Modernisation of the telephony system at CERN – an update

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We announced in February that fixed phones at CERN are being replaced by CERNphone – a software phone for desktop and laptop PCs (Windows, Macintosh and Linux), as well as for Android and Apple mobile phones. In the first stage of the replacement, spanning the first half of 2022, over 2000 Skype for Business users were migrated to CERNphone. The CERNphone community is now well above 5000 users, with fewer than 1000 people still using phones directly connected to the Alcatel phone exchange. 

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Further migrations were put on hold as the first wave of migrated Skype for Business users highlighted the importance of two missing features: quick access to the CERN phonebook on mobile phones and the visibility of a contact’s availability (busy, in a meeting, away from CERN) in the desktop app.

We are happy to announce that both features have been developed and are now available.

  • The search feature in the “contacts” tab now finds contacts from the CERN phonebook in the app on Android and iOS.
  • The desktop client now shows whether your contacts are on a call, in a meeting or busy (i.e. they have set their status to “do not disturb”).

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  • Additionally, when setting your status to “do not disturb”, you can now choose for how long the status lasts before resetting: until manually disabled, for an hour, or until the evening, the next day, the following week or a time set by you (see below).
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Now that these features are available, we will start migrating those of you with phones that are still directly connected to the Alcatel PABX, with the aim to complete the migration to CERNphone for everybody by mid-2023.

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