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FAQs – University of Reading

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FAQs

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions which have been gathered by the  project. We will update these as the project proceeds.

The FAQs are split into sections:

Project questions - general questions about the project

Rollout - delivery and logistical questions

Equipment - questions about the devices (headset, handset, mobile etc.)

Microsoft Teams - how to use Teams for communication

We have also written quick start guides and user guides (see Communicating with Teams )

Tip: Press CTRL+F to find a keyword on this page

Project questions 

What is changing and why?

The key points are:

Future proofing: The current analogue telephone systems are becoming difficult and more expensive to support as they age.  The ongoing strategy is for on premise systems to be upgraded to Cloud solutions.

Flexible working: There are strategic aims within the University to achieve more modern and flexible ways of working. In surveys, staff have said they want to be able to use integrated communication and collaboration technologies in their daily interactions. This isn't available with the current phone system.

To achieve these, the existing analogue telephone system is being upgraded to a Cloud based IP telephone system, based on Microsoft Teams. With Teams you will get new functionality - instant messaging as well as audio and video conferencing, file sharing and presence information.

I thought we were going with Skype for Business?

Microsoft announced (Oct 2018) that they are now adopting their own Teams solution as their platform for communication, and will be moving away from Skype for Business over the next couple of years. Therefore the collaboration solution chosen for University staff is to go straight to Microsoft Teams, rather than rolling out Skype for Business now, followed by Teams in a couple of years.

What do I need to do?

Your existing desk phone (if you have one) will be replaced. You will have options for the way you make telephone calls instead - via your computer, via a new IP desk phone, or on a mobile. Look out for communications from the project team which will tell you what to do.

We have specific requirements and are concerned that the headset/Teams will not work with our existing set up (software, users, capacity…)

Please contact us to discuss what you need.  There is also a space in the Requirements Form that everyone completes to tell us of any particular circumstances that the standard delivery won't fulfil.

Do we get any training?

There will be lots opportunities to learn about unified communications:

  • Awareness sessions: these will explain the objectives of the project to you, together with a chance to see the new equipment and also ask any questions (see the Unified Communications home page for how to book)
  • When your new equipment is delivered, you will shown how to make and receive calls. A quick reference guide will also be left with you which covers basic functions.
  • Training slides and user guides are available on the IT website, covering a variety of topics (see the Communicating with Teams project home page for links)
  • Classroom based training will be offered during the rollout

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Rollout

Do I have to get a new telephone number?

Your existing telephone number will remain the same, as existing numbers are being ported over to the new system.  If you share a number with someone else, for example there is only one phone in a room shared with several people, then each of you will get a number.

I don't currently have a phone. Will I get one through your project?

Not directly no.  You will get a Teams telephone number, which will be a new number if you don't already have one, and a headset to make phone calls with.

I share a number with someone else. Do I get my own extension number?

Yes. Everyone on Teams will have their own telephone number, which will be a new one if you don't already have one.

Can I keep using the telephone I have now?

No. When we have finished migrating everyone onto the new system, the old lines will be turned off and will no longer work. VOIP phones need to be compatible with Teams, which unfortunately the original VOIP phones are not.

Will there be a cost reduction in our phone call costs as we are using data lines and not analogue lines? 

There are license fees payable for the right to make calls over the internet (Microsoft for the Teams phone license, and Vodafone for the IP trunk lines).  

The saving to the University from cheaper call costs will be passed to Finance to manage centrally. There will also be savings from no longer having to host a significant amount of telephony infrastructure on site.

What is happening to the old phones?

The old phones are being collected by the University waste contractor and, depending on their age, being reused or recycled. The existing IP phones are being refurbished and resold (with a percentage of the resale value going to the University).

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Equipment 

Pre-requisites: What do I need?

You need to have Microsoft Teams on your computer, this is being pushed out to everyone Autumn 2019. If you are going to be using a headset, you also need a spare USB port on your computer or docking station. 

Can I choose between a headset and a handset?

We are not able to replace all existing handsets with a new handset.  The majority of people will get a headset to make calls from their computer. During the requirements gathering, we will ask whether you need to have an handset for accessibility or business reasons.

One of the advantages of Teams is that it allows flexible working, for example being able to use a laptop/headset or your mobile means that you can take calls anywhere. 

What is the make and model of the headset?

Following user testing, the headset that has been chosen by the University is the Sennheiser SC75. You can read more about it here: Sennheiser headset

What make and model is the handset?

Following user testing, the phone that has been chosen by the University is the Audiocodes C450HD for Teams. You can read more about it here: Audiocodes C450HD

Can I use my existing headset?

Yes, if it has a USB connection and plugs into your computer. You can continue to use a USB headset with no change. If the headset plugs into your phone then we may need to supply a converter cable to allow you to plug it into the new phones, but you will be able to continue using it. You need to let us know if you are going to use your existing headset and plug it into a phone so we can check compatibility.

For wireless headsets, the replacement phones are Bluetooth compatible, as are laptops, so if you use wireless headphones for calls, you should keep them. Please let the project know if that is the case.

I already have a VOIP / Skype phone, do I keep it?

No, we will replace all phones. This is so that the support contract is kept simple and any upgrades / changes in future can be applied easily across the whole University. None of the existing Skype phones support Teams, so they won't work once Skype For Business goes.

If there is one phone in a room where many people are based, can they all use headsets and be linked to the phone?

You would each use Teams on your computer via headsets. You can then log in to the phone in the room if there is a business reason why a handset was also needed.

t may be that setting up a call group would work better in this instance. For this, you would have one telephone number (as if you had one handset), but many people can answer it from their own computer.

Can I make calls if my laptop is not logged in?

On a handset - yes. The phone works independently of your laptop / PC. If you have a headset plugged into your computer then you will not be able to make / receive calls unless you are logged into your laptop / PC as it requires the desktop app to be running.

If I use a handset and am logged into my laptop, will incoming calls ring on both or just the handset?

They will ring on both, but you can answer from either.

If I am using headset/laptop, how do I know if I have missed a call or have a voicemail?

You will get a notification on the Teams app Activity tab. This is configurable so you can have an email notification as well.

If I have Teams app installed on my mobile phone, can someone call me on that?

Yes, if they have Teams they can call you as a contact from Teams. Alternatively, anyone can ring your Teams number. If VoIP isn't available, it will be a normal call to your mobile. Teams defaults to mobile network if it can't use WiFi.

What are my login details for Teams on mobile?

Your University email address and password (user.name@reading.ac.uk)  

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using Microsoft Teams

If the network is down, will the phones be down as well?

The new phone system cannot function without power or an IP network. The University network has been patched and upgraded to increase reliability prior to the rollout, and the move to a cloud based solution should help reduce the risk of failure. Once we have started rollout, there will be an audit done on the network to check for capacity and speed.  If there are issues with call quality, we have options to increase the quality of service for voice over data.

We will be keeping analogue phones in vital areas (such as security, lifts, etc.) so they are not affected by a network outage.

What security is there on the phones? I don't want people being able to see my meetings or contacts.

You need to treat the phone the same as a computer, and lock it when you are away, or sign out if you are away for a long time (e.g. on holiday). There is a pin lock you can set up on the phone so you don't have to sign in with your email address every time.

How secure is Teams?

Microsoft Teams is built on the Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud. Teams also enforces team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Files are stored in SharePoint and are backed by SharePoint encryption.

Does Microsoft have access to my data if it's stored in their Cloud?

Microsoft does not use your data for anything other than providing you with the service that you have subscribed to. As a service provider, Microsoft does not scan your email, documents, or teams for advertising or for purposes that are not service-related. Microsoft does not have access to uploaded content.

Does Teams work if you are logged into the University network from an external location?

Yes, you can use Teams from your laptop to make or receive internal calls and to make external calls if you are logged onto the University network remotely wherever you are. You can also use Teams on your mobile.

Can I invite someone who doesn't have Teams to my Teams meeting?

Yes, people outside of the University who do not use Teams can join your meeting as a guest. If you set up the meeting through Outlook, they will get a web link as well as a telephone number they can use.

Will I hear a notification/ringer if my computer is locked when I receive a call? What about if my computer is asleep?

If you have a handset, that will ring as usual.

If your computer has gone to sleep, is locked, or you have logged out, you won't hear it. You should set up a device to ring simultaneously (e.g. your mobile) if this is likely.

Can I chat with someone outside the University who only has Skype for Business?

You can use Teams to chat with someone who's using Skype for Business. Start a New Chat with the person you'd like to talk to (typing in their email address), ask Teams to search externally and if found, they'll get your message in Skype for Business. There are some limitations to this, for example you can't add someone else in to the chat, you can't share files, and you can't use stickers and emojis. This only works for Skype for Business users, not Skype (which has a separate directory).

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need help ?

Email us: Unified Communications Project Team

Or contact us through the IT Service Desk

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