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New unified comms

IT Service

What’s happening?

We’re looking to make better use of Microsoft 365 including a new Teams communications technology. This is a system that brings together telephones, email, chat and video calling all in Teams. It will also deliver much better call centre operations (such as Clearing) and switchboard functionality for the University. We’re also looking to better use SharePoint for document sharing as the O Drive is old, hard to use offsite and not as easy to share documents.

Why are we doing this now?

The current telephone system uses old, unreliable hardware and needs to be updated. It also doesn’t easily support blended working. We want a reliable and secure system that better facilitates how we will work in the future and better supports staff during any future disruption (incl. snow, flooding etc).

When will it happen?

We’re making sure we do the project in the most appropriate way and that we support people through the transition. This means, at present we’re consulting, understanding where phones are used and making sure we get the project right. Therefore we don’t have a precise date but sometime in December seems likely.

What will happen to the phone on my desk?

The old phones are no longer compatible with the new telephony solutions so will be removed from desks.  Dedicated phone handsets will still be retained in teaching/hospitality spaces and other key locations.

What will I get?

All staff will benefit from:

  • Improved email with virtually unlimited storage,
  • Access to better email services including better security
  • Additional Office 365 tools which we’ll communicate separately.
  • Better file sharing and offsite access to files and folders
  • All staff will be able to Teams call other staff and students just as you can now
  • All staff can use Teams to Teams calls to externals who have a Teams system
  • All staff will be able to setup a phone conference that anyone (incl. Externals) can dial into from a standard phone

There will also be standard handsets in teaching and hospitality spaces as well as in other key departmental areas and those phones work just like a normal phone does now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about using a normal phone and a phone number?

We recognise that the old system gave a large number of staff access to make and receive phone calls however use of this method of communication is reducing for the majority of staff, and the model is expensive to run and support.

There are now more modern ways of communicating with the tools listed above offering a great service allowing you to communicate with colleagues and students without the need for a traditional phone, all you need is computer and a headset.

We do recognise that standard phone calls are still essential parts of everyday life for some functions. Therefore, we will of course be providing staff who need it access to one and there will be other mechanisms for other staff to make calls (see below).

But I still need to use a phone

All staff can call all other staff on Teams, and a large portion of our calls traditionally have been these internal calls. We recognise that standard phone calls to externals are still critical and we are currently consulting on this.

How do I get a headset to use with Teams?

Departments can order their own peripherals by following the IT Peripherals Procurement Guidance.

I’m not sure how to use Teams can I get help?

We have all the information you need to get acquainted with teams on our website which can be found via our Microsoft Teams page. Also, if you have any specific questions you can contact the IT Service Desk.

Will I get training on how to make external calls using Teams?

There will be online guides and staff on hand to support during the early periods of launch. The system is very user-friendly and if you’re already using Teams it shouldn’t be a big leap.

My job requires me to be part of a hunt group will they still be available?

If you’re job involves you routinely answering external calls or supporting other colleagues in a group, you will be given a phone number and can make and receive calls as normal.

My job requires me to make regular outgoing calls do I need to request the ability to do this?

If this is the case we will have already identified you and will move you across.

My job requires me to make occasional outgoing calls will I still be able to do this?

We will work with your department or School to make sure there are private areas available so you can go to make the calls.

There are key times during the year where I need to make outgoing calls, how can I request this?

IT can provide loan phones to facilitate key operations such as calling students etc, to request this please contact the IT Service Desk.

I sometimes lone work and a phone is essential for safety will I still get a phone?

All staff can call the reception Teams line from any Teams device

Will I still be able to use Jabber?

As part of provisioning a new unified communications service, any access to Jabber will be removed.

How do I find more information?

For more information read our Microsoft Teams page.

For further information read our Microsoft Teams FAQs.

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