IT Director Kevin Hannon (413)323-0451 x 330

Transitioning our phone system

There are numerous parts to transitioning our existing Cisco phone system to our new Fortinet phone(or as they call it FON) system. There are many benefits to this new phone system, but please bear with us as we work out how to make it work best for you.

As we have to replace all the phones at the same time, we are going to have some things that you as the end-user will need to do including the unplugging of your old phone and connecting your new phone.  I am going to try to detail the timeline, the process, helpful links and documentation. Please do not hesitate to reach out throughout this process to let us know about things that are not working or things you need help with. As always, urgent issues can go directly to my cell phone, though sending an email to or by submitting a helpdesk ticket can be more effective as it goes to the whole team.
I will be working on additional documentation and how-to guides for common tasks. Please keep an eye on this page as this is where I will be posting updates.

1) The timeline.
Willie and I will be distributing phones and equipment 10/8 and 10/9. For non-24/7 departments, we ask that you unplug your old phone before you leave for the weekend and plug the new phone in. We understand there are some remote employees or people that this is not feasible for. In this case, or for phones that are not at a desk, the IT Department will work to swap these phones as we can. There are detailed instructions on the phone swap below. 

Depending on what is left to do, the IT department will finish deploying phones and any back end work. 

9:00 AM we will be on a call with the phone vendor and implementation team
10:00AM-1:00PM we will be cutting over the phone lines. All non-emergency lines will be down. 
1:00PM-close of day we will be testing phone lines/extensions at the PD, FD, and EMS. Non-emergency lines will be back in service and any (new) phones that have been plugged in should be working at this point.

The IT department will work with other departments to make sure that calls are flowing the way they should, and that things are working smoothly. 

2) The process. 
For end users, there are several things that will need to be done.  While swapping phones your computer may lose access to the network/internet. Once the new phone is in place network access will be restored.  
Before you leave for the weekend, please unplug your cisco phone. In most phones there are (2) category 5 network cables. one goes to your computer and one goes to the wall or switch. Remove both these cables from the back of the phone. On the back of the new phones, there are (2) category 5 network jacks. Insert the cable leading to your computer into the computer jack(it has a small picture of a computer). Insert the cable leading to the wall into the network jack(it has a small network picture of 3 boxes in a triangle that are connected). At this point, your new phone should power on. If it does not, flip it over and swap the two cables. There is no harm in plugging them in incorrectly other than the phone not powering on. Finish any other assembly of the phone and place it on your desk. You can re-use the handset cord from your other phone without any issues if that is your preference. 
At this point, you new phone may or may not have an extension and your name, or it may display an error message. If there is an error message, it will likely be resolved when we finish the back-end cut-over work. There is not need at this point to let us know unless the phone comes up and has the wrong extension listed.
There is a quick-start guide, user guide, and reference card  on this page, drill down to your phone model and take a look. The model of your phone should be listed on the outside of the box and on the back of the phone.

3) The links.
internal links: These can only be accessed inside our network This link will allow you to log in to the OLD voicemail server with your username and password. This password is different than your normal voicemail pin. There will be an email sent with username and PIN. This link will only be active until 11/15/2020 and will be the only way to get voicemail off of the cisco phone system. Any voicemail that is left until we cut over will end up here. 

Links that should work from anywhere: This will be your new phone portal. You will have access to your voicemail, directory, and much more. You can login to this with the same credentials as your email. This is live as of the posting of this page. Using this interface will allow you to program your phone keys, and eventually send and receive faxes if needed.  Please note that call recording is disabled, I am working to get rid of the button. 
Phone guides Documentation for your phone(s).

4) The benefits.
There are many new features with this new phone system. Some of them we will be learning how to use together. A short list however. 
Building wide paging and messaging is supported.
Video capable phones are capable of joining Zoom© meetings as well as making direct video calls to other users on the phone system. 
Built-in fax capacity. We will keep our fax lines/machines for now, but could transition to this in the future.
Easier management will allow us to more rapidly respond to change requests. 
Soft-phones will allow you to use your phone from anywhere. 
User control over buttons, phone appearance, and call handling should make it easier to use the phone the way you need it to. 
Headset compatibility: We are working on getting some headsets as examples, but there are a broad range available that work with these phones or you can turn on the soft-phone and use the headset that is already paired with your smart phone. 

Thank you, 
Kevin Hannon
IT Department