allow our current analog emergency phones, fax machines, and credit card equipment to connect to the new system. They will also set up a link to our current PBX to allow both systems to operate during the implementation process.
Once the new hardware is configured, IT and a few test areas will be converted to the new system. During this time, IT will be trained on the new phone system and test all of the features and functions to ensure everything is working properly before converting the rest of the campus.
Departments will be contacted to verify an inventory of existing phones and to schedule the conversion. Training will be provided to the department regarding the use of the phones and aps. New phones will be configured and placed on desks. (Old phone will continue to operate until conversion is finished). Administrative departments will be transferred to the new system first. Academic departments will transition immediately after. Extensions will be moved from the old phones to the new ones. Finally, Telecom will come back and remove the old phones.
As a schedule is developed, more information will be posted here. Full transition is currently estimated to be finished by July 2020.