WPI Unified Communications Phone System Transition to Zoom - September Update
This email about the transition to Zoom phone was sent on September 5, 2023 to employees by Vijay Menta.
The implementation of unified communications for voice, video, SMS text, and chat, using Zoom Phone is underway, and look who’s using a Zoom softphone!
If you are new to WPI, or returning after time away, you can catch up with the project timeline and past communications.
We thank the community for your efforts to accomplish your WPI work with a new phone system. Your adaptability, especially at this very busy time of academic year start is impressive, and your cooperation with the project team is outstanding. IT also deeply appreciates the partnership with key contacts in each department who provide necessary transition information and support. Here are the latest updates:
- Transitions: With transitions on June 27, August 1 and August 29, we now have more than one third of WPI lines on Zoom Phone. This includes the President’s Office, and the WPI Main Line 508-831-5000. The next cutover is planned to occur during the A/B term break in mid-October. What are our colleagues saying?
- “Voicemail is a lot easier.”
- “I love being able to use headphones and type on my computer while speaking/listening. It went really well.”
- “Very easy to search for faculty and staff.”
- SMS Texting: Texting will be available soon! We are working with Zoom to enable SMS texting and expect that to be live this month.
- SPAM: Some people have reported increased spoofed and junk phone calls since transitioning to Zoom Phone. To address the issue, we adjusted Spam protection settings as instructed by Zoom professional services. They have informed us that the issue should resolve itself several weeks after each cutover. We will continue to monitor.
- Zoom Directory: WPI extensions for individuals and main lines will appear in the Zoom Phone directory after each transition, unless it’s requested that the number be unpublished. Personal mobile numbers may also appear if you added them in your Zoom settings or synched contacts on your mobile device (even prior to Zoom Phone). To display or remove your personal number, use these directory instructions.
- External Dialing Service Disruption: Last week, we ported over 600 phone numbers from our current carrier into Zoom Phone. We discovered that our current carrier accidentally caused some numbers, 2 assigned to main lines and 3 assigned to users, to go out of service. The error was no fault of WPI or Zoom; it was immediately escalated by IT and quickly resolved by the carrier for the known numbers. We believe this is an isolated incident, but if you experience a change in the volume of external calls received at your individual or main lines that have not yet transitioned to Zoom Phone, please dial the number (508-831-xxxx) to ensure service has not been disrupted. Upon dialing, if you receive a message that the number is out of service, please report to the IT Service Desk immediately.
- New Features:
- Audio Settings: Zoom Phone allows you to set volume and decide where your calls ring – on your computer, through your headset, or on another device. You can adjust these settings as soon as you transition to Zoom Phone, and make changes as needed according to your setup and preferences. Zoom Phone Quick Start tells you how.
- Do Not Disturb: Zoom has options to Set Status, Do Not Disturb Message, and Hide Incoming Calls During a Meeting. Details are in Zoom Phone Advanced Features.
- Voicemail Transcription: In addition to playing the voicemail recording, the transcribed message is available in Zoom Phone and sent to your email.
- What can you expect when it’s your turn? The phone icon will appear in your Zoom desktop app about one week prior to your move to Zoom Phone, so you will have an opportunity for testing. In-person, online, and recorded training is available from IT. Following your transition, support will be provided to you by the IT Service Desk. IT will collect the old Avaya phones after cutovers. This may not be immediate, as our priority is installing the new phones.
- Key Contacts: IT is working closely with key contacts in each department who are providing necessary transition information. Please reach out to them with questions specific to your department’s cutover timing, phone extensions, and equipment.
- Dialing Changes During the Transition: IT has implemented a workaround enabling current phones to continue dialing all WPI extensions using 4 digits. After you transition to Zoom Phone, you can use the Dial by Name Directory to call others using Zoom Phone. If a name or department does not appear in the directory, that means the number has not yet transitioned to Zoom Phone. In that case, 10-digit dialing (i.e., 508-831-5888) from the Zoom Phone is required to reach the extension on the current system.
Together, we are surely making an improvement for WPI unified communications! You are welcome to distribute this message to student workers in your area as appropriate.
Vijay Menta (he/him/his)
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Information Technology Services
Worcester Polytechnic Institute