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Who Can Federate Live! Update to WCF Tool Coming Soon

We’ve been working for some time on a new feature for the WCF Tool that we are calling Who Can Federate Live! and have decided to release it when current version hits 3,000 downloads. (to make sure there is demand. grin. click here to download.)

Who Can Federate Live! will allow you to run the WCF Tool just like you always have, plus there is a new tray app mode that lets you run it continuously as a tray app that will periodically scan for new contacts you can federate with. (much like AV or Anti-Malware software)

Below is the tray app and menu. (the Scan Now is for very impatient people like me.)

shot1

Below you can see scan in progress:

trayapp-scanning

Below is the notice when Who Can Federate Live! finds new contacts. (We are thinking to add an email update/notification as well.) When you click on the notice, you can see any new contacts that are Lync enabled, and just like before you can click on them to open them in Lync.

found

As you may or may not know, the Who Can Federate Tool can scan your contact list hundreds of times faster than brute DNS lookups due to the Lync Federation Directory Project. (a list of thousands of Lync enabled domains.) We have an audacious goal to Azure-ize this backend database as well. This is in progress but not sure if this will make it into 1.4.

windows_azure_logo

At the moment we are thinking to have the WCF Tool with Who Can Federate Live! feature be free just like the current WCF Tool. The free edition will always submit domains to the Lync Federation Directory Project (no personal contacts/email, just domains) when in Who Can Federate Live! /scheduled mode. We are thinking to have a paid edition that you can opt out of submitting domains.

To get the current Who Can Federate Tool:
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Who-Can-Federate-Tool-a9e00d23

I welcome feedback in comments, twitter or otherwise!

Lync Call Pickup Feature Provided by 3rd Party ISV’s

 

Colima Cerebro

Call Pickup solution for Lync from Colima is server based.


http://colima.de/en/products/cerebro.html
http://blog.colima.de/en/2012/06/call-pickup-with-colima-cerebro-preview/

 

Bressner FonComfort

Just noticed this little tray app that brings Call Pickup (and some other features) to Microsoft Lync. It seems to work just as billed.

Some Notes:

  • It will pickup Response Group and calls directly to a Lync user (if a lync user is ringing, it seems it can Call Pick it)
  • Person doing the call pickup cannot have DND set
  • The FonComfort trayapp must be running on both parties PC
  • You must initiate the call pickup from Lync 2010, but you can answer the resulting call to yourself from Lync 2010 or an IP phone
  • By default Lync does not have a “Ringing” presence state indicated, but FonComfort includes instructions to add this so you can pickup calls even without physically hearing the ring
  • Restart Lync 2010 and FonComfort before trying to use

 


http://www.bressner.de/detail/telecom_it/unifiedcommunication/lync-software/lync-fon-comfort/BT+FonComfort+Basic_17689.html

Axon Lync Call Pickup

axonlogo

I have not tested it, but alert Lync consultant, Thamara Wijesinghe, notified me that UbiBase has created Axon Lync Call Pickup. Checkout their video below:

Some quick things Ubibase notes about Axon Call Pickup for Lync

  • Written using UCMA
  • At the moment, Individual call pickup (call pickup groups on their agenda)
  • Works on Lync client or Lync Phone Edition with user definable code
  • Will have some more features
    • Busy Tone
    • Music on Busy
    • Music on Hold
  • Will work with SBA, SBS and Enterprise topologies

See pages 5-9 of this pdf brochure for Axon Call Pickup for Lync:
Download

http://ubibase.com/
http://ubibase.com/solution.htm

More Lync Call Pickup Solutions:

Polycom Releases Several Lync Improvements in Firmware 4.0.2 Rev B, But Still Not Lync Qualified

 

polycom-msft

Polycom still has not achieved Lync Qualified status, but they continue to make improvements to their firmware. Here are a few I noticed on quick reading specs document:

  • Lync Digitmap changes
  • Asian fonts and Lync contacts
  • 77226 – Improvements when registered to Lync and another PBX presence is sent correctly

Page 4 notes:
”Note: SoundPoint IP 670 is supported by UCS 4.0.2 Rev B but will not be supported in future releases.”

 

Annoncement:
http://community.polycom.com/t5/VoIP/Software-UCS-4-0-2-Rev-B-has-been-released/td-p/12970

Firmware 4.0.2 Details:
http://downloads.polycom.com/voice/voip/uc/UC_Software_Release_Notes_402%20Rev%20B.pdf

To read my detailed article on Polycom’s Microsoft Lync push:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2011/12/polycom-announces-new-firmware-to-lync.html

The Masses Can Now Make Microsoft Lync MSPL Scripts Via Free Tool from Colima

UPDATE: As of Feb 2014 the tool is free and does IM, Audio and Video calls.

Looks like Colima thinks everyone should be writing MSPL to filter incoming sessions.

The SimpleRoute tool is a small 2MB application that requires no installation, just click on the executable. The interface is quite easy: Just define the From, Message Contains and Action (Decline or Redirect To). (the free tool just works on IM messages, but paid tool does Audio and Video as well.)

new

Next click on the Save icon to save the automatically generated MSPL file.

save-2

Checkout the resulting MSPL:

mspl-code

After you save the MSPL file, SimpleRoute will give you the precise Powershell command to install your new MSPL file as well. Run it, and you should be done!

powershell-to-install

Seems like a quite clever tool which removes the need for programming MSPL for simple scripts.

Get the Free Tool from Colima:
http://www.colima.de/en/products/simpleroute.html

Read more on MSPL:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh364805.aspx

Trying to Drive Fast Instead of Fly With Unified Communications: UC Requires a Paradigm Shift Change In Thinking

 

jet-or-limo

Your company just acquired a new corporate Jet. Sleek, fast and state of the art. The best there is. But VP of your aging limousine fleet is at the conference room table, vehemently shouting "Why can't this new fangled thing even achieve 35mph when driving to the runway?! Our limo's can go 80mph on any paved surface!". Everyone around the table starts nodding. Intense discussion ensues about "Yeah, anyhow, why can't this go 35mph?" and the goal becomes "Surely there is some engine we can bolt on to the running gear to make this thing taxi 35mph."

And everyone forgets: This jet can FLY at 600mph!!

Unified Communication can make your company fly. Instead of: how can we go as fast as before, the question needs to be: How can we transition to flying? Going from 35mph to 600mph requires some fundamental changes in thinking about how we communicate in business. This will involve very real changes in communication flow everyday.

In  unified communications this means making several thing central. These items need to be leveraged to enable massive improvements:

  • Presence
  • Instant Message
  • Communication Enabled Business Processes

What are some practical ways to do this?

 

The Old: I can use my deskphone to talk, talk or talk. (that’s it)

The New: with microsoft lync you can see presence, instant message, voice call, video call or share a desktop.

Instead of being forced to use one mode of communication, UC enables everyone and you can easily use the one the fits the need this scenario.

The Old: My old pbx could call me when someone is off the phone.

The New: Tag user for status change.

Instead of using a star key on your pbx to get a call when someone is off the phone, use "Tag a user for status change alerts". The nice thing about this is you can get an alert when they arrive at their desk, leave there desk or when they go offline/online. And no phone call interrupting you, just a nice little toast on your screen. And if you have federation to LiveMessenger/AOL/Yahoo/Office365, you do the same thing with those external contacts.

The Old: I have a button/light on a physical phone i can press to call a buddy.

The New: Using Lync contact list you can have more buddies and you can decide who your buddies are--not the pbx guy that set your desk phone up 5 years ago.

Use the Lync 2010 contact list. You can setup your own buddy list very easily. You can no only see when your buddy is on the phone but: are they in a meeting? away? offline? And you can also see what they are up to with the Activity note. If you are out of the office for a day you can see what your colleagues were up to when you where gone!

The Old: Look at a number on your computer screen, and type it on your desk phone.

The New: Just click on a number you looked up on the web and Lync will dial it.

Using the built-in in web click to dial feature, you can just click on a phone number and have Lync dial it for you. No more glancing back and forth between your screen and desk phone, getting it wrong a couple times, etc.

These are just a few ideas how  you can transition from PBX (limo) to Unified Communication (jet) thinking. 

PS-if you have more examples you would like to see here, leave a comment! I’ll add pertinent ones.

How Can I Use My SIP or Analogue DeskPhone With Lync?

 

red-phone

 

 

  • Aastra, Ascom, Cisco, Linksys, Polycom via SmartSIP or Audiocodes SPS

 

Note: Make sure you thouroughly test your selected method for integrating your deskphones into your system. Using any of these methods may have different or missing functionality than the built in Lync client or Lync Phone Edition devices.

Video Review of snom Vision Expansion Module for SIP and Lync

 

vision-closeup-fullsize

 

Pros:

  • One of the first physical Lync Qualifed expansion module/attendant consoles for Microsoft Lync (snom 370 expansion module is another, Polycom has one but NOT qualified.)
  • Solid look and feel, nice build quality
  • Connects to phone via IP address (No USB needed)
  • Can be powered via POE (not 100% sure if this is pro or con. should it be USB?)

Cons:

  • Bit slow paging between screens of extensions
  • Screen could show text-based Lync presence (ie: In a Call, In a Meeting, Inactive, etc)
  • Marketing show screen displaying Presence colors—you won’t find this in the live version

Some more points:

  • Red/Orange/Green colored BLF
  • full color, touch screen
  • 16 x 3 extension monitoring
  • connects to snom 8xx device via IP
  • Works with a variety SIP pbx's and Microsoft Lync
  • 2 USB ports (for future use?)
  • 2 bracket angles

Screen shot of configuration of the Vision

  • To associate the Vision with a snom 8xx phone goto the Web UI, Click on Extension Module | define the 8xx IP address and username/password and click “Re-establish phone connection”
  • To setup an extension

extension-setup

Buttons can be defined as:

button-options-live

More details on Microsoft Lync using snom BLF buttons for presence:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2012/02/snom-brings-lync-presence-to-desk-phone.html

More details on snom Vision firmware version 1.2.4 Update:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2012/04/snom-vision-sip-or-lync-attendant.html

Lync CEBP: Adding Microsoft Lync Click-to-Dial to SAP Business One

Thirdwave Business System added Microsoft Lync Click-To-Dial functionality to SAP Business One in a mere 15 minutes due to Lync's easy to use integration capabilities combined with the SAP B1 customization capability using the Thirdwave Advanced Productivity Pack.


If you want this integration to SAP Busines One contact Thirdwave Business System: www.twbs.com
For Lync implementation and consulting: www.landiscomputer.com


snom Phone .NET Library Makes Automating Deskphone a Little Easier

 

snom-codeplex-project

A codeplex project aimed at making automating your snom phone has been released. What does this simple class library do?

  • press any key on the phone
  • dial numbers
  • mute and unmute
  • and more…

http://snom.codeplex.com/

Lync Survivable Branch Appliance Version 2 Released, Microsoft Says: “SBA For Any Branch, Any Size”

 

sbav2

Unless I am mistaken, Microsoft isn’t jumping up and down and shouting “LYNC SURVIVABLE BRANCH APPLIANCE VERSION 2” has come! ;-). Actually it sneaked out on me and when I saw NET mentioning “SBAv2” I mistakenly thought at first it was a NET moniker. Even looking at Lync Qualified SBA page I don’t see any mention of it. But, according to Rushal Patel, of NET, this is an official update of the Lync SBA by Microsoft.

UPDATE: Yes, Microsoft does have something to say about the SBAv2:
“This specification has the potential to reduce the cost for deploying SBA in branches of 25 users or less,” said Ashima Singhal, Group Product Manager, Microsoft Lync. Click Here to read more.

[And listen up SMB’s: This device, even if inadvertently, is showing you some love.]

How is the Lync Survivable Branch Appliance Version 2 different than Lync SBA Version 1?

  • Support for less than 25 users Branch Offices
  • Appears like SBAv2 can be run on lesser/cheaper Atom based-hardware
  • Virtualization
    • This appears to mean that a device like NET UX1000 can run the SBAv2 software and some additional apps like:
      • Call center/contact center solution
      • call recording solution
      • bandwidth management
      • some other vertical app

Below is an example of a virtualized application on an SBA v2: Auto Attendant by Audiocodes: (Click here)

image

More details here: (source: click here)

image
It appears like UCMA apps can run on SBAv2:

image

 

At the moment it appears NET UX1000 is the first device Qualified for SBAv2.

Rushal Patel comment on SBAv2 on twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/PatelRushal/status/190563310024933376

NET Blog Article about SBAv2:
http://blog.net.com/2012/04/ux-is-the-first-lync-sbav2-qualified-platform/

NOTE: If you have any Microsoft or other links to more information about SBAv2, I would welcome it. Please comment.

Keywords: SBAv2

snom to Release New Revision of m9 DECT Phone: snom m9R

 

Challenges with features and voice quality caused the snom m9 to stumble out of the gate. It looks like snom is making an effort to correct some of those issues with a new hardware release called the snom m9r.

What is new?

  • Repeater functionality
  • This appears to be hardware upgrade to the m9 base station NOT merely a firmware upgrade
  • Higher memory on the unit
  • Improved voice quality (frankly a big problem with current m9)
  • appears to have an optional rubberized tough shell. (more detail click here)

Some Notes:

  • snom notes the m9r is slated for availability around end of 2012
  • m9R handset will not work with m9 basestation.

What is unique about the snom m9?

  • IPv6 ready
  • It was first DECT phone to register to Lync directly (it is not Lync Qualified) but since Polycom has released DECT and WIFI portable phones that register directly to Lync. (Also not Lync Qualified)

Some more resources on the snom m9 and Lync Portable phones:

  • Video review of snom m9 (1st revision) Lync features Click Here
  • Vido Review Polycom Spectralink 84xx Lync Features Click Here

Here is a link:
http://www.snom.com/index.php?id=1377#c23708

#Cisco Prepares for the Post-PC Era in a Move That Signals the End of an Age

 

late-to-party

In a move that signals the END of an age in computing, Cisco makes an incredibly shocking announcement that we can only expect Cisco hopes will nudge the PC to yet another milestone of success in it’s long run of dominance.

In a March 27, 2012 press release Cisco seems to be noting:

“The Age of Jabber not being available for Windows is over. We have finally arrived at the PC/Windows age with our Jabber client.”

It can only be assumed that this is incredibly important milestone for Cisco. Jabber for Windows can now do what other UC client for the PC could do for several years now.

It is duly noted that while Jabber has arrived at Windows world with presence/IM/Audio/Video/Conference/Sharing this does not mean Jabber for Post-PC devices has these features yet. As noted by one Cisco Community user: “the Jabber train is in multiple stages of development on the different supported platforms…”

An unnamed UC industry watcher noted: “If Cisco is ever to get to the Post-PC world they need to first arrive at the PC/Windows world. Jabber has just arrived.”

Some Great Articles on #Lync Certified NET UX1000 Gateway


ux1000

NET UX1000 looks like an interesting Lync gateway appliance.


Tom Arbuthnot (very good photos) :
http://lyncdup.com/2011/12/a-look-inside-the-net-ux1000-gatewaysurvivable-branch-appliance-photos-of-the-hardware/

Tom Kisner Blog (video):
http://thelync.net/2012/01/03/the-net-ux1000-gateway-for-lync/

NET UX1000 Web UI by Tom Arbuthnot:
http://lyncdup.com/2011/10/a-hands-on-first-look-at-the-net-ux1000-gateway-and-survivable-branch-appliance-for-lync/

Brekeke PBX/SIP Server Gets Update and Joins #IPv6 Communication Platform Crowd

 


Brekeke IP Server IPv6 and TLS support:
http://wiki.brekeke.com/wiki/BPBX_History

Here is an article I did some time ago on which communication platforms do IPv6:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2010/07/is-your-phonesystem-ready-for-ip-v6.html

snom Vision SIP or #Lync Attendant Console Gets Firmware Update: Fixes and New Features

 

NOTE: I didn’t get a chance to play with new firmware, so any feedback is welcome!

It appears that the snom Vision (an attendant console that works with snom 8xx series in plain SIP or Microsoft Lync if partnered up with Lync Qualified snom 821) got a firmware update:
http://wiki.snom.com/Snom_Vision/Firmware/Release_Notes/1.2.4

Some welcome changes:

  • Not forced to have 2 buttons “wasted” on first page by predefined applications
  • Major speedup of loading extensions config page in web ui (was 20 seconds, now 1second!)
  • more update…click here

How to use the snom 821 and Vision with Microsoft Lync:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2012/02/snom-brings-lync-presence-to-desk-phone.html

Note:

  • Firmware update takes approximately 10minutes. Here is the firmware URL.
  • I hate to even post the marketing photos of the snom Vision screens/UI because in reality it looks quite different. Below is what the snom Vision UI really looks like.

vision-closeup

Office 365 / Lync Online to Get PSTN Calling Via Jajah April 30, 2012

 

jajahvoice

According to PinPoint entry:
http://lynconline.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-us/applications/jajah-voice-for-office-365-12884930736

What Does Jajah Voice Add to Lync Online?

  • Call any PSTN Phone
  • Forward Calls to PSTN Lines
  • Domestic and Worldwide Calling
  • Make Calls Using Lync Mobile Call Via Work
  • Lync Click-to-Dial functionality
  • Lync 2010 (Client SDK) appears like it should work with this feature

 

How Does Jajah voice for Office 365 It Work?

  • No Servers or PBX required
  • Use Lync 2010 Client as usual

Video about Office 365 and Jajah

More Notes:

Lync BusyLight™ Review: USB Device Brings Physical Presence & Ringer to Lync

 

green

There have been various “hobbyist” electronics projects to do interesting things with presence lights and Microsoft Lync including:

But I believe the BusyLight is the first commercially packaged product to provide physical presence light and ringer. Below is my video review of the device:

What are the Features of the BusyLight?

  • Shows your Lync presence status by a color coded LED on top of a 4” tall wand
    • Green, Red, Orange and Yellow presence states.
    • (Ironic NOTE: Even the Lync Optimized phones only 3 colors! Green, Red, Yellow!)
  • The unit has a built in ringer speaker
    • if you have a headset laying on desk, there is still a ring you can hear
    • or with a device with no speakers you still have a ringer
  • Lighted Ringer (Blinks blue for ring)

What is in the box?

  • The USB BusyLight
  • Adhesive pad to stick the BusyLight to your laptop or monitor
  • How to Install sheetbox-and-stuff

Some Pictures

The HP 4120 gives a little size comparison in the background.

green

The 2 small slots are for the ringer.

red

yellow

orange2

Mount can be angled to easily attach where you want.

orange

ringer blue light (below)

blue

How to Setup

  • Plug the BusyLight into USB on your PC and the BLL driver should automatically load.

driverloaded

installapp

The tray app

changeringer

changevolume

Notes:

  • The device is not a USB speaker device as I expected. (you do not configure this in Lync)
  • The ring tones do not appear to be modifiable by user
  • The tray app MUST be running for the BusyLight to work.
  • the LED is nice and bright (the photos seem to appear more washed out than the actual LED)

You can buy the device:
http://www.busylight.com/index.php

Note: How is the Jabra busylight related to the Kuando BusyLight? (some striking similarities!)
http://scavali.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/jabra-brings-it-for-teleworkers-the-9450-with-busylight/

Useless WorldWide Telephony Trivia: 1.2B POTS, 4.6B Mobile, 560M Skype Accounts in 2009

 

regions_worldwide

6.8 billion (2009 population) divided by 100 = 68m multiplied by 17.8 = 1,210,400,000 pots lines worldwide in 2009.
http://chartsbin.com/view/1221

2009 there were 560million Skype accounts
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype

4.6B mobile phone, early 2010
http://www.billshrink.com/blog/7807/mobile-phones-worldwide-by-the-numbers/