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About the 2023 Telecommunications Upgrade

The University's previous Cisco phone system reached end-of-life in spring 2023 and the phones were no longer cost-effective, were not supported from the vendor, and were not up to date with modern technology. Installation of the new Zoom Phone system across campus was completed in August 2023. 


About Zoom Phone, Our New Telecommunications System

What is Zoom Phone?

Zoom Phone is a phone system with unlimited domestic calls, SMS messaging, voicemail transcription, call recording, and seamless app integrations – plus tons of new features.

New features:

  • Use via multiple devices on the same Zoom app you're used to (available on softphone only)
  • Texting with your University number (available on softphone only)
  • More customization and ability to change settings yourself 
  • Better safety features with enhanced location accuracy
  • Lowers costs for the University (current department charges will stay the same)
  • And more


What Changed?

  1. You keep your same University number.
  2. Softphone: You automatically have your work phone available through your Zoom app on your computer or smart devices.
  3. Desk phone: Though no longer required, you can also choose to have a traditional desk phone in addition to the softphone.


Softphone Versus Desk Phone

Softphone: This is your Zoom app that allows you to use your phone on your computer or smart devices. You'll automatically get access to this.

Desk Phone: You can choose to also have a traditional desk phone (Yealink brand) in addition to the softphone, with similar features to your old desk phone but a new look. Note: choosing to have a desk phone or not will not impact your monthly phone bill. 


Feature Comparison Chart


A laptop and smart device showing Zoom Phone app

Softphone (Zoom App)

A laptop and smart device showing Zoom Phone app

Desk phone (Yealink brand)

Description Virtual phone available on your laptop or smart devices via Zoom app. You automatically get a softphone. Traditional desk phone with a new look and same capabilities as your previous desk phone. Not required, but you can choose to have this in addition to the softphone. Note: this will not impact your monthly phone bill. 
Texting Yes No
Elevate calls to Zoom meeting Yes No
Available wherever you work Yes No

Make & receive calls

Yes Yes
Voicemail Yes Yes
Auto-receptionist, call handling/forwarding, & other options Yes Yes


Use a headset or interested in one? 

Various headsets including earbuds and over the ear headphones.

While not required for Zoom Phone, headsets can help with even better audio quality and more privacy. See our headset recommendations and find the best option for you at the Campus Computer Store


Zoom Phone Implementation

Installations & Progress

Installation is complete.

Phase 1  

 - Complete

  • IT Solutions

Phase 2

 - Complete

  • Morris Hall
  • Nelson Hall
  • Performing Arts

Phase 3

green circle - Complete

  • Ford Hall
  • Trafton (North, South, East, Center)
  • Highland (North & Center)

Phase 4 

Green circle - Complete

  • Armstrong Hall
  • Hubbard Building
  • Memorial Library
  • Pennington Hall
  • Taylor Center

Phase 5 

Green circle  - Complete

  • Blakeslee Stadium
  • Civic Center Plaza
  • Clinical Sciences Building
  • Edina campus
  • Maverick All-Sports Dome
  • Myers Fieldhouse
  • Wiecking Ceter
  • Wissink Hall

Phase 6 

Green circle - Complete

  • Andreas Observatory
  • Carkoski Commons
  • Crawford
  • Julia Sears
  • McElroy
  • Paint Shop
  • Preska
  • Standeford Observatory
  • Stadium Heights
  • Utility Plant
  • Wigley Administration Center

Phase 7

Green circle -  Complete

  • Alumni Foundation
  • Classrooms
  • Dining Services
  • IT Solutions Center
  • Student Union

Phase 8

Green circle -  Complete

  • Campus Hub
  • Classrooms (continued)
  • Paylot
  • Theater Box Office
  • University Security

Phase 9

Green circle -  Complete

  • Health Education
  • Student Health Services

Zoom Phone Log In & Training Resources

Log in to Zoom

Log in to Zoom


Getting Started & Troubleshooting


Video Tutorials

Zoom Phone App Tour (Softphone)


Desk Phone Tour (Yealink)


Zoom Phone Features & Benefits

NOTE: This is not a complete list of the Zoom Phone features.

Top Features:

  • Traditional phone capabilities such as: call forwarding, call hold, call transfers, shared contact directory, incoming call notifications, caller information, and voicemail options.
  • Flexible! Available via multiple devices on or off campus
  • Utilizes the same Zoom app and interface you're already used to
  • Texting with University number
  • More customization - change call settings yourself!
  • Better safety features with enhanced location accuracy
  • Lowers costs for the University (current department charges will stay the same)
  • Shows availability status in-app, indicating when individuals are online, offline, busy or in a meeting.
  • Effortless conference calls including the ability to switch a call from your softphone application on one device to another quickly if needed.
  • Easily switch from a voice call to Zoom meeting (video conferencing)
  • E911 Emergency calling from Zoom Phone apps or desk phone.

Other Benefits:

  • Greater mobility
    Full telephone functionality via the Zoom Phone app at home, on campus, traveling, or wherever there is an Internet connection, allowing faculty and staff to seamlessly work, and have a more consistent presence, with their University number no matter where they are. Plus, there's no need to give out a personal number for work purposes anymore!
  • Device options
    Use the Zoom Phone app (softphone) on a University-provided or personally owned laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Zoom Phone offers multi-device compatibility for all operating systems and devices (Windows, Macintosh, Android, and iOS). Or, use a desk phone if needed.
  • Increased functionality
    Comprehensive calling features, including options for when/how calls are received, contact integration, and more. These features are all available in the Zoom Phone app with an easy-to-use interface.
  • Decreased environmental impact
    Utilizing the Zoom Phone app (softphones) reduces physical devices and back-end equipment. Reducing the need for physical phones also reduces the costs associated with updates, maintenance, and replacements
  • In-app efficiency and great user experience
    The Zoom Phone app (softphone) offers shortcuts and enhancements such as drag-and-drop call transfers, ability to transcribe voicemails, and more. These features enable phone communication that is faster and easier to manage.
  • Network flexibility
    Ability to use the Zoom Phone app (softphone) through any Internet connection, without the requirement of a VPN.


Zoom Phone FAQ


Installation & Training 

What does this mean for me? 

If you currently have a University phone, you will keep your same University number and will be able to make calls and send texts on your computer or mobile devices via the Zoom app (softphone). Depending on your needs, you can also choose to have a new desk phone with similar features as your current phone but with a new look. Note that you can change your preferences later. 

What’s a softphone?

An app that allows you to use your phone on your computer or smart devices. In our case, the same Zoom app you’re already used to.

When will the replacement happen? 

Implementation of the new Zoom Phone system across the University started in March 2023 and will continue through spring semester. Installation schedules and project updates will be posted here as they become available. 

Will there be downtime or an interruption to my work during installation?

The switch from your current phone to Zoom Phone will be brief and you should not expect disruption to your work.

Will there be training? 

You’ll receive training materials during installation or check out our Quick Start Guide and support articles. Many features will be similar to what you're already used to.

Which campuses will Zoom Phone be installed on?

Zoom Phone will be installed on the Mankato and Edina campuses.

Why are we replacing the phone system?  

The last major phone system upgrade on campus was over 15 years ago. This system is no longer cost-effective, is not supported by the vendor, and is not up to date with modern technology. 



Will my phone number change? 

No. Existing phone numbers will be migrated and retained. 

Will I need a University-issued cell phone in order to use the Zoom Phone app from a smartphone? 

No. The app can be used on a personal smartphone if desired. (Note: all data is stored in the Zoom cloud and not on the individual device). If you prefer a University-issued smartphone for work purposes, please consult with your supervisor. (Note: the cost of a University-issued smartphone including monthly service and data plans would be a departmental expense) 

Will I be required to use the Zoom Phone app on my personal smartphone, tablet, or laptop? 

No. Zoom Phone offers the flexibility to safely use your personal device if you choose, but you don’t have to. Other options for a phone are: 

  1. A traditional desk phone (Yealink phone)  

  1. Zoom Phone app on a University-issued desktop, laptop, or tablet (softphone)

  1. Both 1 and 2 

Will I have to upgrade my devices in order to use the Zoom Phone app? 

Zoom Phone runs on the same Zoom app the University currently uses for online meetings. If you're already using Zoom, then Zoom Phone will also work on your devices.  Like normal, you will need to regularly update your device’s software and the Zoom app in order to take advantage of new features and security patches as they roll out. 

Will phones be affected if Zoom servers go down? 

Yes, Zoom Phones will be affected if Zoom servers go down. Off-campus calls will not be available. However, on-campus calls and 911 calls will continue to function even if Zoom servers are down. 

Will phones be affected if campus Wi-Fi goes down? 

Zoom Phones connected to only Wi-Fi will be affected if campus Wi-Fi goes down. However, on-campus calls will continue to work normally.  (Note: This is the same as our previous Cisco system. However, Zoom Phone allows more flexibility. If you have another form of internet connection on your mobile devices, such as mobile data or hotspot, then Zoom will continue to work as normal even if our campus Wi-Fi goes down.) 



Will each department have to purchase their own phones? 

No, old Cisco desk phones will be replaced at no cost to the department if the employee requests a replacement phone. (Note: Any additional equipment will need to be paid for by the department. For example, conference room phones, Wi-Fi phones, smartphones, expansion sidecars with more buttons, or accessories to be used with a laptop such as headphones, microphones, cameras, speakers, etc.) 

Will Zoom Phone use data on my personal cell phone? 

Zoom Phone uses an Internet connection. If you choose to use the Zoom Phone app and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, Zoom will use mobile data on your mobile device if you have it enabled.


Call Features & Customization 

Is there a Do Not Disturb function? 

Yes. The Yealink desk phones and the Zoom Phone app have a Do Not Disturb option that will silence the ringer.  View how-to article 

Can I customize my office hours so my phone doesn't ring when I'm off work? 

Yes. You can set your own work hours and designate how calls will be handled during and outside of those hours. View how-to article 

Can I customize how calls are handled with an auto receptionist?  

Yes, you can customize how calls are handled with auto receptionist options. View how-to article  

Can I forward calls to another phone? 

Yes. You can forward calls to another phone number using the Zoom app or the Yealink desk phone. That phone number can be an on-campus number or an off-campus number, including cell phones. These options can be configured in the Zoom app or at: link.mnsu.edu/zoomphone (under the Call Handling section). 

When in a call, can I mute, add a call, hold, transfer, record, escalate to a meeting, and park?

Yes. Instructions are available for all the basic in-call functions and features. View how-to article

Can I elevate a call to a Zoom meeting? 

Yes. You can easily move into a Zoom meeting from a phone call, but this feature is only available via the Zoom Phone app on your computer or smart device. View how-to article (Note: This is not supported on a Yealink desk phone. However, there is a workaround that uses Call Flip to convert the call. View how-to article)

Can I set up an auto-receptionist (IVR) on my phone? 

Yes. Set up auto-receptionist or change your auto-receptionist settings  

Can an auto-receptionist (IVR) be set up to go to a common area phone? 

Yes. A common area phone (classroom, hallway, or general-use shared phones) can have an IVR assigned to send calls to it, but this has to be set up by an administrator. To request, submit a ticket with subject line “IVR Request.” 

Can I check my voicemail over the phone by calling in? 

Yes, you can check your voicemail by calling your work phone number. View how-to article 

How many people can be in a conference call? 

The maximum number of people in a regular conference call is 4. If there are more than 4 attending, plan to use a Zoom meeting instead. 



What are the restrictions or limits on text messages (SMS)? 

  • Limit 1000 outbound text messages per day (to prevent abuse). If needed, this can be increased. 

  • Limit 180 characters per message. 

  • Groups can contain up to 10 numbers. 

  • Text messages can be retained forever, or until you choose to delete them. 

  • Files can also be sent. 

Can I set up an automated out-of-office text message? 

No. This has been submitted to Zoom as a feature request for the future. 



Are captions supported on Zoom Phone? 

Yes. Options for captions include: 

  1. Captioning: Zoom Phone supports live voice transcription in the app. 

  1. TTY: Zoom Phone supports receiving TRS calls (via relay operator). To initiate a TTY call, Polycom VVX or the new CCX phones should support adding a TTY device. 

  1. VRS: Zoom Phone supports receiving VRS calls (via relay operator). To initiate a VRS call, a separate VRS service/device is needed (e.g., Purple, Convo, Sorensen, etc.).  

  1. Caption Phones: There are a few captioned telephone providers:  

  1. ClearCaptions: The Plantronics Ensemble: Could continue to work independently from Zoom Phone, as it only requires an internet connection, no phone line requirement. They also have a separate mobile app service.   

  1. Captel and CaptionCall: These phones are not Zoom Phone Certified. Both these companies also provide a separate mobile app service.  

  1. Innocaptions: Service provided entirely through mobile app service.  

  1. Tennacity: A 3rd party integration that allows for Captel captions to show on Cisco 8800 phones. Paid service with Tenacity corps 

How do I turn on Call Live Phone Transcription? 

For those who need assistance with audio, live transcription can be enabled, and then turned on manually during a call, or automatically. Then, during a call, each voice will be transcribed within the Zoom Phone app. View how-to article 


Security & Privacy 

Are there privacy concerns if I use the Zoom Phone app on my personal smartphone? Will data be stored on my device's hard drive? 

No. Calls, call history, voicemail, SMS (text), chat, notes, whiteboards, and all other types of Zoom Phone data are stored securely in the Zoom cloud. Data is not stored directly on the devices or in the app. 

Zoom Phone has the ability for an individual to record calls. Is this a privacy issue? 

If a Zoom Phone call is being recorded, all participants are notified with a warning. Recordings are securely stored in the Zoom cloud and not directly on the device. The ability to record conversations is not new – in fact, regular Zoom and Teams web meetings already have recording options. 


Emergency Broadcast 

Will emergency broadcasts also play on my laptop or smart devices via the Zoom Phone app? 

No. Emergency broadcasts do not play audio through the Zoom Phone app. Audio only broadcasts through desk phones (Yealink phones), the IP speakers in the ceiling, and some fire panel speakers. However, desktop and laptop computers can have a text alert pop up on the screen if dispatch chooses. 

Submit a Ticket

Related Articles (10)

This article is intended for faculty and staff to change the default ringtone on your University Zoom Phone App
Use this article to change your name on zoom.
How to Enable/Disable DO NOT DISTURB on your Zoom Phone, or Yealink Desktop
If you have a desk phone that supports multiple line keys, you can customize your line keys displayed on the desk phone. This is useful if you have multiple direct numbers or shared lines.
Use this article to change your primary number for your Zoom Phone if you are linked to more than one phone number.
This article will walk you through how to make and receive calls on the Zoom Phone from all platforms.
This guide shows you the basic features and functionality of Zoom Phone app.
How to send and receive SMS messages using the Zoom Phone app.
How to reset your Zoom phone voicemail pin
How-To and Training Videos regarding Zoom Phones.


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