Zoom Phone

Zoom Phone replaces USC’s costly legacy telephony and communications systems that have limited ability to support how our campuses operate today and in the future. The transition to Zoom Phone will deliver a highly available, forward-looking digital campus communication platform that encompasses phone, video and data services to support more than 20,000 faculty and staff.

The following Transition Toolkit provides key information about the overall project as well as training and support resources for faculty and staff.

Campus Voice Overview

Project Overview

The transition to Zoom Phone, also known as the Campus Voice project, will provide a better experience for faculty and staff with added capabilities to boost productivity in today’s university environment. In addition to its ease of use, Zoom Phone features include the ability to view call history, statistics, and recordings and transfer calls to different devices. This call-flip ability allows moving between mobile apps, desktop apps and desk-phones/cellphones by placing the call on hold and resuming it from another device.

Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to adopt software-based phones (softphones) that provide these additional benefits:

Easy to use: Dialing numbers is as easy as a couple of mouse clicks. Find university contacts quickly by typing in the name for a list of auto-populated options.

Mobile: With you wherever you go to work.

Environmentally friendly: Use your existing mobile phones or desktop computer without the need of additional hardware.

In addition, the transition to Zoom Phone will provide cost savings that can fund additional technology investments, while providing a state-of-the-art telephony solution worthy of a world-class institution such as USC.

Enhanced 911 (E911)

Zoom Phone provides greater emergency capabilities for our USC community through its Enhanced 911 features, including the ability to dynamically track the location of users as they move around campus or to other places to ensure their location is up to date in the event of an emergency. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will now be notified of any 911 calls.

E911 allows law enforcement to determine the location of 911 calls. This system ensures the university follows the FCC regulations of Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act of 2018.

Watch this brief Zoom video to learn more about the nomadic E911 functionality.


What is the Campus Voice project?

  • The Campus Voice project is Information Technology Services (ITS)’ effort to replace USC’s existing, high-cost telephone (also known as “voice”) services that are no longer serving USC’s current or future needs.
  • These services will be replaced by a new cloud-based voice platform from Zoom, called Zoom Phone, that will simplify operations and management, enhance reporting and improve availability within a secure and compliant environment.

What is the timeline to implement this new platform?

  • We expect this transition to take 12 months, and every effort is being made to accelerate this timeline. Since February 2021, ITS has been working closely with each school and unit to ensure we communicate the appropriate details and create the best schedule for this major transition.

What will happen to our existing phone numbers? 

  • Most existing phone numbers can be retained and transferred into the new platform.
  • If possible, we are asking faculty and staff to retain existing number(s) only when business factors require it.

Will we be able to keep our desk phones?

  • All desk phones will need to be replaced to work with Zoom Phone.
  • Faculty and staff will be highly encouraged to choose a softphone (Zoom Phone app + headset) over a replacement desk phone.

What are the benefits of using softphones?

  • Ease of Use: Access meetings, phone and SMS capabilities all on the same device.
  • Mobility: Take Zoom Phone capabilities wherever you go.
  • Environmentally friendly: Use your existing mobile phones or desktop computer without the need of additional hardware.
  • Zoom Phone Contacts: USC Zoom phone users can be found in the Zoom phone contacts Tab under Contacts then Zoom Phone.

Will we still be able to use 5-digit dialing between campus phones?

  • During the transition period, from our current Avaya voice services to Zoom Phone, Avaya customers will be able to continue using 5-digit dialing.
  • Once the transition to Zoom Phone is complete, 10-digit dialing will be required.
  • With Zoom Phone’s auto-populate feature, faculty and staff can look up others’ phone numbers in the USC directory by typing their name, which eliminates the need to look up campus numbers.  

What new equipment will be deployed to support Zoom Phone?

  • Phones: Polycom VVX 450 (for individuals) and PolyCom VVX 250 (for common areas)
  • Conference Phones: Poly Trio C60
  • Headsets: Plantronics Blackwire – BW3320 USB A or C

What are the minimum system requirements needed to use Zoom Phone on our computers and mobile devices?

Will I need admin rights on my computer/device to install/use Zoom Phone?

  • Some computer programs require a higher level of access to your computer/device’s operating system. This higher level of access is called administrative or admin rights.
  • Admin rights are required by Zoom Phone on your computer/device only to update an emergency address, which is the address provided to first responders when you dial an emergency number.
  • Contact your local IT support desk if you need this access.

How secure is the new Zoom Phone platform?

How reliable is Zoom Phone?

  • Runs fully redundant systems in 17 data centers around the world, ensuring services remain intact during maintenances.
  • Delivers a 99.99% service level agreement (SLA) rating.
  • Agreements with both Amazon AWS and Oracle OCI public cloud infrastructure provide built-in survivability in the event a data center loses internet, ensuring the highest level of uptime possible.

Where can I get help?


Need help?

Zoom Support Resources

Zoom Help Center for Zoom Phone

School/Unit Support Resources

Local IT Support for Schools and Departments

ITS Support Resources