Frequently Asked Questions
Top 5 Questions
Q: Do you think the basic phone will meet the needs of most people?
A: The basic phone will meet the needs of many people throughout the UI. However, we are seeing some business needs for using the video phone. Please work within your department to determine which model best fits your needs.
Q: How many lines can you see on the phones and with a sidecar?
A: Four lines with the basic phone, five lines video phones and an additional 36 lines on the sidecar. (An additional sidecar can be added for up to a total of 77 lines if necessary.) Several people that monitor extra lines today are finding the new phones may be able to meet their needs in different ways. If you have an ISDN telephone today, please make sure to contact the ITS Help Desk so we can go over different potential options with you.
Q: If I connect my personal cell phone to my UI telephone number will my cell plan be charged?
A: It depends on your cellular plan, but the choice to connect your work phone to a cellular phone is a personal choice in most cases. If you have a UI-provided cellular phone, work with your supervisor regarding the use of this feature.
Q: Will messages saved on the existing phone service be transferred to the new UI telephone system?
A: No. Those messages are currently stored in the old system and there are no plans to transfer messages to the new system.
Q: Will we be able to video conference with multiple people?
A: Today, video calls will only work from one video phone to another.
Top Billing Question - Q: How much will I or my department be charged for the new phone system?
A: The new billing system will change $26 per device and $13 for the first adjunct device per month. An adjunct device is defined as secondary phone where the owner is the primary user.
Q: Will I get charged for multiple lines on my device?
A: No, you will only be charged per device and not per line.
Q: How will you manage billing?
A: As part of the phone system there will be a budget number and activity code which will help decrease problems with billing today.
Q: Does the $26 rate cover technology replacement?
A: One of the benefits we have is that the technology will remain current and relevant. However, if you choose one phone today, then switch to a different phone, we will need to cover the cost of the new phone.
Q: What will the headsets cost?
A: Headsets cost varies depending on what device you order and where you order it from. A list of supported devices can be found at our Phone and Headset Model link.
Q: Will long distance U.S. and Canada calls be charged to us?
A: No, U.S. and Canada long distance calls can be made at no additional cost.
Cell Phone and Wifi Phone
Q: Can the basic phone connect to cell phones?
A: No, the basic phone is not Bluetooth capable.
Q: Can you forward multiple lines to your cell phone?
Q: When will WiFi phones be available?
A: WiFi phones are not part of the current Telephone Systems Upgrade project. If you believe that you need a WiFi phone, please contact the ITS Help Desk to discuss this need.
Q: Could cell phone integration solve a requirement for a WiFi phone?
A: Yes. Using the Mobility feature, you can transfer your calls to and from the handsets on your desk to and from your cell phone. All phone models in this project support the Mobility feature.
Q: What would be the maximum on a conference call?
A: Conferencing will allow 10 people to connect, but this can be modified.
Q: Will there be a toll-free number?
A: Yes, after being connected they will enter a code (likely to be the same as the host's extension number) to get to the audio conference "room."
Q: Do I have to be by my telephone for a audio conference I organize?
A: No, you and your meeting invitees will be able to call in from any phone to participate in the audio conference.
Q: Can I use audio conferencing for synchronous communication in my classes?
A: Sure. There is no cost or time limit when using the audio conferencing features.
Q: What happens when I'm in an audio conference and I receive calls on my extension? Do those calls go to voicemail?
A: There is nothing connecting the audio conference to your extension so any calls made to your extension during your audio conference will be handled just like any other call.
Q: We use GoToMeeting (audio conferencing). Can we remove the service and use the new telephone system?
A: Yes, if audio conferencing is all you use GoToMeeting for, then you're covered with the new telephone system.
Directory and Local Numbers
Q: Are phone trees available? Who will be setting up these services?
A: The ITS Help Desk will be able to help you set up phone trees or other advanced features of the new telephone service. Please make sure to contact the ITS Help Desk regarding advanced services so we can work with you.
Q: Will all UI phone numbers, even those not slated to migrate to the new phones system, be included in the directory?
A: We are working with our vendor to determine how to best enumerate all UI telephone numbers so they're available.
Q: When calling UI numbers I sometimes get old answering machines. Are you planning to remove all these old systems?
A: Yes! Our goal is to have everyone on the new system use the integrated voicemail.
Q: Will we have local numbers to Idaho Falls?
A: Yes. In Idaho Falls, we will work with ISU to port your numbers over. If you'd like a different local number then let us know and we will be able to help you.
Q: Is it possible to include a specific customized directory based on geographic location (e.g., Boise Extension Center)?
A: This may be possible. We are working with our vendor to determine feasibility of this feature.
Q: Will I get to keep my 10-digit phone number?
A: Yes, your phone number will continue to be the same.
Q: Will five-digit dialing continue to work?
A: There will still be five-digit dialing between installed University of Idaho sites - Moscow, Boise, Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls, Idaho Falls.
Q: What are the new 5-digit prefixes for the university?
- 5 - Moscow
- 2 - CDA
- 4 - Boise
- 7 - Idaho Falls
Q: Will E-Faxing replace our fax machines?
A: A decision was recently made to keep all FAX lines on analog service until we can provide a secure solution for faxes that contain sensitive/personal information.
Q: Do you recommend the video phone?
A:In certain situations, if you're working with people where face-to-face communication is important, then you may want to go with the video phone. If you monitor more than three other lines, need to use a Bluetooth headset with your desk phone, or want to sync your cell phone contacts with your desk phone, you will not be able to use the basic phone.
Q: It seems there's lots of features across all the phones. Why not give everyone just one phone?
A: Please be aware that one goal of the project is to reduce overall costs to UI and gain efficiencies. While the charge to customers will be $26 per month regardless of the phone model, the cost to the university does increase for models above the basic model. We want you to have the best phone to help you do your job without regard to the cost differences, so we created this billing model to make sure to take price out of the equation for the handsets. To be most cost-effective to UI, users should not choose a phone model above their needs simply because you can for $26 per month.
Q: Will we get a complete list of all calls made each month?
A: No. It will be available upon request. The report will be searchable and can be provided with only the information you need.
Q: Is there a way to turn off the Voicemail-to-Email feature?
A: Yes. Please contact the ITS Help Desk to make this change on your number.
Q: Is there a way to have the phone service send an email when calls are missed?
A: No, this feature is not available in the new phone system at this time.
Q: How do the contacts work in the phones?
A: You can make personal speed dials on your phone, plus there is a corporate directory. Additionally, if you pair your cell phone with your desk phone, then you can transfer your cellular phone contacts to your desk phone.
Q: Will plugging my computer into the new telephone slow down my internet access?
A: No. All telephones have equal or greater throughput than the connection your computer has today on a wired connection.
Q: Can you have different sources of media when someone is placed on hold?
A: Yes! Multiple numbers can be included a group with specific, customized hold music or announcements.
Q: Will the correct timezone be presented on the new phones?
A Yes. Depending on your location in the state, your phone will present Mountain or Pacific time.
Q: Do these phones work with other video systems like Skype, Jabber and Scopia?
A: This platform is easy to build upon. If there is a greater need, then we may be able to work with our vendor to expand video services of the new telephone system to external providers.
Q: Is the video always on?
A: No, you can close the shutter on the camera or through settings to shut off the camera.
Q: Do the telephones have touchscreens?
A: No, the screens on the telephones are not touchscreen-capable.
Q: Is it possible to broadcast notifications to a number of specified telephones?
A: This is a limited option within the new system. This feature is not planned for implementation at this time.
Q: Is there any way to personalize the caller ID?
A: You can choose what the phone number looks like going out (can be masked to a main number), each individual can modify the caller ID.
Q: Will the main line messages be customizable per geographic location?
A: Yes! Multiple messages can be tailored per telephone number.
Q: Can you use other types of headsets aside from the ones you've shown?
A: Potentially. Check the web page (www.uidaho.edu/phones) or contact the ITS Help Desk for information about headsets that will work with the new phones.
Q: Are handsets included in new phone installations?
A: Yes, handsets will be included with new phone installations.
Q: Do the new phones have speakers?
A: All models of the new phones are speaker phones.
Q: Can I pick up a call from a coworker's phone?
A: The new system offers shared lines appearance that allows for multiple phones to ring for the same call.
Q: I have a hunt group in my office. How does that transfer to the new system?
A: Shared line appearance is a way to address this need with the new system.
- Allows call to be put on hold and then picked up at another phone which also has the same shared line appearance.
- Can be configured to ring multiple phones in order.
Q: I want to monitor the status of another line.
A: BLF (Busy Lamp Field) allows you (watcher) to monitor the real-time status of another line at a directory number from the device of the watcher.
- The basic phone provides three additional BLF buttons.
- The video phone provides four additional BLF buttons.
- Sidecars provide this ability and an additional 32 BLF buttons.
Q: Is there a feature that allows callers to locate people in the organization without talking to a receptionist?
A: The new phone system has a feature called automated attendant that can handle this.
Q: Can I have calls ring both my desk phone and cell phone?
A: Single Number Reach (Mobility) allows for this.
- If the call is not answered, it will be pulled back to the voicemail of the original number dialed.
Q: How do I configure speed dial numbers on my phone?
A: At this time any requests for speed dial buttons will have to be sent to ITS.
Q: Can I view numbers that have previously called me?
A: Each phone has a complete history log which will store up to 100 records.
Q: What is call parking?
A: The new system supports call parking. This allows you to "park" a call on one handset and receive a code to resume the call from a different handset.
Q: Can I forward calls to other phones automatically?
A: The new system allows called to be forwarded to local and non-local (ex. cell phones) phone numbers automatically.
Q: My phone uses a headset lifter to answer calls using my current headset, will this work with the new phones?
A: The new phones require an Electronic Hook Switch (EHS) which will replace your lifter. ITS Supported EHS models and headsets can be found under our phones Self-Help page.
Phone Placement Process
Q: Will rewiring be required for the new phone system?
A: Testing and analysis of the wiring has been completed. We are working with the vendor to make sure wherever we place a phone, the wiring is standardized and meets the telephone service's requirements.
Q: What if I have large pieces of equipment hiding some of the current telephone wires?
A: Ahead of the placement of phones, we will visit your office to replace the wires from the wall to your computer and if you have wires behind large pieces of furniture we can move your furniture for installing your new phone wires.
Q: Do employees need to be available in their office for the phone to be placed?
A: Not necessarily. We will need access to the buildings and offices to place the phones and can work with department leaders and UI System Administrators to accommodate busy schedules.
Q: How are phones supported in Idaho Falls? What training will be available for Extension Centers?
A: We will work with you during the placement period to answer questions and provide some training at your desk. We will have information published online at uidaho.edu/phones with printable quick reference documents.
Q: Will UI staff the Help Desk at 7 a.m. Pacific, supporting Boise and Idaho Falls offices?
A: When we reach critical junctures, we will make sure to communicate changes to Help Desk hours. Additionally, Idaho Falls and Boise IT staff will be working closely with ITS to ensure a smooth transition.
Q: If my department is split across the state, will there be two or more implementation dates?
A: We are planning to roll the service out geographically and not by organization within the university. The Pilot group will cut over on January 19. Then, Idaho Falls and Boise will cutover in March and finally Moscow will adopt the new system by the end of April.
Vandal/ISU Alerts and Service Resilience
Q: Is there a way of separating Vandal Alerts out for the Moscow campus and Extension Centers?
A: The Vandal Alert service and the new telephone system are separate services. We are working on making adjustments to the Vandal Alert service but this is mutually exclusive from the new phone service rollout.
Q: If Moscow's phone service is down, will Boise's phone service be down?
A:While the new phone system rides on UI’s data network and the reliability of our data network has been excellent, there are any number of circumstances which could affect the telephone service; however, since the new telephone service is hosted by Ednetics and redundant networking paths are built in outages of the phone service will be minimized and no location will be reliant on another for the phone service.
Q: Will we still get ISU alerts?
A: Since this system will be separate from the ISU system, we will have to work with ISU to see if it is possible should you want to continue getting their alerts.
Q: Is voicemail to email included?
A: Yes, voicemails will be sent to your Inbox as audio attachments.
Q: Can I opt out of voicemail to e-mail feature?
A: Yes please e-mail email@example.com with your 5-digit extension and a request to opt out of this feature.
Q: How will PIN resets be handled for voicemail services?
A: Requests can be sent to the ITS Help Desk or local IT staff. This may be a self-service feature in the future. Also, don't forget, by default the voicemail to email feature will be enabled for you.
Q: Will the new Idaho area code affect the new telephone system?
A: Existing numbers will not be affected by the new area code. The new area code is an overlay of the state. When the new area code is rolled out it will require 10-digit dialing in the state for phones that are not on the new UI phone service.
Q: Will all entities in the Water Center Building be switching to UI's VoIP solution? What options are available to UW employees?
A: UI is working on answers to these questions.
Q: Can these new phones do TTY?
A: No, TTY is a need that would require special equipment.
Q: Who do I contact for support?
A: The ITS Help Desk will provide all phones support.