ITS Communication Technologies ported out 9,000 numbers in early 2017 to Verizon Business, and is gearing up to close out the year with an additional 6,000 numbers in December.
This brings the total for numbers ported out this year alone from the legacy AT&T phone system to an estimated 17,000. By year end, ITS will have ported more than 35,000 phone numbers from AT&T to the current Voice-over-IP phone system, a hosted system provided by Verizon Business.
Although there’s still this clean-up work, Communication Technologies’ officially finished its roughly five-year VoIP project to migrate the University’s phone system over to VoIP in fiscal 2016-2017.
Porting will continue
“Porting never gets easier, yet it is the essential requirement when changing service providers and/or phone systems,” said Cheri Beasley, Manager of Voice Services and Remote Connectivity. “Porting will remain a significant activity within Comm Tech for many years to come, in particular as we evaluate and execute options for the next evolution of voice services.”
During the five years of the VoIP project, ITS replaced phones on desks and ported out the bulk of the working phone numbers to the new service provider, thereby positioning UNC-Chapel Hill for changes in telecommunications technologies and services. For the project, some 40,000 AT&T phone numbers needed to be ported out and roughly 20,000 actual devices needed to be replaced.
Focusing on delivering new services
Having already replaced roughly 20,000 phones, ITS focused in the 2016-2017 fiscal year on introducing the capability for delivering new services from Voice Services as well as closing the gap on any remaining phone numbers to be ported out. ITS intends to keep the legacy AT&T analog service for only emergency phone lines (such as building fire alarm lines, callbox and elevator phone lines) and point-of-sale lines.
Going into the fiscal year, ITS had about 18,000 remaining AT&T phone numbers to transfer. The numbers consisted mostly of spare or non-working numbers and UNC Health Care numbers. During the first half of 2017, ITS ported 9,000 phone numbers and cleaned up and removed some legacy phone systems that had been left in place to work behind the new VoIP phones lines.
ITS spent a significant amount of time reviewing options for the next phase for voice services, with a focus on being able to deliver features and services such as call center, audio conferencing, voicemail and customer portal access. ITS learned that any option will be a significant change to voice services, but a necessary and important one.