For the past three years, the VoIP project has been all about changing out phones to the Verizon Business Hosted IP Centrex phone system. ITS Communication Technologies employees involved in the VoIP project have moved some 18,000 phone lines to VoIP from the legacy AT&T Centrex phone system. On September 4 alone, they ported existing numbers and added some new lines, for a total of about 700 phone lines on that one day.
“It’s going to be a new, better time for all. We’re excited about it,” said Cheri Beasley, Customer Services Manager with ITS Communication Technologies. She and Chad Ray, Transport Operations Manager with ITS Communication Technologies, lead the teams responsible for the VoIP project.
Now in Phase No. 2, ITS will still port phone lines, but on a much smaller scale. This phase is all about cleanup. With these big individual ports finished, ITS Communication Technologies now has the resources to set aside time to understand the new phone system’s bells and whistles and then gradually introduce those features to phone customers on campus. Also in this second phase, ITS will disconnect 10,000 numbers for UNC Health Care, which has converted to its own separate VoIP phone system.
Now that the ITS crews finished that last large, single-day conversion on September 4, Beasley said, “The stress level is significantly reduced. We’re catching our breath and it’s a much-needed pause.”
On that Friday before the Labor Day holiday weekend, VoIP work at Frank Porter Graham, Old Clinic and MacNider continued for more than a dozen hours. Most of the 15 other ports were finished within half a day. This port also had been postponed from August 27 because ITS had not received confirmation from Verizon and AT&T.
Most importantly, though, when the work for the 16th port was finished, the phones registered as they were supposed to and the configuration update was completed with almost no issues.
ITS expects to wrap up the VoIP project next year.