Telecom Projects Cut Costs, Offer New Features

January 9, 2018

Information Technology Services has initiated a pair of telecommunications projects set to cut costs and improve customer service. 

In December, the campus-wide deployment of Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service began on the Kearney campus while the integration of Omaha's voicemail into the existing Voice Mail system in Lincoln is planned for an April 2018 completion. 

The voicemail integration is projected to save approximately $31k in licensing and professional conversion fees. The effort is led by Mike Hansen and Beth Coughlin, and is a collaboration of the Telecommunications team, ITS Systems and Networking. 

By June 2018, ITS will replace almost 1,000 analog phones in more than 30 UNK buildings with Cisco VoIP phone sets and service. So far, the project is nearly a quarter of the way to completion with Jodie Fisher and Ryan Rodehorst leading the on-site team in Kearney. With the collaboration of Kearney staff and support from Lincoln & Omaha campuses, including Mike Hansen, Charlie Moore, Beth Coughlin, Tulley Nelson and Jay Killion, the project is making good progress in meeting its completion date.

In the early stages, the response has been positive said ITS Telecommunications Director, Dick Cassidy, with future users expressing interest in the newer technology.

VoIP offers greater functionality, features and capabilities that will help customers be more productive and efficient. The service will enable toll-free calling between the UNK and UNL campuses as well as other new features, including high quality two-way speaker phones, call history, delivery of voicemail messages (audio files) via email, instant messaging and presence.

“The move to VOIP allows the university to scale the Cisco VoIP solution across campus locations onto one common platform, supporting it with common processes and realizing long-term savings,” Cassidy said.

Installations are planned by building and will follow a monthly schedule. Otto Olsen, Bruner Hall of Science, Copeland Hall and Museum of Nebraska Art are currently in progress.

ITS staff and Technology Coordinators are working together and with departments to determine the requirements for each installation. Faculty and staff on campus will have opportunities to attend training.

A VoIP website is available with project updates and schedules, as well as phone set selections and features.
For technical questions regarding the new phone service, please contact the Kearney Helpdesk at 308.865-8363 or by email unkhelpdesk@unk.edu.

Additional information on the VOIP Project at Kearney can also be found at http://voip.unk.edu.