Now, more than ever, UNCG faculty and staff need to be predictably and consistently accessible to our departments, coworkers, families, alumni, and partners. Because of UNCG’s unique culture of care for our students, students especially should be able to use UNCG-provided contact information to reach their instructors and UNCG business offices, whether by phone, chat, or email. Conversely, faculty and staff should be able to respond to students whether they are working in the office or from a remote location. In light of current circumstances, our ability to deliver this quality of service to the UNCG community required reimagination and modernization of our campus communications services.
On August 13, 2020, the UNCG Information Technology Executive Steering Committee made the strategic decision to replace UNCG’s legacy Cisco Voice over IP campus phone system with the Microsoft Teams cloud voice solution for individual faculty and staff desk phones. (This adoption does not include emergency phones and call centers.) Subsequently, Information Technology Services (ITS) launched the project to begin this transition and implementation.
- UNCG faculty and staff will be able to make and receive calls on their desktop, laptop, or mobile phone, using their UNCG-assigned phone number. Handset phones on a desk will no longer be the standard of voice services. However, departments will be able to purchase compatible phone handsets for faculty and staff on an as-needed basis.
- By providing voice services through a cloud-based platform, UNCG phone services will be fully mobile and accessible from a user’s preferred device in any location with an Internet connection.
- Zoom video conferencing will be conveniently accessible within the Teams application.
- UNCG will see significant cost savings that will be passed on to departments. This transition eliminates the cost of purchasing and maintaining campus-based voice systems because we are leveraging a product we already have as part of our Microsoft enterprise solution. By using Microsoft Teams, departments will no longer be billed for any voice services. However, optional physical phone handsets and international long distance may incur charges (does not include auxiliaries).
Microsoft Teams phone service for faculty and staff is expected to launch in spring 2021. We understand that this is a hectic time of immense change for all faculty and staff. 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. We appreciate your patience and commitment to this service improvement.
For more information or questions about this new service, please call 6-TECH at (336) 256-TECH (8324), or email 6-TECH@uncg.edu.