The Harvard Phone Program Team has converted over 30% of 21,000 targeted University centrex phones to cloud-based Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. Since migrations began in May 2016, 118 Central Admin and School groups have been migrated onto the new service. Installation work has been mainly in Cambridge, Jamaica Plain and Allston but will expand shortly to Longwood Medical Area locations. The Program remains on track to complete all VoIP conversions for remaining Campus groups by second quarter FY 2019.
In May, the process converting Centrex users to Harvard Phone will go into full production. Over 22,000 users will be converted to Harvard Phone over the next few years.
The conversion process actually started in June of 2015. Early adopters were the first to convert, dutifully testing the system and the processes. By October additional users were ready to be added. Those departments moving into 114 Mount Auburn Street, a newly renovated Harvard building were among the first to use the Harvard Phone service. The Harvard Libraries
The Harvard Phone program has instituted customer engagement councils comprised of appointed departmental level representatives from Central Administration and the FAS. The purpose of these councils is to engage in discussions and outline plans to address customer specific issues and standards with the Harvard Phone program development and deployment. The councils provide project oversight and address key change management issues. This model will be expanded and used with other schools as we progress through the program.
The Harvard Phone Program team has implemented an interface from HUIT’s Service Now ticketing and incident management system directly to our provider’s system (Verizon) for Harvard Phone service. This allows Harvard administrators to utilize existing platforms, electronically, for management of trouble tickets for the Harvard Phone service. Work is also under way to provide an interface for phone service provisioning and changes.
In July, 170 HUIT users from 1230 Soldiers Field Road and 60 Oxford Street converted successfully to Harvard Phone service. Utilizing a new Cisco series Voice-Over-IP telephone set with large display, these early adopters are enjoying high quality voice conversations using their existing telephone number and Harvard dial plan across the University. In the coming months, advanced features will be incorporated into the service including a soft phone client for laptops, iPads and smart phones, as well as a web-based end user portal for feature changes.
Over the next few months, and periodically over the course of the Harvard Phone project, HUIT will be taking a physical inventory of all phone and data jacks. The survey will catalog the physical location of each jack (including the name of the person(s) in the office or cubicle), the type of jack, telephone number and jack number.
Gathering of this information is a necessary part of the Harvard Phone Project. The HUIT Project team will be working with your school or department’s facilities group to schedule the walk throughs which will be very short in duration
It is highly recommended that schools/departments who currently use Merlin systems start to replace them with traditional Centrex supported devices which in most cases offer similar features and functionality. Beginning July 1, 2015 HUIT UC will no longer stock Merlin equipment. Even current stock has minimal refurbished parts. Merlin’s have been discontinued by the manufacture and are at end of life.
HUIT UC Client Mangers have already begun the analysis to convert Merlin systems to Centrex for some departments. In some cases departments have seen a
Interested in hearing more about updates and changes happening in HUIT UC? Then please plan to attend one of our Information Sessions scheduled in March. One session in LMA the other in Cambridge. Sign up today!
In December a small group of volunteers across the University agreed to participate in a short proof of concept (PoC) to test the usefulness of the Jabber/WebEx client as a means to increase productivity. The results showed that most participants found the tool useful when juggling meetings and calls while away from their office.
It is important to note that the way the Jabber/WebEx client was delivered for use during the PoC is not the way it will be delivered in full production. As a result there were some complications when using the tool during the PoC.
HUIT Unified Communications is seeking volunteers to participate in a proof of concept (PoC ) trial of the Cisco Jabber client and its interoperability with WebEx as a means of improving communications and productivity at Harvard. You will be considered as a potential candidate for this PoC if your work at Harvard requires you to often be away from your desk as well as chair or participate in various on and off campus video conference meetings.