California State University, Fullerton

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Keeping Up With Technology

Campus Phone System Upgraded

Aug. 23, 2012

A faculty member conducting research in Asia or a staff member working across campus or across town can now turn to his iPad, laptop or cell phone — and keep up with phone call queries left on his or her office phone, thanks to a phone system being installed across campus.

Cal State Fullerton is upgrading the Aastra Pointspan telephone system, which was installed more than 15 years ago, to the Aastra Clearspan system as the telephones used on the Pointspan system were no longer manufactured, and refurbished units were hard to find, said Marci Payne, project management officer for the Division of Information Technology. The upgraded system brings with it a host of technology features to serve the expanding needs of the campus community.

In addition to hearing a voice mail message without calling your office phone, faculty, staff and administrators can send that verbal message to an associate, store the message on their computer or respond via email to the caller. The system also lets users redirect phone calls to home, cell or elsewhere; set to automatically go to voice mail and other standard features, such as conference calling and hands-free/speaker use.

“Members of the campus community, like members of the broader community in general, are more mobile these days and seek the ability to respond from wherever they are with whatever electronic devices they have at their fingertips,” said Amir Dabirian, vice president for information technology and chief technology officer. “This new phone system allows that.”

“The campuswide upgrade, with over 3,800 phone lines and changes both in platform and end-user devices, required careful planning to ensure successful migration with minimum disruption to service,” said Berhanu Tadesse, phone system project manager. “Our strategy was flexible enough to accommodate any unanticipated changes that inevitably occur on a project of this magnitude. Implementing this project cost effectively and efficiently was possible by leveraging internal resources, rather than utilizing product vendor consultants.

“To ensure better end-user transition experience, the functionalities of this feature-rich system will be released in different phases,” Tadesse added. “Tools that will enable the end user to self manage inbound and outbound calls and enhance mobility and accessibility will be introduced in late fall after the completion of the deployment of the new phones.”

The phones are being installed throughout campus building by building, said Payne. The installation is expected to be completed by the end of October.

The new phone system is but the latest technology to be offered on campus to meet changing needs. Recently, faculty members have been able to choose whether to have a desk computer or laptop, and administrators are now carrying iPads to meetings to keep track of calendar items, tasks, meeting notes and other information picked up on the go.

By: Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

Tags:  Campus Updates