Campus Phone Services

Campus-Wide Phone Deployments Coming in 2020

AudioCodes 445HD IP PhoneAs we wrap up 2019, OIT is gearing up for the phone deployment phase beginning in January. Over the past year, our efforts have focused on completing the various infrastructure requirements to support this new phone service. These efforts included networking cabling upgrades throughout campus, coordination, and updates to ensure location data is transmitted to law enforcement for 911 calls, and the various servers and software configurations to support Skype for Business.

About the Deployment Process

In order to prepare faculty and staff for the new phone system, regular training sessions will be offered over the next several months. Faculty and staff will receive an email notification one month prior to receiving the phone to attend training. We encourage you to attend training prior to and as close as possible to your scheduled migration. Several additional notices will be sent outlining instructions and the exact date for your phone deployment. Your new phone will be delivered and connected alongside your current phone. The following morning, your phone service will be migrated from the old system to the new system. The IT Help Desk will also complete the configuration for individuals who have multiple phone lines associated with their device. Once that work is complete, the new phone will be fully functional and the old one can be unplugged. Our team will then return to retrieve the old device and verify that your service is working correctly.

You will still be able to make calls the way you always have and your new phone will offer more features. Those features are covered in depth in our training workshops, online videos, and online documentation. Visit smu.edu/phone for more information.

Projected Schedule

We are planning to deploy over 3,000 phones in the span of six months. The schedule will be posted on the Phone Replacement Project Page in December.

Call Center Implementation

During the next two months, we will be implementing a new call center solution for several areas. The call center software will be used in OIT, Facilities, and other areas where multiple individuals respond to calls to a single number. For example, when you call the IT Help Desk phone number, the call center solution routes those calls to available agents at the help desk. Much like the new phone system, the call center solution offers additional functionality. We are excited that the new call center system will offer a queued callback feature. This allows you to provide a callback number if all agents are busy. Your call will retain its position in the queue and automatically connect us to you once the previous calls are complete. It also gives us greater visibility to call wait times or queue management that will allow us to ensure your calls are answered in a timely manner.

Prior to winter break, we will implement the new solution for the Help Desk, Facilities, and the Campus Operators. When we return in January, we will meet with other call center stakeholders and schedule the implementations when it is convenient for them during the Spring semester.

We look forward to delivering your new phones and offering this new service to you very soon! If you have any questions about the phone project, please visit the phone replacement website at smu.edu/phone or contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP (4357) or email help@smu.edu.

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and, for much of his career at the University, had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at ianaberle.com.