Information Services asks for feedback on Teams calling

June 5, 2023 - 8:00am

After a busy year, the University of Oregon's telephone system transition is complete, and Information Services would like to know how the new service is working.

Specifically, everyone who uses Teams calling is eligible to complete a short survey about the service.

"This year we've changed the phone system for the first time in a generation," said Melody Riley, associate chief information officer for enterprise solutions. "Now we'd like feedback about how Teams calling is working for you."

Teams calling provides telephone service for more than 4,600 lines, serving most UO staff and faculty members and replacing most conventional desk phones at the university. The bulk of that transition occurred between June and December 2022, phased in by department.

Throughout the transition, affected employees received feedback surveys about the process. In contrast, the new survey focuses on the Teams calling service itself.

"Please take a moment to share your experience with us," Riley said. "Hearing from you will help us understand what's working and what's not and shape our plans for the future. We'll also keep updating the how-to resources as we learn about new features and challenges."

New employees have used Teams calling since last June. This will be their first opportunity to provide feedback.

Common challenges are addressed by how-to materials in the UO Service Portal. For example, those who want to silence Teams calls during meetings and classes can use call forwarding and do not disturb. The portal also includes troubleshooting tips for anyone experiencing poor call quality or dropped calls.

Alongside Teams calling, a complementary new utility voice system provides more traditional phone service for about 1,200 lines where Teams calling wasn't a good fit. That includes locations where people handle hazardous materials and where visitors to restricted-access buildings use a door phone to communicate with staff inside.

After some unexpected delays, that rollout was completed in April, bringing about 200 more employees into Teams calling along the way. Updates to the telecom billing system are still underway to reflect the phone transitions and the new billing model for telecom and collaborative services.

And with that, the UO has moved off its aging Avaya phone system, which originated in 1989.

"This phone transition was a monumental undertaking, many years in the making," said Abhijit Pandit, chief information officer. "I want to thank the hundreds of people who have directly and indirectly contributed to the success of this effort. Your collective work has set the foundation for supporting the collaboration needs of the UO community for years to come."

The need to replace the Avaya system had prompted Information Services to launch the communications and collaborative technologies program, formerly referred to as unified communications.

Now that the transition off the old phone system is complete, employees who previously didn't have phone numbers can request Teams calling through their departmental phone coordinators.

Anyone seeking help using Teams calling can submit a ticket through the Microsoft Teams support page of the UO Service Portal or contact the IT staff who support their unit.

—By Nancy Novitski, University Communications