GaelPhone FAQs

Q: What is Cloud PBX?

A: A cloud PBX is a telephony solution completely managed, stored, and maintained over the Internet through cloud computing technology, rather than through hardware owned and maintained by the end-user at the user’s location.

We will be able to retire our very old PBX and take advantage of the technology that is available to us, including taking calls when you aren't even at your desk or easily checking voice messages from any device able to connect to the internet. 


Q:  What does the new Cloud PBX system have that the old phone system does not?

A:  The older previous system consisted of traditional physical desk phone that was limited to making and receiving calls and to adjusting and checking voicemail settings and messages. 

The new phone system has more communication methods, as it offers:

  • The ability to use a physical phone, a cell phone, a desktop computer and laptop; 
  • The capability to text message to/from your SMC phone number;
  • Options to use your cell phone, desktop computer, and/or laptop, to adjust your user settings, check voicemail, make and receive voice calls, text message, fax and video conference from anywhere you have Internet access
  • The power to begin and/or continue your conversation, communicate and collaborate from any device and from anywhere the Internet reaches


Q:  When will SMC upgrade the old phone system to Cloud PBX?

A:  During the week of July 31-August 4, IT Services and our hired vendor, Jive, will visit SMC offices to add new physical desk phones. We will also remove the old physical desk phones from users that will eventually use the "Soft Phone" Web Client.

NOTE: To reduce interruption of service, most staff will temporarily have TWO phones on their desk: the old phone and the new phone.

Then, during the week of August 7-August 11, the telephone numbers are scheduled to be ported to the new Cloud PBX system. We will provide more specific information as we get closer and lock the actual day.


Q:  Do I need to do anything before the switchover?

A:  No. We will move your current phone number over to the new system automatically.  If you will be using the web client please see our training webinars here.


Q: Why do some people have a desk phone while others don't?

A:  We have matched device capability to the type of communication that you generally use.  For example, if you generally interact with groups of people who prefer to text message, we have provided you with a phone client capable of sending/receiving text messages to/from your SMC phone number, along with voice calls.  


Q: Why do I have two desk phones?

A:  If you are a staff member (e.g. Administrative Assistant), we understand how vital phone communication is to your job. To reduce interruption, we have purposely and temporarily left your old phone and placed the new phone on your desk. The intention is to remove the old phone after the numbers have been switched to the new system. 


Q: I came into my office and I have no phone. Where is my desk phone?

A:  Your traditional physical desk phone is now the GaelPhone Web Client (aka "soft phone"). It can be accessed by desktop computer and/or laptop using the internet. If you plan to use the GaelPhone Web Client and would like a headset, please contact the IT Service Desk at (925) 631-4266. You can also submit a request for a headset via the ITS Self Service Portal


Q: What is a "Soft Phone"?

A:  Essentially, it is a software on your computer that allows you to place and receive calls, listen to voicemal, participate in conference calls, transfer calls, and adjust our own user settings,  You will be receiving “calls” to your extension through a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.


Q: I have a new physical desk phone. How do I make a call?

A:  Your new physical desk phone is a Polycom VVX 310. To make a call, pick up the receiver and use the numbeer pad to dial. When dialing an outside line, you no longer have to dial "9" nor is a "1" required when placing a call to another area code. When dialing an internal line, it is the same as before - just dial the four-digit extension. 


Q: I am using the GaelPhone Web Client (aka "Soft Phone). How do I make and receive calls? How do I listen to voicemail?

A:  You will need to open your browser and log into (For first time users, make sure to go through the instructions on the GaelPhone Login page.) If your computer has a microphone and speakers, you can speak and listen to your computer. If you share an office, it is best to use a headset with your GaelPhone Web Client. Please contact the Service Desk at 925-631-4266 to request a headset for your GaelPhone Web Client. You can also submit a request via the ITS Self Service Portal


Q: Will headsets be provided in place of the telephones which are being removed? 

A:  If you do not have a desk phone and plan to use the GaelPhone Web Client, you can request a headset by contacting the IT Service Desk at (925) 631-4266. You can also submit a request for a headset via the ITS Self Service Portal


Q: Will IT Services provide headsets for the new physical desk phones? 

A:  No, IT Services does not provide headsets for the new physical desk phones. Your department will have to pay for the additonal device.  


Q: Who buys the headsets?

A:  Headsets are the standard communication equipment for most faculty and staff.  If you are using the Web Client, please call IT Services at (925) 631-4266 and we will deliver a headset to you. If you have been issued a new physical desk phone and would like a headset in addition, your department will have to pay for the additional device. 


Q: What if I need a desk phone because I pick up calls from multiple extensions?

A:  Call the Service Desk at 925-631-4266 to request a new physical desk phone. You can also submit a request for a new physical desk phone via the ITS Self Service Portal.   


Q: Will the GaelPhone Web Client allow me to pick up calls from multiple extensions?

A:  No. If you need to pick up calls from multiple extensions, you should use a physical desk phone. 


Q: What if I want to have a regular telephone on my desk?

A:  We do have some available. Please contact 925-631-4266 to make this request.
NOTE: In some cases it may require a co-pay from the department. 


Q: What happens to my current voicemail box?

A:  Messages in your current voicemail box will remain on the current voicemail system. You can access your old voicemail by dialing  925-631-5500 and following the instruction prompts.


Q: How will I check my voicemail in the new system?

A:  By default voicemail messages will be emailed to your SMC email account as .wav attachments and then deleted from the voicemail system. You will see a message with a subject line "[VOiCEMAiL] New message in mailbox ####".  If you want your voicemail box activated, please contact the IT Service Desk.  Voicemail boxes will need to be managed as they are limited to 99 messages. 


Q: What happens to my old recorded greeting?

A:  After migration, the system will use the default greeting. We highly recommend that you record a custom greeting.


Q: Will the password that I use now to check my voicemail work on the new system? 

A:  By default you will not need to reset your password because your voice messages will be sent to your email inbox as .wav attachments and won't be stored on the voicemail server.

If you use the desk phone, and if you request to have your voice messages go to the voicemail system, then you will need to reset your password.  Initially, the password will be 0000 and should be changed to protect your privacy.


Q: Within the web view, will the SMC directory of numbers be available? For instance, if I type in "Kim" will the search find "Kim Sullivan"?

A:  Yes, when you log in to the portal a directory list will be available on the left side of the screen.  You can “click to call” by clicking on the green telephone icon next to the number/party you want to reach.