Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
alyon
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Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby alyon » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:18 pm

I am the Stake Finance Clerk and pay the phone bills for the buildings in our stake. Some questions arose regarding the bills. SLC Finance Department said the FM Group handles the phone contracts. The FM Group says the Stake individually handles the phone contract. Our FM group does handle the internet service and bills. Some questions:

1. Who handles the telephone contracts? We are in SoCal with ATT. I would have thought he Church negotiates a large contract for all buildings.
2. Are phones required? Our Stake Presidency has inquired about eliminating the phones as it is a large expense and rarely used. Just exploring the option and wonder if anyone else has buildings with no phones in each Bishop office.

russellhltn
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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:41 pm

In my experience, (meaning, in my stake), it's the local units that handle the bills. I think that's historically due to making the local unit responsible for any long distance calls. However, it's my understanding that the church reimbursed the base phone costs (less calling charges). There was a certain code that had to be added to the expense and CHQ would reimburse the stake automatically. That was decades ago, but I don't recall hearing that it changed.

More resources can be found in Meetinghouse Telephones Overview
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alyon
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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby alyon » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:59 pm

The link to Mettinghouse Telephones Overview is the key. I contacted the Church's Global Telecommunications Management Services (GTMS). They confirmed that they actually handle the contract with ATT and will look into our phone contract. They also confirmed there is no requirement to have phones in the building, other than lines that are used for fire systems etc.

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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:17 pm

There's been some rumbling about going to VOIP. That might be another possibility.
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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:31 pm

We have phones in our stake offices, but I've only ever seen them used once that I can remember, since most people have cell phones.
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alyon
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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby alyon » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:45 am

russellhltn wrote:There's been some rumbling about going to VOIP. That might be another possibility.


Confirmed: Both our local FM Group and Church's Global Telecommunications Management Services told me that was a new option to consider with Vonage.

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Re: Phones-Buildings, Bishops Office-Who Negotiates Contract

Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:49 am

alyon wrote:
russellhltn wrote:There's been some rumbling about going to VOIP. That might be another possibility.


Confirmed: Both our local FM Group and Church's Global Telecommunications Management Services told me that was a new option to consider with Vonage.

However, before converting, you may want to consider unit emergency plans. Old-fashioned hard wired phones can survive some disasters that cause extended power outages. Internet may fail and cell towers run out of backup power. So, you may want to keep at least one POTS phone per building.
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