Avaya Phone System Upgrade General Inquiry and FAQs

As part of our unified communications initiative, we are pleased to announce that Queens College will replace the Avaya Telephone System with a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system.  

The project kicks off at the end of April and will be complete by Spring 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is being done? This upgrade is part of Queens College's modern, unified approach to communication using the CUNY login and cloud technology. These provide an integrative approach to communication which gives users access to a set of systems that has a consistent user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types. The analog system will be replaced with a VoIP solution. The current telephone handsets will be replaced with user-friendly handsets that feature technology such as intuitive call controls, visual voicemail, directory access, accessibility features, Bluetooth capability, touch screens and hard-key buttons, and a dedicated Microsoft Teams button. 

Why is the phone system being upgraded? The Avaya Telephone System currently in use was deployed in 1995 and provides 4,000 extensions, 2,300 analog handsets, and 1,650 digital connections to staff and faculty. It needs an upgrade as there have been recurring performance and service issues. Our business needs, particularly since the transition to distance education and remote work, have outpaced the system. 

How is this being funded? This project is funded with capital funds and underwent a rigorous vetting and review process. 


Who is performing the work? We have engaged Continuant as a partner. The upgrade will be performed in conjunction with Continuant and Telecommunications, Network Infrastructure and Server Operations. The project is managed by our project management team.  

What are the benefits? The new VoIP phone system will support our growing and ever-evolving institutional needs by facilitating team collaboration, on-the-go communication between different devices with a single click, and Microsoft Teams integration.  

When will the upgrade be complete? We expect to cutover to the new system by the end of June 2022.  

What training will be provided to users? We are currently collaborating with Continuant and Microsoft to build a repository of documentation and training. We will also offer live and on-demand training. 


Where can I follow the status of the project? We will post regular project updates here: https://www.qc.cuny.edu/Computing/Pages/PMO-Projects.aspx 

What is the project roadmap? We are currently engaging in an in-depth discovery and design process with the vendor. We will then work to pilot the system using a small group of end-users. We will provide regular project status updates.  

I have my office number transferred to my cell phone. Will my office number still be transferred or will I have to have it transferred? If the latter, will telephone services be able to do it for me? Your office number will transfer over to the new system. Telecommunications will work with users to set up the settings if they do not automatically transfer.

When will this change occur? We've already begun! We’re actually midstream right now in terms of transitioning and making some of these changes. We’ve already moved groups over. We’re slowly but surely getting to the rest of the campus community.

When will I be cut over? If you want to know when your office will be moved over, its recommended to reach out to us through FreshService and create a ticket.

Where can I find available training?

Teams Calling : Queens College Helpdesk (cuny.edu) 

How to Download Microsoft Teams App and Login for a PC (Video) | Knowledge Base | Queens College Helpdesk (cuny.edu)

How to Log into Microsoft Teams | Knowledge Base | Queens College Helpdesk (cuny.edu)

How to Log into Microsoft Teams (Video) | Knowledge Base | Queens College Helpdesk (cuny.edu)

*We will continue to add information to this FAQ as we receive inquiries*