Home Faculty meeting Majority of teachers react positively to the transition from phones to Microsoft Teams

Majority of teachers react positively to the transition from phones to Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft Teams enables easier communication in the workplace by integrating call and chat capabilities. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Matt Kyle | Personal editor

While some faculty members said they encountered challenges following the transition from traditional landlines to the Microsoft Teams Call platform last semester, Jon Allen, Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer , said via email that the vast majority of feedback he received was positive. .

“The most critical comments were usually the result of a misunderstanding of how Teams Calling works,” Allen said. “Before the pandemic, I would have been fired from campus for offering a mostly software-based phone solution that used minimal handsets. Ironically, the most common comments I receive now, nearly two years into the pandemic, are from faculty and campus staff asking why this change wasn’t made years ago.

Allen said Teams is different from landlines because Teams integrates phone calls with chat, email and voicemail.

Allen said the transition was necessary due to both COVID-19 and outages in the old phone system.

“The past two years with COVID have highlighted the need for communication solutions that could work from anywhere as well as multiple devices,” Allen said. “Traditional phone systems were typically limited to physical phones plugged into campus lines. In October 2021, Baylor experienced a major Nortel telephone system outage. This multi-day outage highlighted the fragility of current telephony solutions and the need to move quickly to a modern and reliable platform for the campus. »

Tashi Flaig, administrative associate in the English department, said there were some initial issues adapting to Teams, but adapting to the new system didn’t take long.

“At first it was weird not having a physical phone to pick up,” Flaig said. “Our first reaction was, ‘Another new change?’ I think we were all caught off guard, but it was a pretty simple transition – not a huge one.

Flaig said some faculty members have had a hard time getting used to the new system and are instead using their cellphones to make calls.

Dr. David Clinton, professor and chair of the political science department, said he was surprised Teams’ change happened so quickly.

“I would have thought users would have more time to adjust to it and receive any necessary training,” Clinton said. “I had the impression that some professors just didn’t make or receive phone calls in their offices. They avoid this problem. They don’t have much experience with the new system because they use alternative means.

Allen said Baylor ITS is working to provide teachers with training so they have a good understanding of how to use Teams. He encouraged any faculty experiencing difficulties with the platform to contact the ITS HelpDesk at 254-710-4357.

Dennisse Concepcion, administrative associate in the journalism, public relations and new media department, said she thinks Teams is simpler and more convenient than old landlines because of the ability to use wireless headsets.

“It’s very convenient because we can walk away and continue talking to the person,” Concepcion said. “If someone calls a professor, we can walk straight to his office.”

Concepcion said his department was initially reluctant to switch due to familiarity with the old phone system, but the switch to new technologies is necessary. She also said she loves Teams because of the multiple ways to use the platform.

“We have to be ahead of the technology,” Concepcion said. “I know some people don’t like changes, but you have to practice and do it. [Teams] is very convenient. It’s all on one system. If you have a meeting, you use Teams. Phone calls, if you’re away, you can set up Teams on your phone. For us, it’s just easy.