The mission of the Harvard Phone program is to provide modern, flexible, easy-to-use communications tools to enable a wider range of use cases for faculty, staff and researchers learn, teach and work.  

The program will:

    • Deliver a set of  improved communications tools to all schools and departments across Harvard for voice, conferencing, desktop video and mobility
    • Provide support for a smooth transition from legacy services to VoIP throughout planning and implementation support, strong communication, and end user training
    • Implement operational changes and efficiencies through self-service tools and provisioning bundles service packaging and new operational support models

Underlying technology is Voice over IP

Harvard Phone will be delivered using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology.  VoIP transforms the legacy phone platform to create a more robust, feature rich and easy to use platform.  Click VoIP to learn more about this technology.

Delivery of new services scope

Harvard Phone program will focus initially on the replacement of administrative and faculty telephones.  Student, fax, emergency and elevator lines will remain on legacy services.  Service options are available for a variety of use cases to fit the diverse roles across the University, including cell phone only, and soft phone services.

Implementation planning is currently underway and build-out and testing of the new system will take place 1Q and 2Q 2015.  Early adopter migrations will begin the summer of 2015.  A migration schedule for schools and departments will be developed jointly in the coming year as the program planning continues.

Service development

Understanding of how the Harvard community works and communicates today is the cornerstone of this program. Decisions about which services to offer is developed by evaluating these factors:

    • Use Cases: What does our user community need to effectively communicate? How are they doing things today and how might that be improved through enhanced communications tools? Will these applications benefit large populations of users?
    • Technical complexity : Tools must be easy to use, services must be relevant to the way we work today
    • Viability of alternatives : Evaluate the use of existing tools vs introducing new and finding appropriate ways to seamlessly integrate services where practical
    • Governance-driven priorities: Which services are most important to support key University initiatives?
    • Delivery of services ‘on time and on budget’: Making the best use of our resources to deliver services in a timely and cost effective manner

Use of service bundles, packages designed to meet user needs, are under development along with use cases to support their use.  More information on this these topics will be coming soon.