Softphone/Cisco Jabber: Frequently Asked Questions

Information Services is currently migrating the campus telephone system to Microsoft Teams.  This documentation may be outdated in some ways if you have been migrated to the new system.  Please review the Microsoft Teams documentation if you have been migrated.

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What is a "softphone"?

A softphone is a "software phone". It is an app installed on your mobile device or computer that can make and receive calls similarly to how a physical desk phone would. The softphone app lets you make and receive calls from your mobile device or computer while using a DePaul phone number to do so.


What is "Cisco Jabber"?

Cisco Jabber is the softphone app in use at DePaul that you will be using to make and receive calls. Cisco Jabber is a free application and is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.  If installed on a Windows PC or Mac, Jabber should NOT be used through an RDP (Remote Desktop) connection, but instead installed and run from the local computer.


How do I request a Jabber/softphone account/access?

Please click here to be taken to the Jabber/softphone account Request form.


Can I still dial 5 digit extensions directly from my softphone?



Do I still need to dial 91 before dialing outside of the University from my softphone?



Do I need to have a physical phone, or can I use a softphone exclusively?

You can use a softphone as your primary phone. You do not need to have a physical desk phone.  A softphone has multiple advantages over a physical desk phone, such as increased portability and no cost associated with setup.  If a softphone meets your needs, IS recommends that you forego the purchase of a physical phone and use a softphone exclusively instead.


Can I have my softphone set up the exact same way as my desk phone?

There are limits to how many phone numbers can be set up on a softphone. A softphone on a Windows or Mac computer can control a maximum of ten distinct phone numbers. A softphone on an iOS or Android device can only control a single phone number. Depending on how many phone numbers you access on your physical desk phone you may or may not be able to have the same setup on a softphone.


Can I have the same phone number on my desk phone and my softphone at the same time, or do I need a new number for my softphone?

Yes, you can have the same number on both a softphone and one or more physical phone simultaneously.  All phones will ring when the number is called, and all phones will be able to make outgoing calls.


Can I run multiple Jabber clients simultaneously?

Yes.  You can install and log in to multiple Jabber clients as long as they are running on different device types.  For example, logging in to both the PC and the iOS client will work, and both clients will ring simultaneously when a call is received.  However, you cannot log in to the PC client on your desktop an the PC client on your laptop at the same time, as these are both PC device types.


Will I be able to use my softphone while on campus?

Yes. In fact, IS encourages you to do so. Softphones are a portable, flexible, and free alternative to a physical desk phone.


I am remotely accessing my work computer from my home computer, where should I install Cisco Jabber?

In a situation where you are using Remote Desktop to access your work computer on campus you should install Cisco Jabber on your home computer. Audio output from phone calls will not work correctly if Cisco Jabber is installed and operated on the remote work computer. Cisco Jabber is also available on the App Store for iOS and Android devices if you do not wish to install the application on your personal computer.


Are Jabber calls secure?

Yes. Jabber uses HTTPS(secure) to communicate back to campus. At no point does any unencrypted communication happen over the internet.


Does the Cisco Jabber app use data?

When installed on a cellular device, the Cisco Jabber app will use data for calls when not connected to a Wi-Fi network. The data usage for a phone call should be minimal, but if data usage is a concern then calls should be made while connected to Wi-Fi if possible.


Can I call 911 from the Cisco Jabber app?

Currently, 911 emergency calls will not work correctly if 911 is dialed from a Cisco Jabber app installed on a Windows PC or Mac computer. Emergency calls made through the Cisco Jabber app from an iPhone or Android device will work, as these devices are aware of your location and can route your emergency call to the correct 911 call center.


Who do I ask for help if I am having problems with my softphone?

You can first check the Self-Help page for Cisco Jabber here. If you continue to have problems, then please contact the Helpdesk.