Unified Communications Project

Sponsored by:

Information Technology Services

Unified Communications Coming to Northern Arizona University!

NAU Information Technology Services to Deploy Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) Campus-wide to increase collaboration. 

The Unified Communications Project was initiated to replace the existing Aastra PBX and Cisco Call Manager Communications System with the implementation of the Unified Communications and additional features of Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync), a single system to be used on the NAU Flagstaff Campus and Extended Campuses. 
The Aastra PBX and Cisco Call Manager Communications System at Northern Arizona University (NAU) is near end of life and must undergo a substantial upgrade or replacement. 

Microsoft Skype for Business is more than a phone system. Microsoft Skype for Business is a Unified Communications application bringing together Presence, Instant Messaging (IM), Voice and Video, Voice Messaging, Desktop Sharing and Conferencing into a single consistent experience across your PC, Mac, Tablet and Smart Phone in one easy-to-use application, making it simple to switch between different Communication and Collaboration tools. Microsoft Skype for Business provides a simple way for you to easily and securely find the right people, to see if and on what device they are available, and to collaborate using their preferred method or device.

Help with Unified Communications (DIRECT LINK). 

NAU has supported the use of Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) for presence, instant messaging and voice and video conferencing for several years.   Unified Communications will enable integration with telephone services as well.  As part of this project, old, Aastra phones will be replaced with new Polycom phones that work with Skype for Business to provide enhanced communications options for NAU faculty and staff.  Unified Communications also enables NAU workers to be more flexible, mobile and accessible.   Your work telephone number isn't tied to a particular phone jack in your workspace anymore.  Your phone number is wherever you log-in to a phone.   This includes Skype for Business mobile apps for many smartphones and tablets. You will be able to place and answer business phone calls from mobile devices as well as participating in audio and video conference activities from wherever you have a compatible device and a network connection.

The project has many components including: 

  • Upgrading the NAU data network to capably accommodate phone traffic for the entire university.
  • Building and configuring many Skype for Business (formerly Lync 2013) servers to route phone calls
  • Working with departments to replace their older Aastra phones with new Skype for Business compatible phones.
  • Implementing new Automated Call Distribution (ACD) Services for NAU call centers
  • Replacing NAU’s telephone services billing system with a modern call accounting system
  • and more... 

The most visible part of this project to most people will be the phase where we move departments to the new phone system and replace their phones.  The following table outlines our progress with this task:


Conversion GroupEstimated TimeframeDepartment/Buildings
Group #105/05/15 - 06/30/15Departments/Buildings for Group #1
Group #207/01/15 - 08/26/15Departments/Buildings for Group #2
Group #308/27/15 - 11/30/15Departments/Buildings for Group #3
Group #412/01/15 - 02/29/16Departments/Buildings for Group #4
Group #502/01/16 - 04/30/16Departments/Buildings for Group #5
Group #604/01/16 - 06/30/16Departments/Buildings for Group #6
Group #706/01/16 - 08/31/16Departments/Buildings for Group #7
Group #808/01/16 - 10/31/16Departments/Buildings for Group #8
Group #910/01/16 - 12/31/16Departments/Buildings for Group #9
Group #1012/01/16 - 02/28/17Departments/Buildings for Group #10

Complete Device Conversion Status


Conversion Timeline/Status - Group 5

Conversion Timeline/Status - Group 6

  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 21a (Wall Aquatic Center)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 21b (Biological Science Annex)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 22 (Peterson Hall)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 24 (North Heating & Cooling Plant)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 27a (Institute Human Development)

Conversion Timeline/Status - Group 7

  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Buildings 3 and 3a (North Union)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 25 (Health and Learning Center)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 30 (University Union)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 30a (University Union)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 35 (Bookstore/Post Office)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 37a (Ardrey Auditorium)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - Building 67 (South Heating Plant)
  • Conversion Timeline/Status - University Marketing

Conversion Timeline/Status - Group 8

Contact Information

David Russell dave.russell@nau.edu (E-Mail) 928-523-7008 (Office)

Project Team

Unified Communications Project Team (See Project Link below)

Project Links

Unified Communications Project Team

What is Unified Communications?

NAU Telephone Services

Help with Unified Communications

About Unified Communications

Microsoft Skype for Business (Lync 2013) (Windows)

Microsoft Skype for Business (Lync) for Mac