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Workplace Communication Tools

November 9, 2023

Information and resources for employees and department heads to consider as we plan for continued, cost-effective workplace communication tools and resources.

The updated  Mobile Communication Device Policy, ISUPP 2270,  takes effect on January 1, 2024. With this change in policy, employee- specific cellular device accounts will be discontinued by the end of this calendar year. 

Below are information and resources for employees and department heads to consider as we plan for continued, cost-effective workplace communication tools and resources at Idaho State University.

Deactivation and Release of University-Owned Cell Phone Numbers
Information Technology Services (ITS) has prepared a Knowledge Base Article to help employees and departments understand the options for deactivating current ISU cell phone accounts. Employees are able to transfer/port existing numbers for personal use. 

Department heads and impacted employees are encouraged to contact ITS after reviewing the article linked above to discuss the discontinuance or transfer of an existing cellular device number.

Options Regarding Mobile Device Hardware
Employees and department heads have options for moving to surplus or repurposing  mobile communication devices:

  • Return deactivated devices to ITS - Employees have the option to return deactivated devices to Information Technology Services once cellular accounts are deactivated. ITS will partner with Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability to recycle phones and batteries in a responsible manner. 
  • Repurpose Wi-Fi-enabled devices - Although cellular connectivity will be disabled on devices, departments may choose to repurpose mobile communication devices to use while in Wi-Fi covered areas. This would allow employees to continue to access work-related applications (such as Gmail, Google Chat, etc.) while connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Transfer device to employee’s personal cellular service - Employees may contact ITS at help@isu.edu if they wish to retain a cellular phone that the University is no longer supporting.

Alternate Workplace Communication Software
The University has alternate options available for workplace communications as needed: 

  • Google Voice and Zoom Phone allow employees and departments to use a personal device and/or repurposed University Wi-Fi-connected mobile devices to make internet-based phone calls and text messaging through a separate internet-based phone number. These applications integrate with existing University platforms such as the Google Workplace suite and existing Zoom Accounts for simplified usage in familiar platforms. 

Department heads will be asked to complete a registration form over the coming weeks for review and approval of their respective dean and/or vice president if they have employees needing access to a Google Voice or Zoom Phone license. Departments will be charged applicable monthly fees and taxes for use with these applications.

Both the Google Voice and Zoom Phone applications are accessible on Wi-Fi enabled devices and allow employees to manage two different phone numbers on their personal devices for personal and business communications. Licenses for Google Voice or Zoom Phone are for work units where standard communication devices such as computers and landline telephones do not provide adequate workplace communication.

Cellular Service Duty Phones
In limited circumstances and in accordance with the University’s Mobile Communication Device Policy, certain departments may have an ongoing need for department-owned and operated duty phones with cellular service. Duty phones are not assigned to an individual employee but to a unit for the use of departmental personnel.

Department heads should work with their respective vice president if they feel that a department duty phone is needed for ongoing workplace communication needs that cannot be fulfilled through other means. 

Additional Questions
For additional questions or concerns, department heads should contact their respective vice president and/or Information Technology Services. 


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