Microsoft Teams Phone FAQs

What are we doing?

Over the coming months, UTS will embark on a significant project to migrate Nipissing’s aging campus telephone system to the modern and popular MS Teams Phone solution. This platform is part of our existing Microsoft campus license agreement.

What is MS Teams Phone?

Check out the videos at this link for a brief overview of MS Teams Phone.

What do I do if I have unique telephony needs?

If you have any unique telephony needs beyond simply one-to-one calling and receiving, such as shared responsibility for a departmental extension, please notify us at

Who do I contact with questions/concerns or to provide input?

You can email

Why are we doing this?

Due to the age of our existing telephone system, which exceeds 15 years, we face significant challenges in delivering adequate user support and obtaining vendor support, including acquiring replacement hardware. The transition to the Microsoft platform enables us to provide increased resiliency, security, compatibility, and support.

What are the main benefits of MS Teams Phone versus a traditional telephony solution?

MS Teams Phone is a communication platform that offers a variety of benefits, including:

  • Seamless integration: MS Teams Phone integrates with Microsoft Office 365, allowing you to access all your contacts and calendar events easily.
  • Cost savings: MS Teams Phone offers a cost-effective solution, eliminating the need for traditional phone systems, including expensive hardware.
  • Improved collaboration: MS Teams Phone allows for real-time collaboration, instant messaging, and video conferencing, which can improve communication and productivity.
  • Enhanced mobility: With MS Teams Phone, users can make and receive calls from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
  • Advanced features: MS Teams Phone offers advanced features such as call recording, voicemail, call forwarding, and auto-attendants.
  • In addition, MS Teams Phone offers compatibility with Apple CarPlay, enhanced spam protection, transcription between like platforms, and managing call queues.

Read more about MS Teams Phone here.

How long will this project take?

While this is a significant project, we anticipate it will be completed within the 23-24 fiscal year. We will provide more details on the timeline as the project progresses.

Are other universities and colleges also moving to MS Teams Phone?

Numerous other educational institutions are transitioning to MS Teams Phone, including Canadore College, with whom we share some existing infrastructure. We will work closely with them to facilitate an orderly transition to our new platforms. 

What primary vendors are you working with during this project?

UTS is collaborating with Bell Canada and Microsoft during this project. 

Will training be provided on the new system?

Yes. Various forms of training will be provided to ensure users are comfortable with the new system.

Will I still have my desktop phone?

A goal of this project is to reduce the number of desktop telephones. There will be some situations where a physical MS Teams telephone is still required, and we can provide more details on this as the project progresses.

Will I get a headset?

Many employees already have a headset to accommodate conference calls and other online activities, and these should work well with the MS Teams Phone solution. UTS will have a limited supply of new headsets. If there is a requirement for a specialized headset to enable specific functions, UTS will provide this.

Can I answer my supervisor or co-worker’s extensions in their absence? What about shared departmental extensions?

Shared departmental extensions can be supported in Microsoft Teams through the Shared Line Appearance feature. Shared Line Appearance handles multiple calls on a specific number called a shared number. Shared Line Appearance can configure any enterprise voice enabled user as a shared number with multiple lines to respond to multiple calls. The calls are not actually received on the shared number, instead they are forwarded to users that act as delegates for the shared number.

Any one of the delegates can pick up the call while the rest of the delegates get a notification on their phone about who picked up the call and which line has become busy as a result.

How does voicemail work? Can users customize their outgoing message? Can voicemails be sent to email?

MS Teams Phone has similar features to our current system, allowing faculty to customize their voicemail. Voicemail is sent to email as a Wav file attachment.

What level of privacy can an employee expect with this new system?

MS Teams phone calls are private. There is no capability in MS Teams that would allow anyone outside a private call to listen in to the conversation.

Are computers mandatory to use MS Teams Phones?

In most instances, MS Teams Phone will be used from your work computer using a headset if needed, similar to an MS Teams or Zoom call. There are circumstances for which a desktop phone is necessary and will be provisioned. You can also use your mobile device to send/receive calls.

Can a person from outside the institution use a landline to call a person using MS Teams Phone?

Persons calling the University from a landline will have a similar experience to their current experience calling into the University.

What are the implications of this change for users who do not own a mobile phone?

Similar to MS Teams or Zoom, a mobile device is unnecessary for this solution. Most users will use their work computer for this functionality.

How do users call 911 from their offices using Teams?

911 will operate as it does currently.

Do you have to be logged in to Teams to know that someone is calling you?

Yes, MS Teams must be running to know that someone is calling. NU Windows-based computers are imaged in a manner that launches MS Teams automatically upon startup.

How can employees contact each other if the internet is down?

MS Teams Phone will be offline in an internet outage, similar to all other MS solutions. NU has established robust solutions, procedures, and protocols to minimize internet disruptions. This new solution is far more resilient than our existing obsolete telephony system. Cellular devices will still function for calling.

What if a user wants to make a long-distance call?

The same long-distance features will apply to the MS Teams Phone system.


This FAQ page will be updated regularly as the project progresses.
Last Reviewed: January 26, 2024.