Jabra Speak 810: Pre-Review Observations on the “Puck” That Grew Up


I have always liked the Jabra Speak devices ever since I got my first “puck”, which is now a staple in my traveling computer bag. It’s interesting to see Jabra go up market and I am especially interested in their new “Zoom Talk Microphone” technology that is designed to filter out sounds other than the human voice. (I’m hoping to do a hands on review just as soon as I gets my hands on this device)

Quick List of Specs of Note:

  • Connectivity
    • USB
    • NFC
    • Bluetooth
    • 3.5mm jack
  • 4 microphones
  • “Zoom Talk Microphones” filters human voice from background noise
    • eliminate keyboard typing sounds
    • dog barking (but who has one of these in a 15 person conference call?)
  • Support up to 15 users
  • Doesn’t need satellite microphones
    • marketing video shows Jabra Speak 510 and 410 beside the 810, but this is NOT to suggest the need satellite speakers
  • Powered by …
  • USB charge out port lets you charge a tablet or phone
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Size 14” long by 7.5” wide (source)
  • Looks like standard Jabra Speak call control buttons and no remote.

Listed Price $599USD

Don’t get confused, the Speak 810 does not use satellite speaker/mics. Just clumsy? marketing.



Also see:

Jabra Marketing

Review of Plantronics Voyager Focus UC (B825-M) for Skype for Business


The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is a Lync/Skype for Business Bluetooth wireless headset with ANC. A couple things I noted:

  • It's nice and light
  • Has a mic boom that looks suspiciously like the Voyager Legend
  • I noticed the Mic does a good job of canceling out background noise
  • The head band fits nice and is light
  • 8 volume levels
  • The mute button on the mic boom is red so you don’t miss it
  • Older Plantronics Blackwire has a sewn seam in the leather that came apart with use for me and I notice the Focus no longer has that point of possible failure
  • White led in base to indicates power, blue led on answer button.


  • No ringer in the charging base (but very few headsets have this)
  • USB cable for base might be a little short (not a big issue)
  • The case has no little pouch for the Bluetooth dongle which would be nice to avoid loosing it

Watch my video review and improvements over the older Blackwire design.

Below is my review slide show:

Overall I think the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC will make a very nice wireless headset that wears nice and does a good job of canceling noise from the microphone and an option to turn on ANC to speakers.

Hands On Review of the Microsft Surface Hub: It’s a Collaboration Device, Not a Room System


I finally got some hands on time to play with the Surface Hub and my impressions have been adjusted considerably. As someone who works with Lync & Skype for Business continuously I was thinking in terms of “this is a Lync Room System” replacement (when, in fact, Microsoft made no such claim. It just looks like one physically and does meetings so it is easy for Lync/Skype for Business pro’s to think in this direction) It really is a collaboration device that can also do meetings.

The way I would describe the Surface Hub is a specialty Windows 10 PC with a user interface tailored for large touch screen applications meant to be interacted with by touch. Instead of the standard Windows 10 user interface the Surface Hub runs apps inside a black border (black frame around the applications).  This black frame around the apps includes quick navigation shortcuts to things like Make a Call, Instant Message and more. These shortcuts can reinforce the “It’s a Room System” misunderstanding but once again, this device is really about collaboration in front of a large touchscreen with the added ability to do Skype for Business meetings & calls.


A few things about the Skype for Business application that runs on the Surface Hub. First, it is a Skype for Business Universal app written specifically for the Surface Hub. It also has a unique feature not in the standard or Windows Store Skype for Business client which is that it can switch between two cameras automatically. (I would love this functionality in standard app & SDK) The Surface Hub has two cameras on the left and right and as you move around in front of the Surface Hub it will detect which is the best camera and automatically switch to it. Also note that the cameras are angled and very wide angle so they catch the action directly in front of the Hub, which is another indicator the Hub tailored for active collaboration in front of the device as opposed to a room system orientation.


[in progress article, more coming]



Video Below

It’s a platform to run large screen applications, not a Room System.

My First Look at Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast


This is my first look at Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast Preview. Note, this is PREVIEW, so things can change and features will be added.

I used all Office 365 Skype for Business users to keep this simple. (you need to do a little additional setup if you have mixed onprem & online users). Next, just setup a “Skype Meeting Broadcast” using the web scheduling page at

Now, “New Meeting” (your screen will obviously not have “Live Now” or “Upcoming meetings” yet)


Now you can edit the meeting. Actually if you are going to be the sole user running the meeting and want it to be an anonymous meeting (anyone can join) you are done. (Wow, that was easy!)

But, if you want to you can tweak the meeting to your tastes

  • Event Title
  • Scheduled for Start Date, Time and Duration
  • Event Team Members
  • Attendees: Anonymous, Secure and Open (anyone in company, coming soon)
  • Customize Event
    • Right Panel App (bing pulse or yammer)
    • Lower Panel App (bing pulse or yammer)
    • Troubleshooting support: URL and Link Text
    • Custom Link for Attendees: URL link to content related to event & Link Text

NOTE: You can get a free BETA Bing Pulse account at

Note: A little slightly odd thing to note is that you need to save each section before proceeding.


Now just copy the event link at the top right of screen and distribute it along with event schedule.


If someone tries to join the broadcast before the schedule time, they will see the below: (ATM there doesn’t seem to be a way to change the “Not Started” curtain.)


Now when the presenter/producer is ready to broadcast, he should click on the meeting join URL (same one as everyone uses to join the broadcast) with a user that he created the broadcast meeting with.

NOTE: I was having problems that it wanted to sign with an unrelated user, so deleting cookies in IE took care of the problem and it would ask for Office365 login


Note, the new protocol handler, Skypecast15.


Now unmute the audio, start video (or share something)  and make that panel Active by right clicking and select “Make Active for Video Broadcasting”


Now you can “Start Broadcast”. Note that it will take about 30 seconds till those watching the broadcast will start seeing it.


Also, you can only “Start” and “Stop” a broadcast ONE time, so there is no turning back after you are Start. Skype4B will remind you of this important fact:


Now it’s going. We added a PowerPoint which adds some more controls to the Producer’s meeting panel.


Now any viewers (attendees that are not a part of the Event Team) that have clicked on the Join URL will see the broadcast. They have the option to rewind, pause or jump to Live.


NOTE: Joining with IE or Chrome on PC worked just fine. I joined with an Android phone with no problem as well.

Those viewing will want to be aware that the audio will play on PC speaker device, not the Skype for Business client preferred device. This is much like Lync PowerPoint video played in the past. (click here)

After the Producer stops the event, anyone that clicks the Join URL will see the broadcast recording. If you want to see such a recording, feel free to click (note that the video was muted for awhile, go to minute 4:00)


Playing Videos Inside PowerPoint in Broadcast Meetings

I have written a detailed article on how to play videos (and corresponding audio) inside a stnadard Skype for Business meeting. (see the article here) In my tests with Skype for Business Broadcast Meetings when the PowerPoint page with the video is shown to, it displays “Error: Unsupported video type or invalid file path” to broadcast viewers in the lower left of where the video would be.


Some Notes

  • The recording does not appear to be saved in Office 365 Video
  • Don’t see any additional Office 365 Reports related to Skype4B Broadcast
  • ATM I don’t see a place to download the broadcast video
  • On the broadcast viewer there is no count of viewer, which I expected
  • ATM No “lower third” (see



Once again, like “Cloud PBX”, I am impressed at how it “just works”. There were really no gotchas and it all made immediate sense. People are going to love Skype for Business Meeting Broadcasts.