About Unified Communications

IT Network and Infrastructure (ITNI) is piloting a project to modernize the University’s outdated telephone system by improving performance and reducing security vulnerabilities.  Our plan is to achieve a Unified Communications System by leveraging our existing Zoom platform.

Unified Communications (UC) is a term used to describe the integration of multiple communication tools -- such as voice calling, video conferencing, instant messaging (IM) and content sharing into a single, streamlined connection, with the goal of improving user experience and productivity. UC supports a user's ability to switch seamlessly from one mode of communication to another within a single session, whether on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Why Zoom Phone? 

Zoom is familiar to the campus community and is a logical solution to pilot, because the University currently uses Zoom for audio and video conference meetings.  It can be expanded to include a telephone solution.  Additional benefits of Zoom Phone include:

  • No need for a desk phone
  • Make and receive calls from your existing Zoom app on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone (optional)
    Use your cell phone for business calls without having to use your personal cell number (this will use your data plan)
  • Voicemail messages will automatically be transcribed
  • Seamless transition from chat to voice call to Zoom Meeting
  • Intelligent call routing and auto attendants available 
  • Desk phone can be purchase by department or college
  • Accessibility features
  • Supports 911 calling

What is Zoom Phone?

Click on this link for an overview of the Zoom Phone App.  Some features in the video may not be available at San Diego State University.

Zoom Phone uses a softphone client to receive and make calls from a computer or a mobile device.  You can purchase a handset for each of your offices if you choose to.  Please visit this site for telephone device information.

When will this change happen?

ITNI has been piloting Zoom Phone within the IT Division (approximately 120 users) since March 2022.  In September 2022, ITNI expanded the pilot to specific groups.  This expanded pilot will have up to approximately 800 users and help evaluate if Zoom Phone is a solution for the entire campus.  In 2023, a decision will be made if Zoom Phone will be deployed campus-wide.  If SDSU does a full campus deployment it would likely begin in the Summer of 2023 and the project would take approximately 8 months.

How will the migration happen?

The users that will increase the current pilot user base to 800 will be migrated to Zoom Phone beginning September 2022.  The user base will include the migration of all current Google Voice users followed by designated or specific groups.

A campus-wide project plan is being developed for the Unified Communications (Zoom Phone) project.  The core project team will work closely with college and department leaders prior to a full campus deployment.

Communication updates, open forums and training sessions will be provided for the campus community as we move along in the process. 

Are there any additional criteria regarding eligibility?

1. New Zoom Phone installations are currently only an option for Teleworkers and Telework groups that need a
mobile option (texting, call groups, call centers, etc.) OR as an alternative to Orphaned phone lines that need to
migrate to a "paid for" service.

2. The intent is to use softphone only, not deskphones, in this current phase of Zoom Phone deployment.  If you
can’t function without a deskphone at the present time, then Zoom Phone may not be the right option for you.  If
there is a campus-wide deployment in the future, then deskphone will be an option.

3. This current phase of Zoom Phone deployment only includes dialing within the United States and Canada.  If you need dialing to countries other than the USA or Canada (such as Mexico), then Zoom Phone is not available to you at this time.

Important Information Regarding Location Services

All Zoom Phone users and IT Admin staff are required to make configuration changes on desktop and laptop devices to support e911 and comply with FCC laws.

Users are required to confirm with their IT support staff that they have location services configured on all desktops and laptops that will use Zoom Phone.

Below are links to reference documents for IT staff and users regarding how to activate location services on PC and Apple devices.

IT Support Staff:  How to Enable Zoom Location Services for IT Admins

End Users:  How to Enable Zoom Location Services for End-Users