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January 19, 2006

Voice mail upgrade set

Changes designed to make the University voice mail system more reliable and user-friendly are coming to the Pittsburgh campus Saturday, Jan. 28.

The new “modular messaging” program will bring the voice mail system up to date and give users a more standard way to navigate system commands. Broadcast messages will not be affected.

Shifting to commands that mimic common cell phone commands are expected to simplify navigation through the system.

For example, Pitt users now press *D to delete messages. Common cell phone commands ask users to press 7 to delete a message and 9 to save it. After Jan. 28, the University system will, too.

“These all will be familiar to people who are using cell phones,” said Computing Services and Systems Development director Jinx Walton.

A complete listing of the commands has been distributed to faculty and staff on small wallet cards, and tri-fold help sheets that can be kept near the phone. On-line guides and wall posters also are planned, she said.

On the technical side, the upgrades will give the system more reliability and enable upgrades, should the University someday wish to add features such as the integration of voice mail and e-mail.

Although there are few glitches with the existing system, Walton said it was decided to upgrade rather than wait for a failure.

For now, what’s changing for those who access voice mail by dialing 4-0001 or 4-0002 is simple: Everything will disappear.

Pittsburgh faculty and staff users should review and delete any saved messages in their mailboxes by Jan. 27 and prepare to re-record their voice mail greetings. “They won’t carry over,” Walton said.

Voice mail access will be disabled briefly during the Jan. 28 upgrade.

Faculty and staff at the regional campuses will be upgraded this spring, although no date has been set, said Walton. “We plan to have it done before summer,” she said. Students will be the last to see the changes; their voice mail system will be upgraded this summer.

Questions regarding the new system may be directed to the Technology Help Desk at 4-HELP or

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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