Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is technology that replaces traditional phone systems with routing voice calls over the network and Internet. Unified Communications extends this concept and provides a variety of other services and features beyond making and receiving phone calls. These include unified messaging (voicemail integration with email), instant messaging, video conferencing, fax services and call center. Our traditional PBX phone system is near end of support life and we are looking to modernize and improve the communications for Lehigh University. This project will reduce our costs, dramatically improve services for communications and provide a holistic communications strategy. LTS selected Cisco Unified Communications as the core infrastructure for our communications strategy. Cisco is a leader in unified communications and a perfect fit with our core Cisco network infrastructure.Back to Questions
With Unified Communications, you may encounter the term Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol used to create, manage and terminate sessions in an IP based network. While most usage is with VoIP, it is also used with instant messaging and video conferencing. For example, when setting up a video conference, someone may ask you what the SIP address is for the meeting. This usually is firstname.lastname@example.org. This address and protocol is an open standard that allows for different conferencing systems to communicate.Back to Questions
Basic phone functions (our dial plan and features such as hold, transfer and conference) will remain, though you will access features differently.
What will not change?
What will change?
The project had an internal kickoff in January to focus on architecting and deploying the core infrastructure. LTS will migrate first and we expect to begin migrating other campus users in September 2017. Due to the complexity and concerns of overwhelming users, LTS has taken an iterative approach to the project by focusing on replacing basic phone functionality in the initial rollout and then gradually introducing new features and services. Faculty and staff desk phones will be moved first, followed later by utility phones (i.e. courtesy phones, conference rooms, emergency phones etc.) All features, services, functionality and decommission of the legacy PBX system is expected to be completed by April 2019. LTS will provide project status reports as well as migration schedules on the main Unified Communications webpage.Back to Questions
Migrations will occur on a building by building basis, depending in part on the condition of the building's network and cable infrastructure. LTS will contact you over the coming months to review your current phone models, review your voice mail and other feature needs (such as line appearances, forwarding and call pickup groups), and determine where phones may require external power.Back to Questions
LTS will cover the cost for the core infrastructure, licensing and the initial phones. The project team has selected replacement phones that meet or exceed the capabilities of your current model. If you require a higher end phone, you will be responsible for paying for that upgraded phone. After the project is complete, departments will be expected to fund new phone installations, as they do today. Long distance and voice mail will continue to be charged at rates similar to today's.Back to Questions
The initial rollout is focused on replacing user desk phones, so we will not be addressing fax machines until mid 2018. LTS is planning a central fax service that is integrated with Cisco Unified Communications - this will be the subject of a future announcement. If for some reason you cannot migrate to the new fax service and absolutely require a physical fax machine, a converter may be available at a cost of $200 per device.Back to Questions
Phone services will be interrupted for a brief period (less than 15 minutes) as your line is moved from the old system to the new.Back to Questions
During the migration, LTS will be holding regular training sessions. Anyone is welcome to attend multiple sessions.
The LTS Unified Communications webpage will continually be updated and is an excellent source of information.Back to Questions
Unless you are not satisfied with the phone model you receive, there will be no need to place any orders.
Migrations will occur on a building by building basis, and the project team will determine the order of building migrations based on various factors such as infrastructure condition and department readiness. If a particular department has an urgent need for this technology, please reach out to Lizanne Hurst. We cannot accept individual requests for migration due to the complexity of managing a campuswide deployment.Back to Questions
The project team will reach out to departments several weeks in advance of the migration date to review current phone models, voice mail and other feature needs. Users may request upgrades during this review or anytime up to the actual installation of the new phone. If you require an upgraded phone, you will be responsible for the cost of the upgrade.Back to Questions
A softphone is a software program for making telephone calls over the Internet using a general purpose computer, tablet or mobile phone, rather than using dedicated hardware such as a desktop.Back to Questions
Telepresence is a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present or to give the appearance of being present at a place other than their true location. Video Conferencing allows meetings to be held from multiple remote locations but have the appearance of being in the same room.Back to Questions
Library & Technology Services
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Bethlehem, PA 18015
Lehigh University provides a leading-edge library and technology environment that enables flexibility, innovation, and effectiveness in all areas of the academic enterprise, including learning and the student experience, research, administration, community-building and outreach.
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