Proof of concept: telephony using softphones


Information Technology is working on providing a better user experience at the University of Ottawa. This is one way we are looking for innovative ways to face a more mobile workforce and modernize our tools, bringing us a step closer to building a Smart University. It’s having the freedom to better communicate with each other and do things differently.

Softphones, or unified communications, use software simulating the actions of a telephone set. They can run on computers, tablets, and smartphones, allowing to make telephone calls over the internet using these devices instead of dedicated hardware (a telephone set). Softphones allow more flexibility in making, receiving and managing calls. This ultimately supports an increasingly mobile workforce who attends conferences, training, events, and works off-campus.

The proof-of-concept initiative has been launched on campus with a selected group of individuals. Twenty people have been invited to test out this functionality. Their office telephones will be disabled and replaced by a software application on the device of their choice. The Microsoft Teams software will be used to make, receive, and manage calls. Voicemail messages will be delivered to the users’ email inbox.

Mid-October, the invited participants will start using the softphone functionality. The proof-of-concept period will end in November after which we will collect feedback from the participants.

At the beginning of next year, we will assess all the feedback and will make recommendations on the future direction for the University community.

Softphones proof-of-concept roadmap


What is required
  • Microsoft Teams (provided by Information Technology)
  • A computer, a smartphone, or a tablet (participant’s choice of devices)
  • Headset (provided by Information Technology)
Making calls
Managing calls
Supported devices
Resources and Training
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