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Review of Logitech G105 Keyboard as Skype for Business or Lync UC Call Control Keyboard


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Wish You Had Dedicated Keys for UC Call Control? Logitech G105 Can Help

If you or your users handle calls all day long and rely on a headset alone, dedicated buttons for control could increase efficiency. The Logitech G105 keyboard brings 6 dedicated keys (x3 memory) that can be utilized for call control. Since not all the Skype for Business/Lync shortcut keys are global (which means the user would need to verify the correct window has the focus before pressing a button and that doesn’t seem to be a solid solution to me) we combine the free Call Monitor Pro with Skype for Business/Lync with the G105 to bring dedicated call control keys to Skype for Business/Lync. For attendant console users we also demo the G105 with Attendant Pro for Lync & Skype for Business.

See G105 + Skype for Business Setup in Action

G105 working with Skype4B


How to Configure

The simple overview of the setup: #1-assign the G105 keys to some keyboard key combination using the “Logitech gaming software”. #2-assign the G-keys to Call Monitor Pro or Attendant Pro #3-Done.

A simple way to make the G1..G6 keys useable in Call Monitor Pro/Attendant Pro is to assign them to ctrl+number keys corresponding to the G key number. G1 = crtl+1 for example. Use the “Logitech Gaming Software” to setup application to do this.

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Now switch to Call Monitor Pro or Attendant Pro and open Options | Shortcut Keys and assign G1 thru G6 to call control functions functions of your choice. That’s it! Now you have keys that can control Skype for Business calls anywhere in Windows.

Summary

Having dedicated keys for call controls increases efficiency of all users and especially those who are handling calls regularly. It also adds a level of convenience & proficiency to users who may be used to a desk phone. The keyboard is affordable at $40-60 street price and since it is designed for gaming, very responsive.

As an enterprise solution rolling out key assignments to the Logitech keyboards would be essential and I haven’t inquired if this is possible.

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[free] Call Monitor Pro for Lync & Skype for Business: bit.ly/callmonitorpro
[free trial] Attendant Pro for Lync & Skype for Business: http://landiscomputer.com/attendantpro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7MFF_M6RWI
http://support.logitech.com/product/uc-keyboard-k725c

Review Embrava BlyncLight: Adds Ringer, Standard USB & More Colors

The Embrava BlyncLight is a new version of the BlyncLight that adds some nice improvements:

  • Ringer
  • More colors
  • standard mini usb plug
  • Better quality physical design

A quick look at the BlyncLight

Speaker and bottom view:

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Standard mini usb (replaceable USB cord)

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Colors

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Installing the Embrava BlyncLight tray application. Setup is very straightforward.

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To configure Blync you just select what you want to happen on an activity.

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Colors

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There is also Flash: High, Medium, Low  & No flash.

Brightness: Full & Dim.

Comparison of 2nd Gen Embrava BlyncLight and 1st Gen Blync

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bottom (new embrava much more stable)

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USB

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Summary

The Embrava BlyncLight is a nice upgrade and the addition of the speaker/ringer makes the BlyncLight even more useful and productivity enhancing.

Hands On Review of Skype for Business Client

Here is my first hands on look at the Skype for Business client on my PC.

Quick summary of new items not seen before:
  • New Emoticons
    • full Skype emoticon list and animated emoticons
  • Exactly how the “Call Control” window works:
    • Call Control window displays when Skype4B does not have focus
    • Double click takes you to active conversation window
    • setting to turn it off
  • Call Quality Feedback after Lync media call
  • Alerts location. This allows user to specify where alerts (like incoming call toast) show. Which display and position on that display.
  • Call Transfer will be no less than 4 clicks
    • If a call is from PSTN and has no contact in Outlook it can be one click!
Screenshots and New Functionality

The Skype for Business client main screen (note the round photos, like skype)

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Search a contact. (With Skype for Business Server components in place you can search for Skype ID’s as well!)

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New Emoticons

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IM window

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Multi-party video

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New UIcall monitor

New call control buttons and new “Call Controls” button. No “hover”, all clicks.call windows.jpg

Call Transfer Steps if call detected as PSTN call: 1-Click! 

(if call is detected as PSTN. It seems this is only if number is not found in a Contact, which makes it a little inconsistent. When it works, its cool!)

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Transfer Steps When call is not detected as PSTN Call

Call Transfer Steps: Click “Call Control” [1] | “Transfer” [2]

Also note new functionality: ability to mute the speaker.xfer-1 and 2

Transfer Call windowxfer before 3 and 4

Find Contact [3] and click Transfer [4]xfer 3 and 4

Call Monitor

Displays when Skype4b does not have focus. Double click to be taken to Skype4B active conversation window. Mute and Hang up controls. (see new free tool to enhance this functionality:L http://bit.ly/callmonitorpro)call control

Change Alters (Call Toast) Position and Monitor

Ability to change where Alerts display. Which display and what position on the display. (shown in upper-right of primary display below)

alerts location

IM Window with new around avatars

IM with round avatars

User Call Quality Feedbackcall quality rating

New Settings and Features

Ability to Show or not show new “Call Controls” (call Call Monitor in marketing) when Skype4B doesn’t have focusshow call controls

Alerts location. This allows user to specify where alerts (like incoming call) show. Which display and position on that display.general alerts

Phone Integrationenable integration with your phone system

Join Conference settings moved to “Skype Meetings” joining conference calls

Tray Icon

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Taskbar Icon

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Technical Questions & Notes

How does “Call Quality Feedback” window send the feedback? According to logs it is sent to Skype4B Server via a SIP Service message. Below is a SIP message:

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What .exe name is the client? Skype for Business.exe

Can I turn off the new UI?

On Lync Server 2013 or Skype for Business Server 2015 use the csclientpolicy and set EnableSkypeUI to $FALSE

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Go get the Skype for Business Client Preview: Click Here

Suggest an improvement: http://lync.ideascale.com/

Matt Landis’ Enterprise Connect 2015 Notes #ec15

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I am not attending Enterprise Connect (March 16-18, 2015), but as always I will be watching Lync/Skype4B developments as a “remote worker” (how else for a UC professional to attend?) and will scribble developments and new stuff I notice.

EC15: http://www.enterpriseconnect.com/orlando/
EC15 Notes: http://bit.ly/mattec15

Skype4B Keynote by Zig Serafin March 18, 2015 10 AM
http://blogs.office.com/2015/03/18/skype-for-business-is-here-and-this-is-only-the-beginning/

Skype for Business Keynote by Zig Serafin: New Announcements Summary

  • “WebRTC coming soon” for Skype for Business – click here
  • Search Skype Users by skype username or Geo-location from inside Skype for Business
  • Adding Voice to Office365 Later This Year: Audio Conference, PSTN Calling, Ent Voice
  • Polycom Roundtable 100

Control with Mobile

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The Unit

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Announcements

Skype4B/Lync News

http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Whats-New-in-Skype-for-Business

Emoticons Are No Joke: Skype4B to Address Lync 2013 Emoticon Change

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skype (skype consumer) emoticons

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skype4b via @LCansby

Emoticons are no joke, not even in the Enterprise! Microsoft Lync 2013 got an emoticon refresh that quickly led to “Bring Back the Emoticons!” “campaign”. In no time “Bring back pre-SP1 Emoticons” was among the top 10 items requested on http://lync.ideascale.com/

According to @flinchbot, Microsoft is communicating via the Infopedia EvenBuilder presentations that emoticons will be addressed in Skype for Business client. According to @flinchbot:

  • many of the complaints about the Lync 2013 client should be addressed in Skype4B client
  • Optionally animated
  • Some Lync specific emoticons have been removed (gtr)
  • Lync 2013 to get new emoticons as well (according to @tomorgan)
  • Emoticons that will be available by @MKressmark click here

The complete list of Skype (Skype4C) emoticons is available here.

What this all seems to indicate is that emoticons are much more serious than I previously thought.

Please follow https://twitter.com/flinchbot

https://twitter.com/flinchbot/status/570618023335362560

http://lync.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Bring-back-the-pre-SP1-emoticons/592285-16285