VOIP FAQ

The University has implemented ND Alert, a comprehensive mass notification system, to communicate with campus constituents during an incident. It is through this system that we will be able to notify all constituents in the event of an emergency.

This FAQ is intended to focus specifically on the enhancements of the ND Alert system through the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service.

How does my Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone alert me to campus emergencies?

The campus VoIP phones should 1) display a message on the LCD screen and 2) play an audio recording as to the nature of an alert. Instructions on what to do may also be included with the alert. The delay between these two events can be up to 60 seconds.

What if I’m using my VoIP phone for a call or I’m on hold?

Because the ND Alert system cannot know if a phone’s in-use status is related to the emergency or not (ie. your calling for help or reporting important information about the emergency) the alert is configured to not interrupt your campus VoIP phone but the LCD should still show the alert.

What if I’ve forwarded my VoIP phone?

The alert ignores the forward and proceeds with the audio and LCD screen alerts as normal.

What if I have my VoIP phone set to Do Not Disturb or muted?

The alert overrides these settings and proceeds with the audio and LCD screen alerts as normal.

What if I use a hands-free headset with my VoIP phone?

Telecommunications only supports the Plantronics CS540 headset for use with campus VoIP phones. When that headset is in use your call will not get interrupted. Use of any other headset may cause a call to be interrupted when an alert is sent.

What if I work in an open/collaborative setting with multiple VoIP phones - how does the audio sound?

When the alert is initiated, the VoIP system quickly synchronizes phones, ignoring VoIP phones with calls in progress, those that are NOT VoIP phones, are offline, etc. Then all phones will play the same alert simultaneously to minimize and in most cases completely eliminate echoing.

I heard an alert down the hall, but I didn’t hear it on my VoIP phone or from VoIP phones near me - why not?

The ND Alert system uses several technologies that can be used separately or together. In this instance, you may have heard an alert from the campus Public Address system (IPPA) only.

Why did I get some other type of alert before/after my VoIP phone alerted me?

Because the ND Alert system uses several technologies, each specific technology (email, SMS, VoIP) can have distinct limitations/variations to their respective delivery times. Use of multiple technologies helps to ensure the most options for delivery of an alert are available at any given time to the broadest range of constituents.

Why did my VoIP phone not alert me?

The ND Alert system uses several technologies that can be used separately or together. Each emergency is evaluated independently and as a result, sending a VoIP alert may not have been included. However, in the case that you see/hear of other phones in your work area getting an alert, but your campus VoIP phone did not behave the same please contact the OIT Help Desk at 631-8111 after the test or emergency has ended.

I don’t have a Cisco VoIP phone - how does my phone’s alert work?

Non-VoIP phones will get a voice call only. If you are able to answer, you will hear an audio message related to the nature of the emergency which is the same audio alert sent to VoIP phones. If you are not there to answer, on a call or on hold the message will be delivered to your voicemail.

Can I stop getting alerts on my campus VoIP phone(s)?

No. You cannot remove your campus VoIP phone from receiving alerts.

I’ve moved offices but my phone didn’t come with me - will I still get alerts?

Yes. All campus VoIP phones will get the alerts - there is no distinction in the system of whom the registered user is. If you feel that your phone is not getting alerts please contact the OIT Help Desk at 631-8111.

My old phone was replaced with a new VoIP phone or I got a brand new phone - will it get alerts?

Yes, all campus VoIP phones should be set-up through the system to receive alerts. If you feel that your phone is not getting alerts please contact the OIT Help Desk at 631-8111.

I wasn’t in my office to hear the alert through my VoIP phone - how will I know there was an alert sent out?

The VoIP phone’s LCD screen will display the alert until someone acknowledges the alert by pressing keys on the phone. Additionally, you may receive an email, SMS, mobile phone call or hear IPPA alerts as well, based on how the ND Alert system was activated for a specific alert and how you have your personal contact settings configured through inside.nd.edu. To view or change your settings from inside.nd.edu search for “Contact Information”.

It looks like the message on the screen isn’t completely shown - why not?

There can be more text that you have to scroll through to read. In that case, there should be a option on the bottom of the LCD to ‘Continue’ or ‘More’. Depress the button immediately under that option until you read and reach the end of the message.

How do I acknowledge the LCD screen and make the alert go away?

The VoIP phone’s LCD screen will show ‘Exit’ and/or ‘Clear’ options, depress the button immediately beneath the option(s) and the screen should return to normal.

What if I cannot clear the LCD screen’s alert message by acknowledging it as described?

You may need to reboot your phone. The easiest way to do this is unplug the network cable and then plug it back in - the phone will reset itself back to normal.

I just got back to my office and see the alert on the LCD but I didn’t hear any audio alert - why not?

The audio alert may have played fine while you were away and you just didn’t hear it. Additionally, the time the alert was sent may have been several hours or even days before your return to the office (ie. meetings or vacations).