Expanded Phone Capacity for EH&S

The Environmental Health & Safety building was running out of copper cable pairs that provide the building with telephone service. This limited the ability to add more telephone lines to the building. Todd Strand, NACS Infrastructure Engineer, re-designed the outside plant cable infrastructure in this area to solve the problem. The design and implementation was complicated and required careful timing and coordination.

To implement Todd’s solution, Facilities Management electricians trenched, installed cable, and created a new cable vault in front of the 66 KV Electrical substation. Then a cable installation contractor spliced the cables to reroute telephone services and to provide the additional required capacity to EH&S. All of this work was performed in a way that minimized telephone service outages.

Campus Pay Phone Changes

Due to the widespread availability of cellular telephones, the use of campus payphones has dropped dramatically. As a result, NACS has selected a new payphone vendor and has been reviewing the number and location of payphones on campus. As of early 2003, there were 165 pay phones on the main campus. There are now 30, and we are in the process of moving some of these to more convenient locations. If you have input on payphone locations, we would like to hear from you.

Voice Mail and Telephone Training

Voice Mail System Training

Understanding and managing your personal voice mailbox is the focus of a hands-on course on how to use the many features of the campus voice mail system. This course is useful for both new and veteran users. Classes are held on the 3rd Friday of every month.

Telephone Training

Call transfers, conference calls, automatic call-back and several other features are taught in this hands-on training course. This course is useful for both new and veteran users. Classes are held on the 2nd Friday of every month.

To enroll in either of these free classes, please call extension 4-5125. You will be prompted to leave your name, department, extension, and the date you would like to attend. You will receive a confirmation call back. Classes are held in the NACS conference room at 5201 California Avenue, Suite 150, in the University Research Park.

Automatic Call Distribution

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is now available to UCI campus departments. This call management feature has recently been added to our campus telephone system. ACD is software that controls how incoming calls are received, queued and distributed. ACD ensures that incoming calls are answered promptly and transferred to a representative or agent in the order received.

If all agents are busy when a call arrives, the caller will be placed in queue instead of hearing a busy signal. A queue message will play asking the caller to hold for the next available representative. Estimated wait time may be included in this message. When an agent becomes available, the caller will be automatically transferred to that agent.

Information indicating the number of agents that are taking calls and the number of calls in queue is displayed on the telephone sets of all agents. The number of calls to be held in queue is predetermined by the department. Once the threshold is reached, callers can be routed to another extension number, to voice mail or given a busy signal. There are reporting options available that assist the manager or supervisor of an ACD group to effectively manage their call load and staff the telephones accordingly.

Departments that are currently using the ACD feature include the Registrar’s Office, Student Health Services, Adcom’s Help Desk, Human Resources, Biological Sciences, and our own campus telephone operators. Each implementation was a great success and these departments are now enjoying the benefits of ACD.

Each ACD group can be set up to the specifications of the individual department or unit. Network & Academic Computing Services will be happy to send our consultants to your location to review all of the options. Basic ACD is billed at $16.00 per month for each ACD agent line. Please contact NACS for more information or to schedule a consulting appointment.

Costly Phone “Service”

NACS would like the campus to beware an unnecessary telephone cost you may incur.

There are companies which buy up large numbers of toll-free phone numbers which are very close to other, popular companies’ toll-free numbers (such as Federal Express.)

When you misdial, you may get connected to this kind of outfit. That company may offer to forward your call to the intended number, and may charge a fee for that.

With anything less than perfect attention and patience, you may hear the invitation to be transferred, and not hear the notification of the transfer fee. Some departments are finding themselves billed $3 per misdialed call.

Here is an example message. You can see how easy it is to unwittingly authorize a charge.

“Hello. If you are trying to reach Federal Express, you have misdialed and will be given the opportunity to receive the correct number by pressing one now or any time during this message. Our patent-pending process will provide you with the number for two dollars and ninety-nine cents which will be billed to your local telephone bill as ‘call connect.’ Rotary callers may stay on the line to be connected, or at any time during this message, you may hang up and check the number with directory assistance. Please hold or press one now … ”

NACS is publicizing this perfectly legal “service” in hopes of increasing awareness and saving the University money