University phone changes

Over summer 2020 the University changed the way colleagues make and receive calls. You can find out more information about the project in a Staff Intranet news article. As a result of these changes, Microsoft Teams becomes the default way of calling internally, and staff do not have a personal phone extension number by default.

 View project timeline and deadlines
  • 22nd June - information about the project included in Managers Brief
  • 26th June - email informing about the changes cascaded to all staff via departments
  • 3rd July - email sent to all staff with a personal phone extension advising them what action was required
  • 3rd July - update included in LU text linking to staff intranet article
  • 10th July - further update included in LU text linking to staff intranet article
  • 13th July - deadline for staff to request to retain their extension for external calls
  • 22nd July - final deadline for departments to confirm extension requirements
  • 23rd July - final confirmations of status sent to all staff members
  • 29th July - extensions which are no longer required removed
  • 3rd August onwards - phones which are no longer required removed

If you have a query or issue relating to these changes, please see the frequently asked questions below in the first instance. These will direct you to the correct place to submit a request, if necessary.

University staff have access to various communication and collaboration services which can be used to make and receive calls.

Internal callsExternal callsChatOnline meetingsAvailable to
Microsoft Teams

(as Teams meetings with anyone, and to any other Skype or Teams user)

All staff and students

Jabber/Phone extensions

(using phone extension number)

Staff who require a phone number to fulfil their role
University mobile phones

(using Teams app)

(using mobile number)

(using Teams app)

(using Teams app)

Staff who require a mobile phone to fulfil their role

Microsoft Teams is the University's solution for making internal calls, audio and video conferencing, hosting online meetings, live online teaching, webinars and for creating collaborative team spaces in which you can keep in contact with colleagues, students and those external to the university. All staff and students have full access to all functions in Teams. Full training, help and support are available at Microsoft Teams help and training. You can also download our infographic covering Making a call in Teams.

Jabber is available for making and receiving external calls to/from a phone extension number to those staff who require this functionality to fulfil their role. Help is available at Jabber help. A small number of staff may also have a phone handset for making and receiving external calls.

When using Teams or Jabber, you may wish to use a headset to improve audio quality during calls. If required, you can request a headset. Alternatively you may be able to use headphones to reduce feedback and background noise.

Frequently asked questions

 How do I make an internal call using Teams?

For help with calling options in Teams, download our infographic covering Making a call in Teams.

There are various different ways to initiate a call from inside Teams.

One way is to search using the search bar at the top of the screen. Start typing the name of the person you want to call:

Screenshot showing teams search bar

Then click either the Audio (phone) or Video call button at the top right of the window to initiate a call with that person immediately.

Screenshot of calling buttons

For more information about the wide range of calling options in Teams, including pre-scheduling meetings, inviting external participants, multi-way calls and screen sharing (among other topics), see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.

 Can I have a headset for calling with Teams or Jabber?

Yes, any staff member can request a headset online.

 How can I make emergency calls on campus?

Full information about the correct course of action in any emergency situation on campus can be found on the Security webpages.

Shared phones, such as those found in labs, teaching spaces, corridors, lifts, departmental offices and other locations all remain available and you can continue to call security on campus by dialling 999. You can also call security from any mobile phone by dialling 01524 594541.

You can also use Microsoft Teams to contact security in an emergency situation. In Teams select the search bar, search for Emergency, select Emergency - Lancaster University Security then click the Phone button. Alternatively use this link: Contact Security on Teams now

 What are the benefits of using Teams for internal calls?
  • Presence - you can see whether colleagues are available, in a call, busy etc before you call them.
  • Chat - a more flexible alternative to calling, quickly send an instant message instead of picking up the phone. Alternatively use chat to check if someone is free for a call before dialling.
  • Flexibility - call from computers, tablets and mobiles - whatever device you have with you.
  • Availability - call from anywhere, including if you are working from home.
  • Consistency - use the same interface you are used to already for group collaboration, online meetings and webinars.
  • Time saving - no more nuisance calls from unknown numbers.

 How do I add a Contact me on Teams link to my email signature?

Update existing signature with Teams link

If you already have the University signature set up, you can insert the Contact me on Teams link below your department information. This link won't work for external people, so if you email externally as part of your role, you may want to create separate internal and external versions of your signature.

 Add Teams in your existing signature
  1. Open your signature settings and select the University signature to edit:

    From Outlook: Click New Mail, the from the Message tab, click Signature.  On the drop-down list, click Signatures…

    From Outlook Web App: Open Office 365 email and log in, then from the Settings cog icon in the top right, click View all Outlook settings. In the Email section, click Compose and Reply.

  2. Copy the following link and paste it above the phone number of your existing signature:

    Contact me on Teams

    example signature with Teams link

  3. Select the Contact me on Teams text you have just pasted and click edit hyperlink button from the signature toolbar.

  4. Edit the Address option to change only the j.bloggs email portion of the web link to your own email, then click OK.

    Only edit the j.bloggs part of the address after the equals (=) symbol so it contains your own email address

    edit hyperlink in Outlook

    Outlook Web App:
    outlook web app edit hyperlink window

  5. Save changes to the signature.

Remember this link won't work for external people, so if you email externally as part of your role, you may want to create separate internal and external versions of your signature. If you have one, you should include your external phone extension number in the external version.

For full information about creating a university email signature, including instructions on doing this from scratch, see Use a university email signature.

 How do I make an external call using Teams?

For help with calling options in Teams, download our infographic covering Making a call in Teams.

You can set up a Teams meeting with anyone in the world. They don't need to be a Teams user themselves.

To do this, go to the Calendar section in Teams, click New meeting, and invite the external participant(s) using their email address. They will get a meeting invite from which they simply click on a link to join your meeting.

You can also search for and contact any Skype user from within Teams.

For more information about the wide range of calling options in Teams, see the Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.

 How can external people contact me if I don't have a phone number?

The University has a switchboard that external people can contact. Departments also have phone numbers that external people can contact. If you don't have your own extension, the switchboard can distribute your email address so that people can make contact with you that way. You can then arrange conversations/online meetings via Teams if required.

You can also give out your Teams username in the format to any Skype user. From Skype, they will be able to add you, and you can chat with them using Teams.

You also have the option of giving our your email address so external people can contact you directly via email.

 My extension/phone was removed over Summer 2020 - can I get it back?

Where there is a good reason you weren't able to let us know you wanted to retain your external phone extension before the widely publicised deadlines for extension removal, or where there is a good reason for the reinstatement of your extension, please speak to your Head of Department in the first instance to seek authorisation. Once you have this, please ask one of your departmental approvers to submit an application for a new external phone extension, including in the comments details of any phone number(s) you want us to attempt to reinstate: Request a new phone extension (VPN required off campus).

If you retained your extension but lost your desk phone handset, and want to request the handset itself is reinstated, we would first urge you to try to use Jabber. Help using Jabber can be found at: Jabber help and you can report any problems at: Report a problem with Jabber. After this, if you still have a good reason for requiring a desk phone handset, please submit a request here: Other phone extension request

 Can we still request extensions/phones for new staff?

Where it is essential that a new member of staff has an external phone extension in order to fulfil their role, this should be discussed and agreed with the Head of Department then requested in the normal way by a departmental approver: Request a new phone extension (VPN required off campus).

Alternatively, existing extensions belonging to other people can be transferred to different/new people by a request being submitted by a departmental approver: Request to change the holder of a phone extension (VPN required off campus).

 As an alternative to everyone having a personal phone, can we have a shared phone for a group or department on campus?

You can request a new shared extension online: Request a new extension (note that VPN is required to access this page from off campus, and requests must be submitted by a cost centre approver for your area).

You should ensure you select the Shared Extension/Hard Phone option.

If you wish to convert an existing personal extension number into a shared one, please include this in the comments. Otherwise a new number will be assigned.

A shared phone/hardphone can only be used on campus. It can't be accessed remotely using Jabber.

 How can I cancel an extension I no longer need?

You can do this any time using this form: Request to cancel a phone extension (VPN required off campus).

 Other questions related to phone extensions not covered above

Please submit your enquiry on this form giving as much detail as possible: Other phone extension request.


Download our infographic covering Making a call in Teams.