An alert reader brought my attention to the fact that the Polycom CX300/Plantronics P540 can be used used with Counterpath's Bria softphone as a USB/PC/Softphone combination. You get both the benefits of a softphone (tight pc integration like click to dial) with the ability to just pick-up a phone call. Very interesting.
Below are comments:
I am not using the unit in combination with OCS but with Bria from Counterpath. In Bria all buttons are functional and the device is a good alternative to a hardphone. I use it in combination with an open-source SIP server.One of the problems with a hardware based-phone is that it is still a bit hard to interact with the desk phone from your PC. Too hard/complex in my opinion. For example click to dial and smoothly discovering phone features (phone system and phone handset features). I think something like the Plantronics P540 combined with Counterpath's Bria may help to improve this. But the problem of a rebooting PC making the phone inoperable still exists.
Also, consider replacing the Polycom CX300 by Plantronics P540 because the Plantronics does Echo Cancellation, the Polycom relies on software to do it. I understood from Counterpath that the equal Plantronics P540, running firmware 01.10.6.12 has no echo problems.
I think perhaps the best solution would be a computer based "desk phone helper" application that brings a layer that makes the desk phone & phone system easier to use. Also, with this method the deskphone keeps working if there is no PC running--it just looses a layer of ease of use.
We are currently working on a desk phone helper application for snom phones that makes finding and using a lot of the cool features in your IP phone system easier for all users. For example: with snom ONE IP PBX to transfer a call to another extension's voicemail you need to dial
Below is my quick video review of the Polycom CX300/Plantronics P540 I did a while back:
Do you think phone handset makers need to do better at making phone system features discoverable? I'd like to hear you input!