As announced in Fall 2020, University telephone service for faculty and staff is transitioning from Cisco VoIP to Microsoft Teams Voice over the next few weeks. Teams Voice service gives faculty and staff flexibility in how they make and receive calls, improves collaboration, increases efficiency, and saves the University significant costs.
Once the transition is complete, departments will no longer be billed for standard faculty and staff voice services; these costs are covered by UNCG’s existing Teams license. International long distance charges and optional equipment are not covered under the basic services license, however.
Information Technology Services (ITS) will migrate small groups of staff and faculty to the new services in waves beginning April 13, and finishing by the end of June, 2021. To ensure a smooth and successful transition to Microsoft Teams phone service, ITS will reach out to departments individually to schedule phone service migrations and provide user training on the new application.
A primary goal of this project is to move UNCG forward with modern, agile telecommunications systems. Teams Voice accomplishes this for the University, replicating traditional phone service on our computers and mobile devices. Receiving calls on a laptop or mobile device, rather than a landline phone, allows users to be away from their desk or office without missing an important call.
Because Teams is compatible with our current program, it’s unlikely that departments will need to purchase new equipment for this migration. Any equipment that works with Zoom will work with Teams. Like Zoom, Teams will work with cameras and microphones that are built into devices as well as most USB and Bluetooth headsets. If your department needs new headsets, you can purchase any headset that works with your computer from any vendor, so you can control your own price point.
ITS recommends some headsets that they have tested with Teams, but these are not required. Teams has an app that allows users to move easily between computer and mobile devices. However, using the app on a personal device is a personal choice and is not required. Because the current Cisco phones cannot be used with Teams Voice, departments are encouraged to analyze their use of physical phones to determine if they’re still necessary for your business needs. If your department needs physical phones, see the list of recommended equipment and order as soon as possible.
Beginning July 1, 2021, departments will be able to request new phone numbers for faculty and staff at no extra charge. However, departments will incur a software licensing cost for graduate student lines. ITS will send an announcement about Teams Voice training when registration opens on UNCG Workshops.
Curious about how Teams Voice works? Download the Microsoft Teams app and try it out today. Microsoft Teams can be downloaded from the application catalog or Office 365, where the web version can be accessed. Voice Services Migration @ UNCG provides more information about this University initiative. Faculty and staff may also direct questions to Project Manager Luke DiVenti at email@example.com.