New Phone System Update

Updated: Feb 3

The new phone system is making good progress. The current cutover target is Wednesday, Feb. 23 starting at 8am. The cutover should be quick and we do not anticipate any major interruptions, but staff can contact the help desk with any issues.


What is changing?

  • Staff with computers and cell phones: Old phone hardware has been replaced with a softphone application called Jabber on PCs and city cell phones. If you do not see Jabber installed on your city device(s), please submit a ServiceNow ticket.

  • Staff that do not have a personal computer and work in a shared location: (libraries, front desks at parks, fire stations, etc) A Cisco digital desk phone will replace old phone.

  • Conference rooms will receive new high-quality speakerphones.


Will my phone number be different?

Yes! Phone numbers for the former desk phones are changing. IT staff are working on telephone number assignments, with the intention of keeping as many last four numbers (4-digit extensions) the same as they are now. The current plan is as follows but is subject to change:

  • Existing extensions with 2xxx will stay the same and new direct dial numbers would become 442-339-2xxx. (The majority of city extensions are in the 2xxx range)

  • Extensions 46xx, 75xx, 47xx, etc will change to 5xxx numbers and the direct dial numbers associated with those numbers would become 442-339-5xxx. The plan is to mirror the last 3 digits of the legacy extension (example 4777 would become 5777). The goal is to keep as much consistency with respect to the old extension.

  • The phone number for non-emergency police dispatch calls will not change.

  • Cell phone numbers will not change.

  • Fax numbers will not change.

Important Note: Once your phone number is assigned in the new system, you will keep it even if you change desks, roles or departments (like your email address). Unlike the old desk phones, the new phone numbers are tied to individual employees, not physical phone locations.


What happens if someone calls an old department number? For the first six months after cutover, calls to old department phone numbers will hear a recording that the number has changed, then automatically connect to the new number. After six months, calls to the old department phone numbers will be connected to a city directory with options to select the department.


What happens if someone calls my old desk or cell phone number? Immediately after cutover, calls to old city staff phone numbers will hear a recording that the number has changed, then connect to a dial by name directory to select the staff member.


How do I find out my new phone number and request a new headset/handset? Each department has a designated subject matter expert that will work with IT to deliver this information to staff members. When the time is right, the subject matter experts will reach out to their respective teams and give them their new phone numbers and take their headset/handset requests, if desired.


Headset options

With the new system, PCs will need to effectively broadcast and receive audio. Many people have become accustomed to this over the last year when using systems like Teams or Zoom.

We anticipate that most users will opt for headsets, but there are telephone handsets that can also be used with softphones. Here are the options.

  • Logitech or Cisco Wired/Wireless Headset This may be the most common choice. Many people already have these devices. If you have a headset from IT used for Teams/Zoom, this is what you’re using. This device will also work with Jabber.

  • Plantronics CS540/CS55 (or another Plantronics device) with adapter Many existing phone users already have this device connected to their phone. If you’re satisfied with your current headset, this is your best option. With a simple USB adapter, it can be converted to work with Jabber.

  • Wired handsets If a headset is not desired, then a classic style USB wired handset is available.

How will I receive voicemail?

  • Individual staff voicemail - voicemail messages for individual staff phone numbers will automatically be sent to user’s email, where users can listen to the message, save it, or transfer it to another user. Voicemail messages are left as .wav files that users can listen to, but the messages will not be transcribed to text.

  • Department voicemail - Voicemail messages for department phone numbers can be sent to a shared email inbox, but the setup is not automatic. Please submit a ServiceNow request if you have a department number that needs a shared email inbox for voicemails. Be sure to include the department phone number, the voicemail box number, and the requested staff recipients.

TRAINING

Staff was offered 30 training sessions for the Jabber softphone application and 30 sessions for the Cisco digital desk phone over 3 weeks in January 2022. If you missed the sessions or want to review the material again, you can access it any time on-demand through the Cornerstone LMS in OKTA portal.


Jabber softphone (for individual staff computers and city issued cell phones)

Cisco phone (for shared location desks)


OTHER Q&As

I get a notification of voicemails on my cell phone now. Will I still get this?

If you have a city issued cell phone, you will be able to answer calls, transfer calls, and get notifications.


Are voicemails considered public record?

Yes. Whether in your email or not, voicemails are a public record and subject to discovery. This is not new, but the new system could make fulfillment of a public records requests that include voicemail records easier.

Can I use the softphone on my PC at home?

Jabber can only be loaded on city issued devices. If you use a city issued laptop or cell phone off site, you will be able to use the softphone remotely.


How will we hear an incoming call?

Audible alerts on your PC or smartphone are available for incoming calls, as well as a “pop-up” on your desktop. In some cases, external speakers or bells may be required. IT will look at these situations individually to determine the best way to support the call handling needs.

Will everyone be able to make conference calls?

Yes, this is a standard feature.


What will we do about business cards, stationary, and other printed materials?

The city understands that issuing new telephone numbers will require updated printed materials and has included this cost in the overall project plan. Now that new numbers have been assigned, departments should plan on procuring new materials charging the cost to the project. Contact your department subject matter expert for more information.

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