Phone system maintainance causes issues

After experiencing a second week of system failures in the voicemail system across campus, Tim Johnston, director of communications, said the department is tentatively expecting to have everything up and running by today.

“We will be running some back up tests tonight to make sure everything is working properly,” said Johnston. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The system first began experiencing problems late last week, when voicemail became unavailable campus-wide. Since then, Johnston said it has been working on an up and down basis and that there haven’t been many serious complaints about it being out of commission.

“In some respects the timing was good since lots of people were busy with other things during the first week,” he said. “We had to get it up to full operation and we think we have.”

This is the first time the aging system has had a major crash, with the department having only experienced individual problems in the past. Johnston said that they fortunately are not aware of any data loss, since all the voicemail data is backed nightly at 3 a.m.

Now, with a year and a half left in the maintenance contract for this system, Johnston said they are looking into other voicemail options for the long term.

“We’re exploring a unified system,” Johnston said, “which is the marrying up of both email and voicemail.”

Johnston said a few colleges, such as UC Berkley, have already started incorporating these systems and that his department is just watching what these early adapters do. His only restraint was that he felt redoing the entire system may be hard for many to adjust to, and that it could be rather costly.

“We take this as a serious decision and view it as a long term investment,” Johnston said.