ITS shares phone system update

ITS understands there is concern about the RU phone system given the past RU Alerts regarding Campus Security losing phone connectivity. We understand the need to be able to contact Campus Security in emergency situations and put a focus on maintaining critical services at all times. Unfortunately, we have had a rash of one-time events that lead to this situation earlier this year.   First, the power surge knocked systems offline over a weekend (including our phone system) that required manual correction in order to establish connectivity. Second, while attempting to fix the power lines after the surge, an Xcel contractor drilling to install a new line severed our existing  circuit. Although the ITS communication systems did what they were supposed to do and transfer to a back-up circuit, we discovered that the back-up circuit was not fully redundant never being set-up to handle phone/voice connectivity. We were able to process data, emails and internet traffic successfully, but were unable to process voice on the back-up resulting in the phone being down until the primary circuit was repaired. We are working to ensure our back-up circuit will be able to handle voice correctly and that systems will fail over seamlessly going forward. Lastly, the most recent incident with our phone systems was created by Microsoft and changes to how it handles incoming calls within Teams. We use Microsoft Teams to handle telephony and extension across the University. With the change, Teams was unable to handle incoming calls and extensions correctly. Microsoft worked with the Regis ITS team to reconfigure and successfully restore phone connectivity.

We anticipate that this string of one-time events will be just that and we will have stable phone service. That said, the current phone system we are on is not aging gracefully and needs to be replaced. A cross functional team of Regis staff is working to install a new phone system before the end of year.  They have evaluated several alternatives and chosen a provider that will provide great service and much needed features at a reduced price over what the University is currently charged for phone service.

ITS is also aware of concerns regarding cell phone coverage across campus. ITS would like to remind everyone that we have worked to increase Wi-Fi coverage across campus and now provide a strong signal for Wi-Fi calls if cell coverage is unavailable. We will investigate other avenues and options we have for potentially increasing cellular signals in weak coverage areas on campus.

As always, if you have any phone issues, Wi-Fi issues and/or technology issues in general, please reach out to the ITS User Support Services team for assistance.