Industry trends show more companies moving towards unified communication platforms. And as technology evolves, more exciting collaborative systems are sure to enter the workplace.

ICTS's Workplaces Services team (WPS) is on a mission to take UCT’s communication infrastructure into the future.

Goodbye to Polycom handsets

UCT already uses Skype for Business as our unified communication platform. Staff members can communicate through voice, video, instant messaging, and even screen-sharing. Many of us use it with a headset, which means that our Polycom handsets sit gathering dust. That’s where we need the help of ICTS staff.

We want to move UCT staff off the handsets and completely onto headsets. This will help to bring the rest of campus onto the more unified communication platform, while also reducing the complexity of UCT's phone system.

But it’s a huge task. It will take time, and a lot of effort. To start out, we’re running pilots – asking staff in various departments to return their Polycom handsets. The request applies across all staff in the pilot departments – regardless of which building they're based in.

How do I return my handset?

If you don’t have a headset, we will give you one in exchange for your handset:

  1. In ServiceNow, select Get Help and log an incident. Ask that Helpdesk exchanges your phone for a headset. Be sure to include your physical location.
  2. Make sure Skype for Business is installed and running on your computer.
  3. When a Helpdesk consultant comes to replace your phone with the headset, ask the consultant to set up your headset and test that Skype for Business is working properly on your computer.
  4. If, for some reason, you find that the headset is not working out, log another call in ServiceNow asking Helpdesk to exchange the headset for a handset. 

If you already have your own headset:

  1. Make sure that Skype for Business is installed and running on your computer.
  2. Unplug the Polycom handset and all cables.
  3. In ServiceNow, select Get Help and log an incident. Ask that Helpdesk collects your phone, and state that you will now use your own headset as a phone. Be sure to include your physical location.

What if my headset breaks, or my computer has issues?

Although such issues aren’t that common, they do still pose a risk to staff members who no longer have Polycom handsets. But, as long as you have a smartphone, you should be fine. Simply install the Skype for Business app on your phone and it will act as a backup – in case anything should happen to your headset or your computer.

Aside from that, by installing the app, you can forward calls from your work phone to your smartphone – meaning that you don’t have to miss any calls when you’re away from your desk. However, remember that when you don't have access to eduroam, you'll need to use your own mobile data or personal WiFi to continue using the app as your work phone.

The app also comes with other great benefits – such as easy access to work colleagues, and a cheap way to connect with loved ones when you’re travelling (i.e. no more long-distance or international roaming prices).

What if I want to keep my handset?

If you really want to keep your handset, you may do so. But we urge you to make the change to Skype for Business – because it can just as easily replicate the function of voice calls.

What about phones that are not assigned to any user?

If your office contains any unassigned phones, please confirm with your manager that nobody is using those phones. Then log an incident in ServiceNow asking Helpdesk to collect them. Remember to include the phones’ physical location in your incident.

Give us feedback

We're confident that the combination of headsets and the mobile app will be just as effective as having a Polycom handset.

But, before we try this out at other UCT departments, we want to test the theory within ICTS. So, after you return your handset, please let us know if you run into any issues (for example, the app not working properly with WiFi). And, because you might deal with customers in various different faculties and roles, you might be able to think of scenarios where customers will be seriously inconvenienced without a Polycom phone. So, please tell us about those cases, too.

The more info we gather, the better equipped we are to make decisions and proactively deal with any issues that may come up later on.

Get help