Phone system upgrade means dialing changes for some customers

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Release Date: 

Calling state agencies: A multi-year project by WaTech’s phone team that will touch nearly every phone in state service is expected to be dialed in later this year. 

The biggest impact to users – especially those in Olympia and vicinity - will be the need to dial 9 + area code + phone number when calling all other state offices in the area. Previously, callers could use five digits to call some (but not all) agency numbers around the Olympia-Lacey area. Employees within the same building or location will still be able to call using five digits. When this upgrade is complete, it will solidify consistent dialing patterns across state phone systems.

The upgrade project, which began in 2016, will consolidate the network systems that serve state telephony into two platforms, and house both in the highly secure State Data Center in Olympia with full backup capabilities from a facility in Quincy.

The upgrade will make it easier to make system-wide software updates, better leverage future technologies and ultimately save the state money, system managers say. The upgrade will also allow for faster disaster recovery if there’s an emergency.

WaTech telephony staff is coordinating the technical work and customer communications around it. Much of the system work itself is being performed by a WaTech contractor, Cerium Networks.

The system upgrade covering state agencies that are supported by WaTech telephony will occur between February and November. A list of agencies included by this upgrade is published within a WaTech service announcement.

 WaTech contacts:

If you have additional questions or would like more information, please contact Eric Talberg at 360-407-8736 or or the WaTech Support Center at 360-586-1000 or 888-241-7597 or