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Unified Communications Project


Telephony technology has moved on since the University’s systems were last reviewed and the existing solution, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM), is at manufacturer end of life. 

The University has deployed a number of unified communication (UC) solutions to deliver learning and teaching and to meet operational and administrative needs. These system deployments were accelerated due to the need for remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been significant advances in UC technology which offer additional capabilities that can increase efficiency and improve or introduce new functionality. 

The University engaged with consultants to review our telephony and UC infrastructure and to develop a strategy for future provision. Staff and students from across the University were consulted and we now have a Unified Communications Strategy that was approved by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in October 2021. 

After a review of several options Microsoft Teams has been evaluated as best complying with the needs identified, particularly in significant areas such as integration with other strategic University systems and to provide an ability to consolidate delivery through a single UC solution.

The Unified Communications Strategy identified that we would provide a cloud-based softphone telephony solution using MS Teams – this will replace the current Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) on premise solution. This will be the focus of phase 1 of the Unified Communications Project. 

Future phases of the project will consider things such as a contact centre solution, system integrations with the MS Teams telephony system and decommission of other communications solutions.


Frequently Asked Questions


When will I get MS Teams telephony?

We are still in the early stages of the move to MS Teams telephony, with a pilot of 100 users currently underway. Once we have more details of the wider roll out, we will let you know here and through email communications.

What is a softphone?

A softphone is a program which enables you to use your computer or mobile device and internet connection to make and receive telephone calls rather than using a telephone handset and line.

I have a requirement that means I need a handset and not a softphone, how will this work?

MS Teams telephony, as well as being a softphone solution, can work with handsets. While a softphone will be the default provision we can arrange for a handset if there is a specific need.

When I get MS Teams telephony will I still be able to do things like forward calls to my mobile phone?

Yes, you can forward calls to your mobile when using MS Teams telephony. 

We are looking to replicate all the functionality that is available with the current solution. User guidance for MS Teams telephony will be available soon.

I need a phone now, what will happen while MS Teams telephony is still being piloted?

During the transition to MS Teams, if you request a phone for yourself or a member of your staff a Jabber softphone (the current solution) will be the default provision, find out more​.

Will I still be able to use Webex?

Yes, you can still use Webex. It is planned that the Webex service will be retired in the future but there is currently no date for this. We will make sure to give plenty of notice and there will be no change for trimester 1 2022/23.  

Where can I find out more?

If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please contact the project manager, Jane Kinloch​.