TheSpot (Lync - Unified Communications) FAQ
What is TheSpot (Microsoft Lync)?
“The Spot: Digital Communication Starts Here” is Wentworth’s term for unified communication. Several systems including faculty/staff e-mail, instant messaging, screen sharing, presence (view if person is free or busy), collaboration tools, conference calling, voice mail, etc. are part of The Spot.
Microsoft Lync is a software program that provides you the ability to instant messaging colleagues, share your screen with others working remotely, host conference calls more easily, video call, and much more. It is also the technology that replaces traditional office phones.
Why did we have to change our phone system?
The move to an integrated messaging system from the legacy analog, switch based phones is consistent with the industry and higher education in general. In our case, the choice was to spend a lot of money to replace an aging legacy system with another legacy system, or move to a contemporary communications methodology that integrates most, if not all, of our communications modalities (i.e. e-mail, voice, video, chat, etc).
How were phones selected?
A selection committee with representatives from across campus, including people who are primarily in their offices as well as people who may be more transient, was formed and a pilot was conducted. The pilot involved testing various phone models and the selection committee concluded that the CX300 was a viable phone.
What if I would prefer a different phone?
We have compiled a list of Lync-compatible phones and devices that may be purchased by your department for your use. For a list of compatible devices, click here.
What happens if the Internet goes down?
The phone system works independently of the campus's Internet connection. If the Internet goes down, phone calls can still be made and received. However, if your local network connection is lost, Lync will not be functional.
Can I use Lync and make phone calls on wireless?
Yes, call quality is determined by your Internet connection. Signal strength is shown when in a call, highlighted in this red box.
Can I use Lync from off-campus?
While off campus you can also use Lync as long as you have an Internet connection. Call quality is determined by your Internet connection.
What will happen to phone calls if my computer is off?
Phone calls will go to voicemail.
What about emergencies and I have my computer turned off?
Each administrative area has a hard wired phone and the emergency phones in the hallways are available.
If I have my laptop with me, my phone in my office isn't connected.
Yes, although your handset is not the phone, the computer (with the Lync client installed) is the phone. Anywhere (not just your office) the computer is open and turned on, your phone is available. Once you arrive at your destination and open your computer to do email, web research, or put together class notes (assuming you have a network connection), your phone is on and you can make and receive calls on your 989-xxxx number, just like you were in your office.
So my Wentworth phone number is no longer connected with my office, what is it now connected to?
With the new system, phone numbers are associated with people instead of the physical desk. When new people start in a previous position it is possible for them to receive a different number. Your phone number is anywhere you are with your laptop and a network connection.
What number will outside people see when I call?
Your direct Wentworth extension will be shown when you call other people.
Will I need to re-record my voicemail greetings?
The voicemail greeting will not carry over from the previous system. You will need to re-record your name and greeting. Additional voicemail instructions can be found here.
How do I turn off missed call notifications?
You may want to turn off missed call notification if you receive a lot of calls from people that don't leave you voice mail messages. This option is controlled through Outlook Web Access (OWA). Login to OWA, go to Options, select See All Options, go to Phone and change the settings in the notifications area.
What are the privacy options?
Lync is an integrated system that pulls your availability (presence) from your computer activity, Outlook calendar and phone activity. By default everyone is set as a colleague. Additional information on the different levels can be found here
If you would like to remove the integration between Lync and your calendar those settings can be found under Options and Personal. Detailed instructions can be found here
Can I use my iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or phone to make and receive calls?
This feature has not been enabled yet, but we are working to configure and test this service.
With the new unified communication system, the computer can serve as the phone; this is known as a softphone. Having a dedicated device for unified communication voice is not necessary if the computer has a speaker and microphone. This configuration is only recommend for those that only need to make calls occasionally and can do so in a closed environment.