Bria CCS Phone Service Purchase Memorandum
Once you have read and agree to this Purchase Memorandum, complete the SFU websurvey form.
What is SFU's Bria Stretto Phone Service?
SFU is replacing the SofTel phone service available to faculty and staff with Bria Stretto. Essentially Bria Stretto is a computer software and mobile application that runs on your computer or mobile device (smartphone and tablet) that allows you to make telephone calls over the internet using voice over internet protocol or VoIP technology. As a telephone Bria Stretto phone service allows you to call any standard telephone as if you were dialing from any SFU campus, for example:
- SFU five digit locals, e.g. 21234
- Local Vancouver area, dial e.g., 9-604-555-1234
- Dial long distance from Vancouver area, e.g 9-1-416-555-1234, or 9-011-etc (To dial outside the local Vancouver calling area approval to accept LD charges must be obtained from the employee's Department. Without approval LD will be restricted.) Anyone can call you on your Bria Stretto phone by dialing 778-782-SIPLocal (eg., 778-782-1234)
You can also call direct from one SIP phone user to another. Many educational institutions are now offering a SIP phone service so that users can dial directly to another SIP phone without going through the public telephone network, thereby avoiding all long distance charges. For example to dial someone on MIT's SIP Service simply dial email@example.com or to another SFU Bria Stretto SIP phone dial firstname.lastname@example.org - where 2xxxx is your SFU assigned Bria Stretto SIP local.
Desktop Video Conferencing - Bria Stretto also supports videoconferencing where two SFU Bria Stretto users or users of other compliant SIP services, using a simple PC or MAC camera, can view one another.
Why Don't We Just Use Skype?
There are three key advantages of using SFU's Bria Stretto over Skype:
- you can use it just like any SFU campus phone, but from anywhere in the world just as if you were directly connected to SFU's switchboard - because in a sense you are directly connected; and you are reachable using your 778-782-xxxx SIP local number
- there are no long distance charges whatsoever when calling SFU, Vancouver local area or another SIP user;
- SFU's Bria Stretto is a private secure system meaning that a 3rd party can't monitor your traffic (calls)
Some Potential Limitations
SFU's Bria Stretto relies on the internet for network transmission and at times this can impact users in two ways. First, some services you use to connect to the internet, such as some hotels, have blocked SIP services and Bria Stretto simply won't work. At time the internet can become congested thus the quality of a call may be very choppy and unusable. But when it works, and that's most of the time, it's a secure, free, reliable service.
Bria Stretto works on both modern PC's and Mac's - i.e., equipment new in the last three years. It also works on smart phones and tablets running on either Apple iOS or Google Android. For good audio quality, it is recommended to use a set of good quality computer headphones and microphone - available from SFU Tech Shop.
SFU Bria Stretto Terms, Conditions and Caveats
SFU Bria Stretto service is available to SFU Faculty and Staff. TA's and RA's that are on SFU's payroll system are also eligible.
Since Bria Stretto both consumes one of SFU telephone numbers and is a cost to SFU we will only sell up to 2 licenses to any individual. When someone is no longer employed at SFU their Bria service will cease.
Bria Stretto is based on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards and is transmitted over the public internet network. As such it is not intended to match regular/physical telephone services offered by SFU and should not be viewed as a replacement for our normal telephone service. Specifically, this service does not conform to the University's 911 service and is not capable of serving as a 911 emergency phone. Further, Bria Stretto is subject to the transmission characteristics and congestion of the public internet which sometimes results in poor voice quality and "choppy" audio conditions. Thus, users are advised that the service may not be available or suitable on all occasions.
To use Bria Stretto users must be connected to the internet and not all internet service providers (ISP's) permit the use of their connections for voice services. Some ISP's block VoIP and hence Bria Stretto will not always work - for example, there are some hotel that blocks access. There is nothing that can be done in such circumstances. Also, due to technological differences, there may be locations where a service such as Skype might work but Bria Stretto doesn't and vice versa. SFU can offer no guarantees that Bria Stretto will work from the user location.
Charges for Service
All charges for the use of Bria Stretto will follow the normal billing and administrative processes in place for the University's existing phone service.
Given the numerous factors that can impact any SIP based phone service, many of which are totally beyond SFU's control, we can only provide support that ensures Bria Stretto works from on campus (i.e. within SFU's network). If your service works from on campus but not elsewhere, regrettably SFU cannot help with diagnosing problems with connectivity, headphones/microphones or other issues on an individual basis.
We will provide a feedback site that we will moderate to better understand user experiences to continually improve our services and also a place (e.g. a blog, wiki or threaded discussion facility) where users can exchange tips and techniques.
Bria Stretto works over the public internet for which SFU pays annual usage fees, hence there is a cost associated with each Bria Stretto call. Obviously we cannot afford to provide unlimited service, for example users could not simply leave a video or audio connection open indefinitely. While we would on no occasion eavesdrop on any conversation we will be keeping records of usage (number, length, etc.) and, should we identify regular excessive usage, nominally defined as more than an average of a couple of hours per day, we reserve the right to discuss the purpose with the user and to suspend their service if such activity is not for SFU related work activities. Incidental personal use is permitted.
Longevity of Bria Stretto Service
SFU is offering Bria Stretto for an initial period under the terms of agreement with the software provider and will review the service at a certain time. Depending upon usage, costs, technical issues and other factors there are no guarantees that we will be in a position to continue to offer Bria Stretto past that point and users should be so advised. Further, if it becomes apparent at any time that the service is no longer sustainable at reasonable cost SFU reserves the right to cancel the Bria Stretto service with appropriate notice.
If you agree with these and wish to proceed with the work order, please fill out the SFU websurvey form. Note that a work order will not be initiated until the online form is submitted, and a written request as outlined on page 10 #4 of the Telephone Information Pages.