Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services


The Voice Services Replacement Project team has gathered a listing of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not found on the list, please fill out the Inquiry Form.

Q. What is the Voice Services Replacement Project (VSR Project)?

The VSR Project is an initiative that will involve a full migration of our existing telephone system into a Voice over IP (VoIP) system. Specifically we will be moving to Skype for Business.

Q. Why are we moving away from our existing telephone platform?

Our existing telephone platform is a private branch exchange based system (PBX). This system has served us very well for 30 years, but due to a lack of first party support starting in 2021, we have opted to begin looking to replace it ahead of the deadline. 

Q. How long will it take for me to migrate to the new system?

The migration effort is currently estimated at two years from start to finish. The migration will likely be a building by building, floor by floor migration. It is estimated that migrations may begin spring of 2017.

Q. Is the new service going to be in the cloud?

This question is not black and white. Skype for Business will integrate with our existing Office 365 deployment, however the voice communication will not be routed over or through the cloud. We expect to publish a page that outlines how voice communication will be transmitted in the new system in the near future.  

Q. What will happen to my desk phone? Will it still work?

Desk phones will become optional. In the new system you will have the ability to install Skype for Business on your mobile device, tablet, desktop and/or laptop.

If you opt to keep a desk phone, it will still require replacement. A base model will be provided that attempts to emulate much of the functionality you are accustomed to. It is the goal of ITS to minimize the learning curve, although a small amount of retraining may be required for features such as voice mail and call forwarding. 

Q. If we choose to use a headset, how will we know a call is coming in if we don't wear the headset all day long?

We are looking at providing a variety of options for customers. You may opt to use a headset, it would be connected to your laptop or desktop over Bluetooth or headphone jack. You will need to have Skype for Business installed on your machine. When a call is coming in there will be a visual and audible indicator that you are receiving a call.

Q. How will the migration affect our current telephone reception system and associated 'Call Centre Agent Phones'?

It is not anticipated that call centre functionality will be changed during the migration. We anticipate that towards the end of the migration, call centre functions will be reviewed and a new solution investigated. All stakeholders will be engaged for input and awareness.

Q. How much extra will it cost per month and per call for the new phone system?

Our expectation is it should not cost any extra monthly. A base model phone that will be paid for by ITS will be provided to those who opt to keep a phone on their desk. If an upgraded handset is requested (more lines, features, such as colour screen etc.) then a one time charge to cover the difference between the two models will be charged.

Q. Can I still use my existing conference call provider in the new system?

Yes. We hope to provide an alternative to your existing conference provider which more closely integrates with Skype for Business, however we understand existing relationships exist and we aim to continue to allow you to make the choice based on your needs.

Last Updated: July 7, 2016