The Communication and Collaboration Team is developing plans to modernize the UI telephone system to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) using Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Lync) technology.
Long-term, the UI plans to move away from its current voicemail platform to Office 365 Unified Messaging. To ensure reliability between now and then, the existing voicemail system, which provides critical auto-attendant functions, needed an upgrade. A newer version of the platform was installed, and plans to migrate users to unified messaging and Skype for Business telephone service are moving ahead.
In preparation for the transition, session border controllers were put into production in early 2016. The devices take control of telephone call routing and reduce dependency on the aging phone system. Soon after, UI telephone numbers were ported from analog CenturyLink connections to digital session initiation protocol (SIP) trunks (digital telephone circuits). This changeover will result in significant ongoing savings as the UI utilizes the Internet2 NET+ plus agreement to secure better pricing.
With the improved infrastructure in place, the user pilot has grown with the addition of both opt-in and targeted users. These transitions both increase user functionality and reduce analog infrastructure.
A request for proposals has been issued to secure Microsoft Skype for Business consulting . This summer, the selected consultant will advise on IP network review, voice endpoint solutions, E911 and the user transition. The move to Skype telephone service is expected to be complete by late 2018.