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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Emergency resources toolkit


Campus departments and their critical employees are often expected to cover their main telephone numbers remotely when MSU operations are suspended due to inclement weather events.

The most effective approach for covering telephones remotely is for departments to consult with the Telecommunication Systems team at MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities well in advance of any potential event. This can be accomplished by submitting a service request. An analyst will review department-specific technical configurations, telephone equipment and system needs to recommend the appropriate solution. There is no cost associated with this consultation service.

Consultation is necessary to meet each situation because of the following factors:

  • Options for remote calling are dependent on phone type.
  • Bridged appearance (shared) telephone lines need special consideration.
  • Call Center options may include specialized software and training.
  • Security risks related to various solutions varies.


  • Telephone user guides are also available to illustrate how to use the basic features for many phone systems.
  • Avaya Equinox softphone – This application allows users to make calls over the Internet while still having full access to all the features of the desktop phone. You must request configuration for this application from the Telecom department prior to using it.
  • Remote-calling solution (EC-500 extension to cellular) – This service allows users to transfer phone calls from a desk phone to a cell phone. The service is activated by pressing a button configured on the desk phone or remotely using the cell phone. Visit this page to read supporting information for Avaya phone users that have already implemented this feature.
  • Avaya Aura Messaging Voicemail – This page provides information about the Avaya Aura Messaging voicemail system. The campus voicemail user guide PDF linked from the page gives instructions on how to access campus voicemail from a non-campus phone:
    • Dial (517) 432-0000
    • Enter your 5-digit mailbox number (same as your 5-digit campus phone number) plus "#"
    • Enter your mailbox password when prompted.
    • Follow the voice prompts to either access messages, change a greeting or perform other actions normally accessible from a desk phone.
  • Unified messaging options – These applications allows users to access their campus voicemail via a computer or smartphone rather than a campus telephone and also set up customized notifications.
    • All options are configured via a Web Access site
      • Updated website to access messages allows users to access voicemails via a web browser and listen to messages with computer speakers or have the voicemail system call them. 
      • Ability to set up Notifications of voice messages left for you. Users can set up their preferred Notifications by email or by text message to their smart phone
      • Reach Me is a feature that forwards calls to a phone on a schedule that the user defines. It also allows users to define a list of numbers that they want called and if they want to screen calls before they accept them.
      • Notify Me is a customizable version of Unified Messaging that allows users to determine how to be notified of messages in their mailbox, including e-mail and SMS notifications.
      • Personal Attendant allows you to enter an extension number that can be used by your callers to “zero out” of your greeting to reach your support or back up person.