History & Vision

As part of the “Mobile First” program there is a need to upgrade the current legacy phone and voice mail systems’ to Skype for Business and Exchange Unified Messaging to better serve faculty and staff at The Ohio State University.

The phone system will be replaced by Skype for Business providing an enhanced collaboration tool set that includes the following features: telephony via VOIP, online meetings, instant messaging, video, and sharing with up to 250 people.  The skype client will allow a user to search and find anyone in the organization and schedule meetings in Outlook.  Contacts’ online status (presence) are viewable and a user can schedule meetings in Outlook, and start conversations from Microsoft apps like Word and PowerPoint.

The current voice mail system will be replaced by Exchange’s Unified Messaging service.  We will leverage the existing Exchange platform and site licensing across campus to offer an improved voice mail solution hosted on the university’s Exchange 2010 platform. This gives UES mail users one interface to manage voice mail along with e-mail and calendar which will enhance and improve efficiency, business productivity and ease of user access.  As well as the traditional dial in method of retrieving voice mails, additional access methods include, listening to voice mail from the Outlook Web App, or e-mail client on your PC/Mac or mobile device.  Merging voice mail onto the e-mail platform requires less servers and gateway hardware than the current system which is a cost savings for the university.

This Unified Communications platform will provide us a number unique capabilities and the ability to further a number of initiatives:

  • Provide a full service collaboration tool
    • Increase competitive positioning and advantage for faculty, staff
    • Improve efficiency and ease of use in real-time communications
    • Provide integration of email, calendaring and directory information within Outlook and the Skype for Business/Skype for Business mobile client
  • Promote the “Mobile First” initiative
    • Provide a Flexible Working Environment including mobile and remote users to provide anywhere, anytime communications and collaboration
    • Support multimodal communications and collaboration including IM, Presence, Audio/Video/Web Conferencing, unified messaging (voice mail), shared team workspaces and document management through one primary platform
  • Customer Demand for a modern communications platform with enhanced capabilities
    • OCIO Poll (Voice of the Customer)
    • Various Departmental Requests
  • Remove Distance boundaries by providing a tool that promotes faculty and staff connectedness
  • Consolidate & Standardize Platforms to centralize services, streamline the environment and reduce costs
  • Reduce the use of legacy technology and create a more flexible platform for future enhancements
  • Implement a modern telephony infrastructure fully supporting redundant connections, site diversity, high availability and disaster recovery