Teams Voice - FAQs

Teams Voice is being rolled out across the University, giving you the flexibility to make and receive phone telephone calls from wherever you are through Microsoft Teams. 

  1. About the rollout
  2. Using Teams Voice
  3. Silencing calls and protecting your work/life balance
  4. Equipment
  5. Costs

About the rollout

How soon will this work take place?

Validation period

The rollout will require each staff member to confirm if they require an extension number and verify that it is correct. This is called the “validation period”.

Phase 1 – March 2022

During the first phase of the validation period managers, supervisors and team leaders were asked to validate extension numbers for their teams.

Phase 2 – May/October 2022

We are now contacting the remaining users directly (by phone and email), asking them to verify their University extension number. If we are unable to reach you by phone you will receive an email.  Please respond to the email as soon as possible so we can confirm which numbers need to be migrated and which can be discontinued or reassigned.

You may be contacted even if you have already been migrated as we are using multiple sources of data to identify who to contact.

Please fill in the form even if:

Migration period – June 2022 onwards

Once the data has been validated, staff will be migrated to Teams Voice in batches.

During this time, you will receive a confirmation email giving the exact date for your migration, what to expect and what to do in case of technical issues.

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Will phase one be automatically implemented, or will I be able to choose when I am set up?

We are working with the technical team and the third-party supplier around the schedule for phase one. Every individual will receive an email telling them what week they will be migrated and providing full instructions on what to do when that happens. It will happen in the background and you will get another notification when you have been migrated. As we need to migrate numbers in efficient “blocks” it will not be possible to provide user selected dates, but if the date you are allocated to is particularly problematic then you should make the project aware.  Instructions for doing this will be included in the scheduling email.

If you are not a ‘standard’ user, you will be in phase two, as it is important we understand your needs and make sure the solution is right for you.

If you are identified as a 'standard' user in phase one, but have more complex requirements and want to defer your transition, please discuss your with manager. They will be able to submit a deferral request on your behalf. 

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I am a manager, who should I contact to review the number of phone lines in my area?

At later phases in the project, we will be contacting faculties and services to discuss the number of phone lines they need and similar topics.

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How are you identifying ‘standard’ and ‘complex’ users?

We have a list of all University phone numbers and the names assigned to each of them. We will be double checking this information with users as we work through the project. We can see from the existing system where hunt groups etc are in place and will mark these as ‘complex’. However, if anything has been done locally, we may not know about it, so it is important users let us know when we contact them if they are not ‘standard’ users.

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I work in two different areas and have two extension numbers, can I still use Teams Voice?  

People who have complex telephony needs such as this will be migrated in a later stage of the project. If you receive an email informing you that you are in phase one, please let your head of department or service know and they will arrange for you to be deferred to a later phase.  

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Will this apply to remote sites such as St. James’s?

Partially. It will apply to all staff in remote sites that use a University of Leeds extension number in the format 3xxxx.

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Will this apply to the Leeds University Union (LUU) ?

LUU have their own phone system that is not integrated into the University system so it will be looked at in a later phase, depending on their requirements.

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I am a new starter, can I use Teams Voice?  

Please contact your department’s Telephone Liaison Officer. They can submit a request for a new extension number for you. If you do not have a Telephone Liaison Officer, please contact IT for assistance.

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I am an existing member of staff but need a new extension number 

You can fill in this form on the IT website to request for a new extension number in Teams. Alternatively please contact your department’s Telephone Liaison Officer. They can submit a request for a new extension number for you. If you do not have a Telephone Liaison Officer, please contact IT for assistance.

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My phone number is incorrect in the University staff A-Z, how do I get it corrected?  

Please put in a general request to IT to state that your information is wrong in the Staff A-Z. 

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I no longer need a University telephone number, what should I do?  

Please contact IT to let us know, include your name, department, the extension number you no longer need and ask for the call to be marked for the attention of the Network Team.

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Using Teams Voice

Will I still have the same phone number? 

Yes, your University extension number will remain the same. 

Are detailed instructions on using Teams Voice available?

Yes, we have an article on the IT website which links to full instructions. We will keep this updated to create new articles as required. However, Teams Voice is straightforward to use, and the interface will be familiar to anyone who uses Teams. As we are using standard Teams Voice there are also many available tutorials available on the internet.

If there are questions around particular situations, or groups of people that have their own complex needs, we will look at those individually, and share instructions via the IT website.

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How will this work with hot desking?

Teams Voice means you can effectively take your phone with you, wherever you have internet access, using your computer, smartphone, or tablet – any device that can access Teams either using a web browser or full Teams client.

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How will shared phone lines work, where more than one person has the same phone number currently?

These are more complex, so will be in phase two. We will need to understand how many people are sharing the phone and why they share the phone.  One solution maybe to give individuals their own extension number or it maybe to put a replacement phone device into the space which is allocated to the room rather than any individual.

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Does this work on the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)?

Yes, Teams Voice works anywhere you can use Teams. Currently Teams is available on the General WVD, and it will be available on the Restricted WVD soon.

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Does this work on Linux and Mac?

Yes, basic Teams Voice calling works anywhere you can use Teams as it is just an extension of Teams functionality. You can access Teams Voice through the browser or you can download the desktop version of Teams to your device. More information on Microsoft Teams clients can be found here

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What about reception phones which have a menu system?

These are quite a complex case and will be dealt with in a later phase. We want to make sure we get the process and functionality right before migrating them.

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Does it support pickup groups?

Yes. You can configure settings to allow others to answer your phone for you however, while pick up groups make sense in an office environment where you can see if someone is not there to answer a call, you need to decide whether the same arrangement makes sense for you in a hybrid environment. This is one of the reasons we are not automatically transferring pickup groups. You can easily set up new call answering settings if you decide you still need one.

As an end user you are able to create your own Call Group. Call Groups are user-assigned groups of Teams users that can receive calls on behalf of the group creator. To share calls with others, a user creates a Call Group and adds the users they want to share their calls with. They can opt for the calls to either call them and the group at the same time or just divert all calls to the group and not ring themselves at all. For more information on creating and managing Call Groups in Microsoft Teams please use this Call Groups in Microsoft Teams Voice guide.  

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Can I block specific numbers? 

Yes. To block a number that has previously phoned you: 

To block all external calls with no caller ID:

Will we get advice on the best way to manage the new system and are there any examples of best practice?

We will provide advice through the IT website and link to any examples of best practice e.g. on the Microsoft site. If you have any specific requirements we can help you - let us know when we contact your area.

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Will international calls happen in the same way as any other call?

Yes. Whether you can make international calls will depend on whether it is enabled for that particular number. This ability is allocated individually, in the same way it is at the moment. The type of calls you can make may not remain exactly the same as now, but we will be mapping as closely as possible to the current call types. If you need to be able to make international calls please contact IT to request this and include the reason you need this functionality to support your role. 

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What happens in a power cut?

If you are on campus during a power cut, Teams may not be available over the Wi-Fi or wired network, but if you have a mobile device you will still be able to use the mobile data network.

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If Microsoft Teams has an outage, does that mean we will not have any phones?

Yes, as it does rely on Teams. However, Microsoft Teams is very reliable and its reliability is comparable to our existing telephone system.

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Can this system make emergency calls?

Yes it can make emergency calls. We will also be leaving some physical handsets where required for security, in refuge points, lifts etc. We are looking at an alternate system for them.

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Silencing calls and protecting your work / life balance

Can I silence calls when I am out of office or outside my normal working hours?

To prevent calls interrupting you, change your status to 'do not disturb'. This will stop all notifications, including calls and messages, however calls and messages will still come through from users who you have granted priority access. You can check who you have granted priority access by completing the following steps in Teams:
Click on your profile icon in the top-right corner of your screen:
  • Manage account
  • Privacy
  • Manage priority access

If any of the users listed here try to call or message you whilst you are on 'do not disturb' the call and message will come through.

Note - if your status is 'busy' calls will still come through to you. The default status when you have a meeting booked in your diary is 'busy'. 
For mobile devices, setting 'quiet hours' will stop notifications for messages, but will not block calls. We recommend you set your status to 'do not disturb' or log out of Teams on your device when you do not want to receive calls.

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Will you be collecting and disposing or recycling the old office phones?

Yes. We are now cataloguing all telephones and collecting ones that are no longer needed for disposal. We have partnered with a company called Dataflow to do this work, and they will be onsite from 13 July 2022. They will be working with Estates, Security and building occupants to access buildings, and all staff will be carrying identification. It may take several weeks before phones are collected from your area.

The Dataflow staff will be able to identify disconnected or unused phones (ie where the user of extension number has been migrated to Teams Voice), but if you have already collected unused phones and removed them from desks, please let them know when they visit.

The collected phones will be recycled, or if appropriate re-used for example in common areas or labs where handsets are still required. 

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I have an old computer without sound. Will my equipment be upgraded?

We will look at these issues on a case-by-case basis. The Transitional Ways of Working (TWOW) and Future Ways of Working (FWOW) groups are also looking at these issues and how to best support hybrid working. For Professional Services a proposal around providing laptops has been discussed and agreed at OEG (Operations Executive Group) and communications will be sent out about this separately.

For faculty staff, UEG (University Executive Group) will be discussing this. However, we are moving to support laptops as a default, not because of Teams Voice, but because this is needed to support hybrid working. 

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I work in a shared office where having sound coming through speakers would be very noisy. Will headsets be provided?

Most people will already have headsets as they will already be using Teams. – if you work at home and on campus you will need to bring your headset with you. If  don't already have a headset and you need a headset then please contact your faculty, school or service who can arrange the purchase for you.


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Can I have a handset on campus and use Teams Voice when working from home?  

Once you have been migrated to Teams Voice, you will need to use it for all your calls whether you are on campus or elsewhere. You cannot use your normal telephone handset with Teams Voice, however specialised Teams Voice handsets are available. These are not provided centrally, so your faculty or service would need to buy them, and at the moment we cannot recommend a particular model. 

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Will all existing handsets be removed?

No, there may be reasons why some handsets are still required, for example any required for security. Requests to keep handsets will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Handsets in shared spaces eg lab phones are not in phase one but will be looked at in later phases. It is also possible to provide a handset which works with Teams Voice, but this is different to the existing handsets.

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Will this result in cost savings?

If we remained with the current traditional phone system we would need to make a very significant (more than £1m) investment to upgrade the current infrastructure. By moving to Teams Voice we avoid this cost.

We know that costs for telephones is complicated and tied to the legacy telephone infrastructure. We will be looking at the cost model and how we can make cost savings. At the moment we can’t say what the cost will be, as it will depend on a number of factors. For example, many people have been working without a University phone extension for the last 18 months and may decide they don’t need a phone line in the future. This will not be addressed in phase one, which is just moving existing extension numbers over to Teams Voice. However, as we complete the project we will be able to offer a lot more flexibility which will help you reduce costs.

Phase two includes some technical work in the background around the way we connect to the telephone network which will also help to deliver cheaper call charges.

You will not see savings in the academic year 2021/22, but you will not see any cost increases either, even though we will be running two systems (the traditional phone system and Teams Voice) in parallel.

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If I pick calls up on my mobile will it increase my data costs?

If you are in an area with Wi-Fi and your device can connect to it, then your Teams Voice calls will come over Wi-Fi by default. If you are frequently on the move and not connected to Wi-Fi, then you may already have an unlimited data package. You can also add your mobile phone number in the Teams Voice settings so that calls are forwarded to your mobile as a call, rather than through Teams Voice.

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