1. Why is Sarah Lawrence replacing the phone system?
Several factors contribute to the motivation behind replacing the current system:
- infrastructure– copper-wire infrastructure failing around campus causing phone to fail or static on the line.
- features- pre-dial; call waiting; voice mail delivered to email; voice mail notifications; caller id; conference calls; music-on-hold are just some of the new features available in the new phone system
2. What is VoIP and how is it different from the current phone system?
In our current traditional phone system, each phone is directly connected to our PBX (Private Branch Exchange) by means of a pair of copper cables. The cable pair electrically connects the phone all the way back to the phone system, housed in the basement of Westlands, utilizing a network of in-building and underground copper-wire cables for this purpose. The phone's extensions and phone features are based on what pair of copper cables the telephone is connected to - moving a phone means physically re-arranging the copper cables to connect the same PBX port at a different location.
In our VoIP system, the phone is actually a small, low-power computer connected to our data network the same way a desktop computer or networked printer would be, using an "Ethernet" cable and jack. A VoIP phone's extensions and features are tied to a unique identifier with each phone, so a phone can be unplugged from one jack and plugged into another and retain the same configuration.
3. When will the migration happen? When will my phone be replaced?
We anticipate starting to replace phones in mid-June.
4. Will my extension / phone number change?
Not normally. Unless you are sharing an extension with someone. Those who have share extension may receive a new number with the option to still use the shared number.
5. Do I have to do anything?
If you currently have voicemail, you will need to record a new greeting, and choose a PIN with the new voicemail system. We cannot move voicemail messages from the old system to the new system and cannot copy your old voice mail PIN. Instructions for setting up voicemail on the new system will be provided on Help Desk website.
6. How can I learn how to use the new phones?
- Printable web pages are available, covering the basics of Cisco Phone and Voice Mail
- In person training sessions are available by request
- A Help Key (?) is available on your phone, linked to context sensitive help viewable on your phone
7. What about cordless phones, fax machines, modems and alarms?
These devices use single-line analog phone lines; no change will be made where these devices plug-in to the wall jack and there should be no need to change equipment; however they will be migrated from the old system to the new system as part of the upgrade.
8. Do I dial numbers the same way as before?
Numbers can be dialed the same as before, (with the exception of intercom lines) however your new phone will provide some new ways: pre-dialing - entering in the digits then pressing dial; dialing from call logs; and dialing from directories.
9. What will happen to intercom lines?
Intercom lines will not be needed as each phone will have a unique extension which can be dialed using the 4 digit number.
10. What happens to my old phone?
The old phones will be collected and recycled.