This spring, the BIT Telecommunications and voice-group teams have been integrating the most up to date phone system technology in the workplace called voice-over internet protocol (IP). The two types of phone system upgrades include: desk-type phones and soft phone applications.
1. The desk-type phones are similar to the traditional office phone, and may have the traditional buttons or be equipped with a touchscreen.
2. The soft phone applications that staff are currently testing is a unified communications system. It is an application that can be installed on a desktop computer and includes a wireless headset/microphone attachment. This application has the ability to host live video and audio conferences with up to six people at a time and can also be installed on up to eight different devices. This technology has the potential to- promote and increase efficient communication within government agencies, and if security concerns can be addressed will also allow employees to access their office from multiple locations, including from home.
To keep up with the increasing demand for mobile devices and working on the go, BIT is also looking at installing the unified communications system on various smartphones and tablets, again if security concerns can be addressed. This application would essentially give complete access to an office phone, contacts, and email on the specific mobile device it has been installed on. The long-term goal of BIT is to install these unified communications systems in all state government agencies to allow for complete collaboration and efficient communication, but many hurdles must be cleared before that is achieved. Security and network capabilities are the top priorities in the process of pursuing this long-term cost saving system.