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Patton 4600 Series Qualified for Microsoft UC Use



Just noticed that Patton shows up on Microsoft UC page as "Qualified" and "S+" (Secure) for use as a OCS/(Lync?) gateway. I'm glad to see this since we have relied heavily on Patton as a quailty PSTN gateway for more traditional phone system installations (snom ONE/pbxnsip/3CX) and have had a good experience with them.

Here is the link:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ocs/bb735838

In Depth Look at Lync Online Included With Office 365 Beta: Wow

Lync Online included with Office 365 Beta has a lot impressive new features compared to Microsoft's previous hosted OCS/Lync offering. (BPOS) In this article I'd like to outline what functionailty you can expect to get with Lync Online.

Lync to Lync Presence, IM, Audio, Video & Desktop Sharing...
Lync online allow communciation between mulitple parties so you can have multiparty video, audio or desktop sharing sessions going on.


Public IM Connectivity / MSN Live Capabilities
One of the nice features of Lync Online / Office 365 is that it will connect with Live Messenger users. Configuring this is pretty straight forward. From the main admin page click on "Admin" under Lync Online. Then click on "Public IM" and from here you will be able to enable. (It may take a day to take effect--this is normal.)

After the Status shows Enabled you will be able to add Live Messenger contact by typing them in the search. Below you'll see a audio/video/Instant message call between Lync Online and MSN/Live Messenger contact.


After experiencing that liberating feeling of collaborating with you Live contacts from Lync you might be tempted to try to add your 3rd freind/contact (Lync or Live) into a call/conference (as I did below)--but it won't work. (This is really a limitation of Live Messenger, not Lync Online.)


Features:
-Instant Message
-Audio and Video calls in a 1 to 1 senario

Limitations:
-Appears only 2 parting calls work: no 3party video or audio calls
-Not all emoticons works
-No screen sharing to from Live Messenger contact
-No file transfer

Domain Federation With Other Office 365 Lync Online Users
You can also federate with other Office 365 in a very simple "One Click" setup. Just goto the "Domain Federation" tab and click Enable to get this going. Now you can add contacts from other Office 365 domains and communicate in all modalities.

As you can see on the administration picture above the admin can block certain domains.
Features:
-Very simple setup
-Get very easy access to the whole Office 365 community; great intercompany connections
-Block specific domains
Limiations:-It may take a day to enable.

Lync Online Lync Web App Functionality
With the Lync Web App included with Lync Online you can have people who are not even a named user in Lync (anonymous) join a meeting and enjoy IM, desktop sharing. (audio call requires a partner service to be configured.) As we take a look the first things you'll notice is that the Silverlight, web based client looks very similar to the rich client.


Below is an example of sending a file attatchment using the LWA.

Now lets do something a little more tricky--share our screen from the LWA:


Sharing your screen with the LWA will require a small download the first time you try to share your screen as shown below.


You can select which application you wish to share.


And voila--screen sharing from a web app! It really all is very smooth and easy to do. (its all so very smooth I can see why one twitter user noted "google should be ashamed.")


Features:
-Allow Anonymous users join a conference call (no license required)

Limitations:
-LWA is not a full fledged Lync client, it just allows you to connect to ongoing meetings (full Lync has this same limitation)
-No PC-to-PC voice/audio

Questions:
-Can I get presence and instant message from some web client? Yes, you Outlook Web App.

Outlook Integration Adds Web Based Presence and Instant Message
Functionality inside Outlook Web App makes up a little for what Lync Web App is missing but doesn't entirely bridge the gap.


You can also set your presence from OWA as shown below:

Features
-Will archive IM conversations
-Instant Message and Set Presence

Limitations
-Very basic IM client means no audio, video, files or desktop sharing

Mobility
Currently there is no iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7 client for Lync Online included with Office 365. (Actually there is no client for these platforms from Microsoft yet.)

My Take
I think that Microsoft is getting the feature list right with Lync Online included with Office 365. Some people will get a look at Lync for the first time--and I expect--wonder why they didn't use it before. Really business UC is being brought to the masses of small and not so small businesses with this offering.

If Microsoft finds a way to deliver Enterprise Voice with Office 365 Lync Online (as it seems poised to in the UK with Jajah partnership?) this may just be the solution to sweeps PBX's in smaller businesses into history.

PS-Tommy Clarke has a great article on "Top 5 Lync Online Problems" you will want to see:
http://www.ultimate-communications.com/2011/04/top-five-lync-online-problems-in-the-forums-the-short-answers-office365-lync/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UltimateCommunications+%28Ultimate+Communications%29

snom 821 Officially Listed As Compatible With Microsoft UC



I was just was notified that snom 821 and 300 are officially designated as compatible with Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2. The phone will also work with Lync 2010 as Lync is backward compatible with OCS devices.

While some vendors have taken the approach of resisting interoperability with Lync snom has entirely embraced supporting Lync, which is really an extension of snom's ongoing effort to be an open handset interoperable with almost every communication solution out there.

snom is among a very small handful of vendors who have Microsoft approved devices for Lync. And in that small group snom has taken a different approach than both Polycom and Aastra: They have written a Lync compatible firmware from the ground up instead of using the "Lync Phone Edition" firmware. This makes some very interesting features and device options possible:
  • IPv6 enabled now
  • SIP and Lync/OCS Registrations possible at the same time
  • Use snom as SIP phone now and have Lync option available in the future
  • snom has option to add innovations / differentiation not in the "Lync Phone Edition" firmware.
  • Bridge PBX & Lync: Ability to change Lync Presence (Office365?) based on PBX SIP Calls
  • Very low cost and non-traditional end point devices are possible (Example: snom PA1, snom m9 Dect)
Some of the benefits of going the Lync Phone Edition firmware route:
  • RTAudio - very resiliant and wideband audio codec (great calls even on datacard reported)
  • Very easy/integrated provisioning
  • Outlook Integration
  • USB connection to PC can make very unified experience
One of the challenges with snom handsets in the past has been provisioning but a free provisioning tool has been released to ease this issue. (If you have experience mass implementing the snom OCS edition I would love to hear your experience below.) Others mention that the road to Lync compatibility has been a journey. One of the continuing challenges with snom in an OCS/Lync environment is around high availability.

I am hearing the snom's innovation around Lync will continue in full force. What will we see next? My advice is to keep your eye on snom related to Lync.

Visit the Official Lync IP Deskphones page:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/gg278172

** Because of twitter title I want to note that snom 300 and 821 is not Lync 2010 certified. As the Microsoft site notes it is OCS 2007 R2 compatible, and because of this it works with Lync **

snom Releases Softphone That Can Register as Lync Endpoint?

*** update: snom notes that Lync functionality in the snom m9 softphone is not an official/intended feature and snom recommends using the Communicator/Lync Client ***

I was just brainstorming in a previous post about the possibility that snom could easily release a free, snom Lync compatible softphone in the future...the weird thing is---it's already here.

I was kicking around on the snom forum and was informed that the snom m9 softphone is largely bit for bit the same as the snom m9 hardphone and...a light went on. That means that the free snom m9 softphone is Lync compatible. So I did some quick checking and sure enough...it is.

If you want to get a quick overview of what the snom m9 softphone can do, take a look at my post on the m9 hardphone. Most Lync features are the same.
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2011/03/snom-m9-lync-2010-and-ocs-2007-r2.html

What Lync 2010 Features does the snom m9 Windows softphone have?
-It will set the presence to DND/In Call/Available etc.
-It will allow you to make an audio call over standard SIP codec. (no RTaudio)
-9 1 button speed dials
-DND button that sets Lync presence to DND

How it is different than hardware m9 phone?
-no directory
-non of the rocker buttons work

Why is this important and what senarios will you use this? I'll let you decide. ;-)
Also note that I have not extensively tested the Lync features.

Get the softphone here to check it out:
http://forum.snomone.com/index.php?/topic/4140-snom-m9-soft-phone/page__view__findpost__p__20005

New Release of Free snom Windows Softphone Available

snom has just released a new build of their free Windows softphone. It may be the strangest Windows form factor soft phone ever, but hey it's the snom SIP stack and it works with snom ONE IP PBX! ;-)

Strangeness of form factor on this little m9 softphone aside: In all fairness snom has a very interesting option they could pull out of there back pocket at any moment: the possibility a Lync softphone from someone other than Microsoft? Since snom has gone the route of developing a dual Lync/SIP stack firmware from the ground up instead of going the Lync Phone Edition firmware route (shown below) that Aastra and Polycom have gone, they would seem to have the ability to port this work into a Windows, Linux or Mac softphone?



snom Lync phone firmware/ user interface:


Or perhaps even more interesting an Android form factor, purpose-built touch phone "handset" device? This in one fell swoop would give Grandstream's GXV-3175 (pic below) some competition on the SIP side while also bringing a Microsoft Lync client at the same time. Remember, this is just brainstorming about what snom technically could do---not what they said they will do. And realistically they seem to have their engineering plate pretty full at the moment...I guess I really got off subject here...


To Read more and get the Free snom softphone click below:
http://forum.snomone.com/index.php?/topic/4140-snom-m9-soft-phone/page__view__findpost__p__20005

To see the free snom softphone online manual:
http://wiki.snomone.com/index.php?title=The_snom_m9_softphone

Please note: The above conjecture is entirely my brainstorm on what snom could possibly do and snom has nothing at all to do with this post. This post is entirely the result of an over imaginative mind. (with perhaps not enough to do today?)

Microsoft Lync Online to Get Enterprise Voice


It looks like Lync Online is truly going to get Enterprise Voice. About a week ago Micrososft and Jajah made an announcement and I was a bit foggy on what the specific results of that would be but Max Sanna has noted that Lync Online in UK will be getting Enterprise Voice. Truly dramatic times for communication solutions.

Source:
http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/MaxSanna/~MQpoE


 

Office 365/Lync Online: Rave Reviews, Huge Oppertunity & Seismic Shift In Store for SMB VARs

Microsoft has released Office365 Beta and the rave reviews are pouring in. I would say that the Lync Online features included with this package alone is "Wow" and that is not even mentioning Sharepoint, Exchange, Office Web Apps.

Frankly I think this will bring a huge shift in the SMB marketplace. SMB IT consultants are going to need shift from being repairmen/hardware fixers/server guys to doing planning, migrations, training and business improvement consulting. There will also be room for industry specific applications and innovations built on top of Sharepoint, Exchange and Lync. (yes, Microsoft has made it hugely easy to innovate on top: Check my article on integrating to Lync in 5 minutes! This works with Office365) There is huge oppertunity ahead--for those willing to find those new oppertunities. And for a new type of consultant: the IT/Business consultant.

Check out some of the twitter chatter below:
http://twitter.com/mjokeefe13/status/59956421772587009


http://twitter.com/CRNDaily/status/59983234196447232

(google! Ouch!)

I know that all the VOIP people of the world out there are taking solace in the fact that Lync Online currently doesn't do SIP or PSTN trunking. My opinion is that this is wishful thinking to say the least. Microsoft would have to be hiding in a cave to not realize the shattering effects that adding SIP trunking to their Lync Online offering would have. I'm just a little voip consultant that is watching Microsoft closely but I would be hugely surprised if some type of SIP trunking offering does not follow. (Why is JAJAH partnering with Microsoft to provide voip services to Lync Online? If someone has an answer how this specifically will pan out please comment.)

In the traditional SIP/VoIP world some vendors have already realized they need to get on board with the "new world" realities. snom for example, has begun the process of Lync enabling their complete line of snom phones so that they work with SIP or Lync (OCS). This means that you can use their phones with current SIP realities as well as the new Office365/Lync realities in the future. Aastra and Polycom have taken the route of using Lync Phone Edition firmware to achieve Lync certification.
SMB IT and VoIP consultants will need to adjust to the new realities. Things remain interesting!

Note: since this article I've written an in-dept review of Lync included with Office 365 that has been in demand. My guess is you will want to read it. (sorry the book length of it--a little out of character for me ;-)
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-depth-look-at-lync-online-included.html

snom Releases an OCS / Lync Video About Their Phones

Another "corny" video from snom this time demonstrating the Lync/OCS compatible snom handset that has live presence just like the Lync client. This presence truly is nifty...plus the phones can be standard SIP phones as well.

Kerry Garrison Gives Overview the snom m9

Kerry Garrison gives an excellent overview of the snom m9. This looks like a device that will shape up to be very interesting!

Interesting List of Add-On's For Lync 2010


One of the big promises of Microsoft Lync is that it will allow you integrate your day to day business processes with your communication solution. Thus CEBP: Communication Enabled Business Processes. While most any UC solution can do this at some level, Microsoft has the developer eco system to really get CEBP into the mainstream. (and more than just "click to dial" senarios)

The ThreeAmigos blog has compiled a nice list of these:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/ucedsg/archive/2011/03/24/im-an-lync-expert-bot-available-for-download-and-other-lync-customization-examples.aspx

snom ONE Phone System Future Discussed: Future Looks Bright!


 

snom unofficially discusses what the future of their cross-platform (Windows/Linux/Mac) software based phone system could look like on their forum. Each one of these sounds like great ideas to me. Remember that this is not an official or absolute roadmap but what is on the minds of those behind snom ONE.
  • Windows Based Attendant Console: There are several clients for snom ONE currently: WAC, web-based WAC and 3rd party products such as yada, but it looks like snom looks to release an official client with more thorough feature set.
  • Windows Based User Client that includes a SIP softphone: Currently snom has the snom m9 sip phone, the PAC but looks to sure up this area as well. For snom ONE users/partners this means dependence on Camrivox/Estoswould not be as important. 
  • Even more Mobile Phone Functionality: The other thing is that the cell phone support which is good already can be extended by more "cool" (productive) features. For example, it should be possible to transfer calls that have been received on the cell phone to other users on the system. 
  • Firmware upgrades per device: "...Domain / user level PnP support. Say, if you want to just upgrade/downgrade that 1 phone, you can do it, instead of forcing every phone in the system to be upgraded to the new/beta versions..." 
  • SIP Trunk Improvements: Also the trunk SIP header manipulation (RFC3325 etc) must be a lot more flexible. 
  • Support Even More Users Per Server: "...lift the restriction to have everything running on the same core..."
The source of this can be found here:
http://forum.snomone.com/index.php?/topic/4555-roadmap-of-snom-one/page__gopid__19748#entry19748

If you have ideas that you think should go into future versions of snom ONE, make sure your voice is heard by adding your ideas at this unofficial forum:
http://snomone.ideascale.com/

Adrian Georgescu Talks About Blink SIP Client in Video

Adrian Geogescu talks about SIP Client Blink and other developments. If you haven't I suggest you take a look at this very well put together SIP client. http://www.icanblink.com/.

If you haven't reviewed this cross platform SIP client I suggest you do:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/blink