In Office Desk Telephone How To (Cisco 7800/7900 Series Phone)

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In response to current COVID conditions, desk phones can be forwarded to home phones.  For staff to enable this request you can forward your phone at your desk using the soft buttons, to un-forward the desk extension from personal phones press the FwdAll soft key button on your desk phone, this will remove the forward option. 

Contents of the article include:

See also: Help Desk Telephones / Voicemail Resources

CISCO Quickstart Guide -you must be logged in using your District Google account to see this link.

How to Phone Tasks

Plugging the Computer and Phone into the Network

As voice service converges with data service, you might notice that the network cable for your computer is plugged into the back of the phone instead of the wall drop. Instructions for plugging your computer and phone into the network are as follows:


Using an Ethernet cable (which may be blue, black, purple, red, white or yellow), one end of a network cable into the wall, the other end of the same network cable goes into the port labeled 10/100 SW on the back of the phone.


On the second network cable, plug one end into the phone port labeled 10/100PC, the other end will go into the port in back of the PC, or laptop.

Plugging Headsets and Receivers into the Phone

The phone receiver goes into the plug labeled with an icon of a phone receiver on the back of the phone. Most headsets go into the plug labeled with an icon of a headset on the back of the phone. Both a receiver and a headset can be plugged into the same phone at the same time.  Note: Some headsets require a different connection.  Please see headset instructions or place a support ticket.

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Cleaning the Phone

To clean the phone, use a slightly water dampened cloth, towel, or paper towel. Do not use chemical products to clean the phone. These products may cause damage to the phone.

Troubleshooting Phone and Computer Connectivity

Because computers plug into the back of the phone, computer connectivity to the network is dependent on the connectivity of the phone. If the phone has lost connectivity, the computer may lose connectivity as well. The phone should display an error message if there are connectivity problems. If you either see an error message or suspect that the phone or computer has no connectivity, contact Help Desk for assistance.

Find the MAC address for Cisco Phone

Using the phone display and buttons:  Find the MAC on Cisco IP Phones 7949-7961 by pressing Settings, select Network Configuration or Phone Information. The 3rd listing should be the MAC address.

On the phone equipment: The MAC address of a phone can also be found on the MAC address sticker on the lower or back portion of the phone.  It should be a 12 character alphanumeric string.

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Reporting Phone Problems or Requesting Changes:

To report a problem with the phone equipment (echo, static, choppiness, no dial tone, hardware related problem, etc.) or request a change (name, voice mail, caller ID, phone book listing, etc.), enter a support ticket and select the Telephone or Voicemail form.  If the phone system is not functioning please use an alternate phone to report outages, District considers phone outages urgent priority.  208-854-6670 

Switching Job Locations

Phones and extensions stay on site. If a staff member with an assigned phone moves to a different room in the same school site, the staff takes the phone with them to the new room. This will enable the user to keep the same phone number/extension, and retain voicemail settings. (See Plugging the computer and phone into network of this tutorial to see how to reconnect the phone equipment in the new room.)

Phones and extensions stay on site. If a staff member with an assigned phone moves to a different school district site, the staff member will leave the phone equipment and receive a new phone and a new extension assignment at the new district building site, all voice mail greetings and password settings will be retained.

Do not move a phone to another building.  Because of how 911 services work, the extension that is tied to the phone is also tied to the main line for the school.  If a phone is moved, and it was later used to dial 911, dispatch for emergency respondents would not have the correct building location.

When transfers like these take place or new to District staff, visit with the school site administration office.  the Office personnel will authorize the request by entering a support ticket.  This is necessary in order to update the staff and assigned equipment/ extension.  (Select the Telephone or Voicemail option) This will allow the IT Department to reserve a phone and phone number/extension for that individual at the new site. Once a phone is acquired at the new school district site, plug the phone into the port labeled for a phone in the new room at the new site per page 1 of this tutorial.

If a phone user’s employment with the school district is terminated, please notify the Human Resources Department to start a process that will notify the IT Department. This process will allow the IT Department to handle the phone user’s account appropriately. In such scenarios it will be standard for the Boise School District IT Department to change the phone voicemail PIN (used to access voice mail) immediately.

All phone user accounts related to the phone system for the terminated individual will remain for a period of 30 days, at which time all voicemail will be deleted.

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Dialing Rules – Phone and Fax

The following topics will cover how to dial phone and fax numbers within the school district and outside of the school district. Dialing rules apply to both phone and fax lines.  Noe if the fax is having trouble please enter a help ticket, if a new drum or toner is needed for Brother models , department or office clerks will order a replacement using their District Office Depot account.

What is my Phone Number?

If you have been assigned an extension and it is configured on a phone in your room/office, then your 4 digit extension will be visible on the display screen before you pick up the handset.  Extension setups: 

  • 208-472- 2000 - 3999 range,
  • 208-854- 4000 - 6999 range,
  • 208-900- 7000 - 7999 range.

Four Digit Dialing:

Within the Boise School District phone system, all internal calls can be placed using four digit dialing. If the extension of the phone or fax you are calling is 1234, dial 1234 on the calling phone or fax to reach that device.

Local, Long Distance, and International Dialing Rules:

Calls to phone numbers out of the school district’s phone system will require the phone user to first dial a 9 before dialing the rest of the phone number. Calling international numbers is only permitted for specific users as determined by the school district Accounting Department. If a phone user does not have the capability to dial international or long distance numbers, and the phone user needs that capability, ask building Administration to submit a support ticket.

Dialing 911 or 411:

To contact an emergency dispatch center during an emergency, dial 911, IF 911 is dialed accidentally please call back and inform the answering dispatch of the accident so they are aware and do not sent emergency respondents.

Direct Access to Voice Mail:

If you would like to leave a voicemail for a phone extension for example ext. 1234 without ringing the phone extension, dial *1234.  To check your voicemail call your extension, before your greeting ends press the asterisk* key then enter your phone ID -this is your phone extension-then enter your voicemail PIN.  See also, Unity Voice Mail

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Using the Phone

This section will cover some of the topics regarding what certain phone buttons do, in addition to detailing how to perform certain phone operations using the softkeys. The phone will always display the date and time in the upper left hand corner of the LCD display screen, the ten-digit phone number of the extension assigned to the phone equipment in the upper right hand corner of the LCD display screen, and the extension of the phone next to the top line button.


This section will cover all of the buttons on the phone (the following section describes “Softkeys” for an explanation of what a softkey is).

  • Headset - By pressing this button the phone will revert to using the headphones plugged into it. To receive the call in this manner, headphones will need to be plugged into the phone previous to answering the call. 
  • Mute - The mute button is almost like the hold button, but there is a distinction. When a call is placed on mute by the called party, the caller on the opposite end of the call cannot hear you speak, but you can hear the caller speak. In addition, no music on hold will play while the call is placed on mute.
  • Speaker - An incoming or outgoing call will be placed on speakerphone. If the call is incoming, pressing this button will cause the phone to be answered on the speakerphone. If the call is outgoing, pressing this button will not cause the call to complete until the number being called is dialed.
  • Messages (envelope or tape recording) - This button used to dial the phone user’s voice mail account. Instructions for accessing voice mail.
  • Directories (Book) - a menu that will allow the phone user to view placed calls, received calls, missed calls, and a corporate directory. If an option from this menu is chosen, the phone user can scroll through the LCD screen on the phone to browse the placed calls, missed calls, or received calls, and if desired, the phone user may dial that number.
  • Volume - To adjust
    • To turn the volume up, toggle the Volume button toward to “+” sign.
    • To turn the volume down, toggle the Volume button toward the “–“ sign.

Toggle/Scroll - This is the button with the up and down arrows. This button will allow the phone user to scroll through menus on the phone’s LCD display screen.

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Softkeys are software based keys. These keys provide functions

  • Answer - answers the call
  • Decline  - sends caller to voicemail
  • Ignore - allows the call to ring then be answered by voicemail or allow to roll to another extension.

Answering Multiple Calls

  • If a call comes into a phone while another call is already being held on the same phone line, you will hear a beep and see a second call flashing caller ID information on the LCD display screen.
  • The list on the LCD display screen will list the call order by number in the left hand corner of the caller ID display box.
  • Use the toggle/scroll button to navigate to the second call (the call will be highlighted when it is selected).
  • Press the “Answer” softkey, place the phone on headset or place the phone on speaker to answer the call (when a second call has been answered it will place the first call on hold automatically).

Ending a Call

  • Press the “EndCall” softkey.
  • If on speakerphone, take the phone off speakerphone by pressing the “Speaker” button.
  • If on headset, take the phone off headset by pressing the “Headset” button.
  • If on the receiver, hang the receiver up.

Hold - This softkey will display when a call is already in progress. While on an active call, press the “Hold” softkey. Placing a call on hold will play music.  Press the “Resume” softkey to resume the call.

Transfer - This softkey will display when a call is already in progress and allows the phone user to transfer a phone call to another phone, press the “Transfer” softkey, Dial the extension, then announce the call or press “Transfer” softkey again to complete the transfer.

  • Transfer a Call to Voicemail - On the current call, press the “Transfer” softkey, Press the asterisk "*" then the 4 digit extension, then “Transfer” softkey again to complete the transfer to recipients voicemail.

Call Forward All (Do Not Disturb - DND) - This softkey will display while the phone is idle. This feature allows setting the phone to forward all calls directly to voicemail, another District phone extension, or a local number (within the metropolitan area). If the phone user does not want to be disturbed (specifically teachers during class time), it is encouraged that calls be forwarded to voicemail or a different extension (extension of the secretary).

  • Press the “CFwdALL” softkey.
  • Enter the 4 digit extension of another phone in the district,
    • if forwarding to a number external to the school district’s phone system dial a leading nine,
    • if forwarding all calls to voicemail, press the “Messages” button after pressing the“CFwdALL” softkey.

Conferencing - This softkey will display when a call is already in progress. This softkey will allow the phone user to start a conference call with multiple people at different phone numbers. Only a total of four people (including the phone user) may be involved in a conference call. 

  • While connected to two or more active calls, select a call by using the toggle/scroll key. Press the “Answer” softkey or the “Resume” softkey (if the caller was on hold).
    Press the “More” softkey twice.
    Press the “Join” softkey. This will place one of the two or more calls in a conference.
    Toggle to the other call and repeat steps one through three to conference the other caller(s).
    Normal Conference Calling
    While in an active call with another caller, press the “More” softkey.
    Press the “Confrn” softkey.
    Dial the number of the third or fourth phone you to join the conference. When the phone is answered, you may talk to the person on the other end of the call before completing the conference call in step four.
    Press the “Confrn” softkey again to complete the conference call.

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Unity Voice Mail

Unity is the name of the voice mail system where all voice messages will be stored. 

Unity Voice Mail Notification - When voicemail is left for your phone extension, the red lamp light on the phone receiver will light. An envelope icon next to the line button with your four digit extension will also appear.  

If you know your PIN and want to reset, press the messages button, select option "4" preferences, follow the voice prompts.  If you do not know your PIN enter a support ticket to have it reset to the default (12345).

To check your voicemail - From another Boise Schools phone while on campus:

  • Press the messages button.
    At the greeting, press the * key.
    Enter your ID (your 4 digit extension, which is the last 4 numbers of your full phone number: The phone only knows you by extension not your employee ID,  854-XXXX) followed by the # key.
    Enter your PIN (your voicemail password) followed by # key.

To check your voicemail - From a non-Boise Schools phone on or off campus:

  • Call your full phone number from off campus.
    As soon as you begin to hear the voicemail greeting, press the * key.
    Enter your ID (your 4 digit extension, which is the last 4 numbers of your full phone number: 854-XXXX) followed by the # key.
    Enter your PIN (your voicemail password) followed by # key.

During voicemail playback,

  • press 4 to slow it down and 6 to speed it up
  • press 7 to skip back 3 seconds or press 9 to skip forward 3 seconds.

Account Setup

When accessing voice mail for the first time (by pressing the “Messages” button), the phone user must update the reset/expired PIN, If you are prompted to "enter your ID", note that the phone recognizes your ID as your extension NOT your BSD 6-digit employee number, the temp PIN is 12345. A new PIN must be a minimum of 4 digits.

Recorded Name

A recorded name plays with messages left for other Boise Schools employees on the phone system and identifies users in directory assistance.  It also plays along with user greetings that use system default recordings instead of personal recordings.  To change the recorded name:

  • Hit the voicemail button on the phone and enter the PIN.
  • Select Setup Options Press 4 from the menu.
  • Select 3 for Preferences.
  • Press 2 to change the recorded name.
  • Follow the prompts to record name. To end recording, press #.

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There are different kinds of greetings. Personal greetings are greetings that are played when the phone is not answered and calls roll into voicemail. Personal greetings may be changed by the phone user every day to notify callers of an absence or other information. A voice greeting (usually first name and last name) plays if there is no personal greeting.

Personal Greeting - When accessing your voicemail account, you will be prompted to press different numbers for different menu options.  Follow the voice prompts.

Using the Corporate Directory

The corporate Directory lists other staff in the District and their phone extensions. 

  • Press the “Directories” button on the phone.
  • Toggle/scroll down to the “Corporate Directory” option.
  • Press the “Select” softkey.
  • Type the first name, last name, extension, or some combination of the three search fields and press the “Search” softkey.  To type the search criteria press the buttons with the letter of the alphabet you are trying to type until that letter is highlighted. Do this for every letter you are typing.
  • A phone number will now be listed and can be dialed by either picking up the receiver or pressing the “Dial” softkey.

See also: Help Desk Telephones / Voicemail Resources

Quick Start for IP7800 phone (External PDF Link)

Quick Start for IP 8800 Video phone (External PDF Link)

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