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Converged Communications FAQ

Neal Soderquist -

Converged Communications - FAQ

1. What is Converged Communications?

Converged Communication is a service offered by IT Services that bundles telephone and network services. It offers a consolidated billing model based upon services used - no more a la carte ordering and billing. Included in this bundle is professionally managed 24x7 network support as well as all network devices (voice and data switches) needed to support the local network for Cisco phones and data devices (computers). It is essentially a 'one-stop-shop' for managed network support and advanced phone service.

2. Why are we moving to Converged Communications?

With the entire School of Engineering on Converged Communications, we will see cost savings compared to our current legacy ordering methods. Our data networks will be updated and supported 24x7 by ITS, and we will gain an up to date phone service using VOIP (voice-over IP).

3. What type of Cisco phones are offered?

Please view the selection at:

4. How do I learn how to use my Cisco phone?

View Cisco VoIP FAQ, provided by ITS:

5. What type of interruption will be caused during the cut-over to Converged?

Typically, new Cisco VOIP phones are placed at desks the day prior to cut-over. An ITS tech may briefly need to disconnect and reconnect network cables so that the phone will be prepared for going live. On the day of cut-over there is generally a 30 minute to 1 hour period where phone systems are offline. During this down time ITS usually offers training that covers usage of the new Cisco VOIP phones.

6. What happens if the power goes out?

In the event of a power outage, both telephone and network service in most locations should be available for 20 minutes via a UPS (uninterruptible power source). After the UPS runs out of backup power, phone and network services will be offline.

7. Do international calls using VoIP phones still require a Personal Billing Number (PBN) and, if so, how are the PBN’s billed?

International calls made from VoIP phones still require a Personal Billing Number (PBN) and are billed to a separate PTA (i.e. Department’s PTA).  The PBN was kept in place for international calls in order to ensure calls are made by authorized Stanford faculty and staff.  PBNs must also be used to access other specialty toll calls like 411, 900 numbers, and 976 numbers.

Stanford telephones no longer require a PBN for domestic long distance calls, including calls to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

8. When additional VoIP instruments or other Converged Communications services are added for my department, how do I (and ITS) make sure the School’s PTA is billed, as opposed to my department's PTA?

When orders related to Converged Communications are placed for new services through ITS (OrderIT), the department contact needs to use the Service Type of Converged Comm, NOT VOICE.  By using the Converged Comm service type on the request, the department will not be billed.  The service will be added to the School’s PTA.  As mentioned, even if you order (or subtract) services over the next 1.5 years, we are not going to change your costs.  We are only going to ‘true up’ every other year.

9. Can office phones be direct-charged to a contract or grant?

No.  Phone costs are considered administrative and covered by indirect costs.

10. What if I have more questions, or need help with making a change to my departments’ phone services under Converged Communications?

Please submit a HelpSU ticket for more assistance:

Have more questions? Submit a request