This year, UNC-Chapel Hill will begin switching to a new phone system. The current voice services agreement expires in January 2024.
“Changing to a new phone system requires a lengthy ‘ramp-up’ period to build out the infrastructure, in addition to porting out phone lines and migrating phone configurations. This is why we are initiating this change now,” said Cheri Beasley, Voice Services Manager of ITS Communication Technologies.
The new equipment should be in place by the end of this calendar year, and the porting out process will begin in early 2020.
Something old, something new
After awarding the voice services agreement to Verizon Business in June 2011, UNC-Chapel Hill is switching back to AT&T, the provider from the previous contract. Several phones could not convert to VoIP because they were incompatible with Verizon and still use the AT&T Centrex.
“With the new phone system, we hope to migrate those AT&T customers first so that they will not only be changing to VoIP for the first time, they will also be provided a new call center solution to replace the very old service provided by AT&T,” Beasley said.
The three most significant changes
The current voicemail system is an on-premise solution. All voicemail services will move to the cloud with this update. When the phone lines are ported out, the phone interface, prompts and voicemail access phone numbers will change.
“We will make sure that this is well communicated and that customers are provided the information needed for managing their voicemail box or automated attendant changes,” Beasley said.
Each individual phone number will have access to a customer portal. That enables customers to have more control over features.
“A particular advantage to this is the ability for a customer to change the voicemail password as needed rather than submitting a ticket to our office,” Beasley said.
In another major update to the phone system, ITS will make the call center available for clients needing immediate assistance.
“This has been a significant disadvantage of the current phone system and we are especially excited that will be able to provide to our customers,” Beasley said.