Unified Communications Project

C&IT is facilitating the Unified Communications (UC) project, an effort to utilize the existing university enterprise Microsoft license to replace telecommunications contracts and hardware. By expanding our current services to use Microsoft Teams and the Calls feature for telecommunications, we'll be better equipped to support simplified and flexible modern work environments.

  • This project includes the main Wayne State campus and Detroit Medical Center buildings that are a part of the School of Medicine. 
  • This initial phase includes personnel lines and call centers will be reviewed during a later phase.
  • University phone numbers (e.g. 313-577-XXXX) will be retained and migrated to Microsoft Teams utilizing the application Calls feature.
  • Physical phones will remain available for common areas, reception desks, etc.
  • Emergency phones like elevators and blue lights will not be impacted by this project. 

Goals 

  • Expand the use of existing tools for internal university communications. 
  • Modernize the university communication toolset to better support flexible work.
  • Lower costs by eliminating physical phones where possible and reducing phone rates while maintaining excellent service. 
  • Transition phone service from AT&T to Microsoft Teams, which is part of our existing enterprise Microsoft Office 365 license. 
  • Maintain legal compliance with E911 regulations which require all Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices to include location information for emergency responders. 

Timeline 

Except for Phase One or Early Adopters, migration of all WSU phone numbers to Teams will be based on employee building location. Business units with employees in multiple locations may not migrate phone numbers at the same time.

  • Phase One Early Adopters: Select business units
  • Phase Two+ Building Location: Aligns with the standard porting process between AT&T and our new provider, Intrado.
May 2022 Contracts final, UC project launch
July 2022 Phase One Early Adopters (500)
Aug.-Dec. 2023

Phases Two-Five Building Location

  • Four phases
  • 1,200 users per phase
  • Building schedule TBD
Mid 2023 Contact center migration

E911 

Enhanced 911 service or E911 refers to the ability to route an emergency call to a designated authority, including caller location information. These enhanced emergency calling capabilities automatically transmit pre-programmed addresses when placing an emergency call. This helps first responders locate and assist those who call emergency services even if the caller is unable to speak. 

With Microsoft Teams, Wayne State phone numbers can be used to place calls from just about anywhere. In such a case, you will have to provide your current location when placing an emergency call from any other place than your registered address. This means, if you use your Wayne State phone number via Teams Calls, emergency operators will see the call come through as from the campus address associated with your extension. 

For this reason, it is recommended to use a personal cell phone when placing an emergency call if off-campus or be prepared to provide details of your physical location. 

Microsoft Teams and the Calls feature

Microsoft was selected as Wayne State's primary email tool in 2015 and the license includes Teams, the use of which expanded during 2020-2021 for chat, video, and call to support remote learning and working. Microsoft Teams includes the Calls feature, a web telephone built into the application.

  • Work seamlessly across devices to make and receive calls with university phone numbers on computers and mobile devices alike.
  • Manage voicemail easier with new transcripts.
  • Customize quiet hours and/or days.
  • Enjoy uninterrupted work with status recognition that pushes calls to voicemail when presenting or busy.
  • Ignore unwanted calls with spam identification.

FAQ 

This project is led by the C&IT Telecommunications team. Questions or concerns may be directed to Associate Director of Telecommunications Kathryn Guarano at es7808@wayne.edu

Q: What do I do if I still need a physical phone?  
A: All employees will have phone lines transitioned to Teams and can use them with a computer, no separate device is needed. Headsets are available and can be requested at tech.wayne.edu/forms. Physical phones and/or Microsoft Teams compatible devices will be available for specific needs, including areas deemed high-use and those which must use hardware to comply with regulations.

Q: Will training be provided? 
A: Training materials will be made available, and staff will be on-location during the transition to ensure employees are confident in their knowledge and use. Users will be notified directly before major changes and C&IT is working with department liaisons to ensure all impacted employees are knowledgable and comfortable with changes to their workflow.

Q: What is E911? 
A: Enhanced 911 is a State of Michigan and FCC regulation that protects users in an emergency and allows first responders to find the exact location of a user when they call 911. 

Q: Will there be changes to university call centers? 
A: There are no current plans to change university call centers. 

Q: Can I use Zoom instead of Teams? 
A: You can continue to use Zoom for meetings, but chat and audio will only be supported in Teams. 

Resources

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