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Lync Server Firewall Rules App by Rui Maximo

 

Rui Maximo has written a very nice little PC app that shows the firewall rules required between various Lync components. It is quite simple to use, on the left select the Source, then on the right the Destination. The app then gives an easy to read and graphical representation of the traffic. At the bottom of the screen it shows detailed protocol, ports, purpose, whether configurable or not and even an URL to the documentation about this traffic.

screenshot

Nice work Rui!

Also, I’m sure Rui would appreciate your comments on twitter https://twitter.com/#!/rui_maximo 

Here is the app:
https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=5AD71CFC041136D1&id=5AD71CFC041136D1%21621

Lync Topology for Small/Pilot Lync Implementation: Servers, Firewall Ports, Using Single Edge IP

I keep getting requests for how a very simple, small Lync topology should/could look like. In the interest of not answering each request separately I’ll post a quick design of what a small solution could look like.

Please remember a couple things about this design:

  • Number 1 goal is to be minimal
  • It is not resilient
  • In goal of minimal it may break Microsoft supported (I’m thinking of not reverse proxy)

 

lync-single-IP-diagram

Below is what topology builder looks like for the Edge on the above design:

simple-ip-edge-topology-builder-blurred

Note: I suggest linking to this post, not the graphic, as the graphic will be updated.

Major Desk Phone Makers Retool Mindset and Identity for a Brave New Software World

 

While there have been innumerable articles asking the rhetorical question “Is the desk phone dead?” it seems the front is somewhat quiet on the subject as two major players, who have major stake in “desk phones” take specific action to end the age.

On May 24, 2012, Polycom, the epitome of the open IP conference and desk phone, didn’t just say “We are now adding software endpoints” but entirely changed their identity to make the point of  (and I quote Polycom’s press release) “Polycom’s continuing transformation to a software-led company, driving rapid innovation in UC and video collaboration…”

“Polycom’s continuing transformation to a software-led company…” –-Polycom Press Release May 24, 2012

The Polycom press release goes on to say: "…people around the world will begin seeing the new Polycom brand first-hand through Polycom software that powers mobile video collaboration on a wide range of devices, from tablets, smartphones and laptops to browser-based and social applications.”

old-new-2

If Polycom’s major shift was not enough, Cisco itself, and on the very same day noted in a blog post that “Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today. However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.”

But OJ Winge, Senior Vice President of Cisco's TelePresence Technology Group, made it clear that the failure of the Cius was not an isolated product failure, but linked this failure to Cisco’s need to refocus on “software offerings” by noting: "Cisco will instead "double down" on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems, the blog states. Cisco unveiled a version of Jabber for the iPad at the Enterprise Connect conference earlier this year."

Barry O'Sullivan, Senior Vice President and GM of the Collaboration Technology Group Cisco, noted during the briefing at Cisco on Thursday afternoon that "Our strategy for the future is all about software…"

"Our strategy for the future is all about software…" Barry O'Sullivan, Cisco Senior VP and GM of the Collaboration Technology Group

 

cius-on-dock

What makes the failure of the Cisco Cius particularly poignant (especially for companies aspiring to build purpose built hardware devices) is that the Cisco Cius is a well designed and state of the art, purpose built, HD, video device. If the Cisco Cius cannot make it in this brave new world of BYOD and software based UC clients, what can?

What is interesting is that even with the “software” endpoint there is still need for “hardware” between the PC/Mobile and the user, but increasingly this can easily be a USB/bluetooth headset, Shifting the “desktop hardware” to vendors like Plantronics, Jabra, Seinhauser, Logitech and others.

deskphone-to-headset-migration-2

 

UPDATED 6/2/2012: Just yesterday I was chatting with a Mitel New Partner onboarding person.

I was chatting with Mitel about what the requirements are for new partners and I got an interesting answer: They are looking for VMWare partners. (or a considerable volume of sales, but VMWare Partner seemed #1). That is right, not telephony or communication/UC experience, but partners that have experience with VMWare virtualization. My double take was apparently noticeable and these were the next words: “Mitel is becoming a software company…”

“Mitel is becoming a software company…”

I also notice that Mitel home page has depictions of tablets, mobile phone and headsets, but the desk phone is no where in site on it homepage at www.mitel.com (which, not surprisingly is exactly the same for Polycom and Cisco.)

mitel-logo

Polycom and Cisco seem to wholeheartedly agree  with each other, (and almost word for word) that the future of UC endpoints is in software. 

…Which really is not news, and even slightly ironic, if you have been listening to Microsoft for that last 5 plus years…

Sources:
http://www.polycom.com/company/news_room/press_releases/2012/20120524.html
http://blogs.cisco.com/collaboration/empowering-choice-in-collaboration/

PS- I expect there will be a niche market for traditional form factor desk phones that will be around for some time.

First Impression Video Review of Jabra Speak 410 USB Portable Speaker Phone for Lync

 

Just got a Jabra Speak 410 unit. My first surprise is just how small the unit is! (I received several devices and this box was so small I wasn’t sure what would be in it) It is a perfect “laptop bag” unit because of its size. The second thing that struck me is the quality look and feel: it strikes a good balance between too light and too heavy in my mind. You might think with such a small device it would slide around on the desktop when pressing the buttons, but due to the foam on the bottom and weight, it does not do this.

jabra410

first impression video review of Jabra Speak 410

Here are my first impression notes:

  • Sits solidly on desk and has nice grippy foam on the bottom.
  • Feels and looks quality. Not too heavy, not too light.
  • Nice carry bag. Very compact. Will fit in Laptop bag very nicely.
  • Approximately 24" usb cable that can be easily stowed.
  • Dedicated buttons for volume, ringer volume set, mute, answer, hangup
  • very compact
  • big sound/loud
  • 11 volume levels
  • white LED volume level indication
  • Green LED in Call indication
  • Red LED for Mute
  • White Power On indication
  • The 410 has a built-in ringer that is separate from the PC Volume. ( the volume of the ringer can be set by pressing and holding where it says “Jabra” on the unit. Then Yellow LED’s will light and you can set ringer volume by volume +/-)
  • HD Voice
  • Firmware is upgradeable
  • Optimized for Lync and OCS
  • You can plug Jabra QD headset into Jabra Speak 410 using SKU 8800-00-99
  • Has built-in ringer and volume can be set (by holding Jabra logo for 2 seconds till the Leds turn yellow)
  • Jabra Call Manager does not work with the Jabra Speak 410.

 

WP_000480

410 Microphone

WP_000481

Plug in Jabra QD headset (adapter required)

WP_000482

410 with case.

WP_000490

Jabra PC Suite Software.

What?! Yealink Press Release Indicates Intention to Release Microsoft Lync Firmware?

 

Yealink_SIP-T38G-448x325

I just noticed this 1/11/2011 press release that notes that apparently Yealink has indicated some intention of bringing Lync firmware to market:

The company (Yealink) has also confirmed it will shortly release firmware updates to its popular and well established SIP-T22, SIP-T22 handsets as well as the new SIP-T38G. These deliver compatibility with Microsoft’s Lync unified communications platform which harnesses rich presence capabilities across voice, instant messaging, video, audio and web conferencing.

This is interesting but talk and a working product are two different things. My quick look at www.yealink.com shows no Microsoft Lync firmware. But there are some other interesting specs:

  • TI Aries chipset and TI voice engine (hmmm)
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • POE
  • 4.3 TFT-LCD 480x272, 16.7M colors

It does indeed appear that the new required feature of any SIP IP phone, is ticking off “Lync Compatible” feature. snom is the only Lync Qualified IP deskphone, and appears to have a bit of a lead on other vendors. Polycom has release a Lync firmware (that is not qualified as of this blog) and currently seems to be working on Lync Qualified status.

UPDATE 5/23/2012: An alert reader notes that Microsoft Pin Point entry on Yealink also notes this intention:

“Officially certified as Microsoft’s Silver Unified Communications Partner in Year 2011, Yealink is on the way to deliver cost-effective phones for Lync customers to extend the value of network communication.”

UPDATE 5/24/2012: In an email from Yealink Sales it was indicated that “it will take times” before Lync firmware comes out.

Source:
http://www.commsbusiness.co.uk/RSS_News_Articles.cfm?NewsID=14871
http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-BA/PartnerDetails.aspx?PartnerId=4297826799

#Lync Response Group Answer Experience: When Can I Say Hello? Right…Now!

hello

When using Response Group service there is a small delay between when an Agent answers (answer= picks up handset, presses headset button or clicks on Accept) and when they can start talking. Each Lync client/endpoint provides some indication of exactly when the Agent can start talking, but unfortunately each is slightly different. On some devices the cue is visual, on some audio. (The latest Lync Phone Edition does an excellent job of indicating this via an audio beep so there is no visual cue needed.)

So… here is the grid:

Phone/Client Version Visual Cue Audio Cue
Lync 2010 4.0.7577.8087 Connected. None
Lync Attendant 4.0.7577.8087   Beep, Silence, On 2nd Beep you can start to talk.
CX200 n/a Handset LED will blink while call is connecting and then go steady when you can talk. None.
Polycom CX300/snom UC600 n/a Connected. None.
POLYCOM CX600/HP 4120/AASTRA 4.0.7577.4066   Beep once a second and will stop when you can start talking.
snom UC Edition 8.8.1.1 Beta Will indicate “Connected”, then “Held By” and then a final “Connected”. Sometime during the “Held By” you can start talking. None.
Lync 2013 Mobile all none Beep once a second and will stop when you can start talking.

Microsoft #Lync Simple Ring Group for Small Work Groups That Avoids Answer Delay and Is More Survivable

 

In a small departmental or branch office scenario, users may be averse to the small delay on answering introduced by Lync Response Groups and Lync Phone Edition devices. (more details on the RGS delay: When Can I Say HelloRGS Delay Fix Suggestion; )  If you want a very simple ring group with no bells or whistles that avoids the RGS delay on answer, the below might be a work around for you.

  1. Setup a Lync User to use as your Hunt Group SIP address that you will send calls to (name the user what you want: huntgroup1@lyncdomain.com)
  2. Login to the user using the lync2010 client and Options | Call Forwarding | Edit my Team-Call Group Members and add those you want to ring at the same time.
  3. How soon to "0-at the same time"
  4. Now set "Simultaneously Ring" to "My Team-Call Group"

team call setup

You can use the Lync/Exchange/AD user to set the hours via Outlook (or Outlook Web Access)

outlook option

Using a Response Group to Add Flexible After Hours Scheduling

Commentor @AL has made an excellent suggestion on how to use a placeholder Response Group to get around the limitations of Outlook after hours schedule. Basically this methods uses RGS to get scheduling, but bypasses the inefficient RGS group ringing processing. Below are the steps:

Create a Response Group “Group” with no agents in it.

Now create a “Queue”, place the empty “Group” in it, and configure the below settings

  • Enable Queue overflow = enabled
  • maximum number of calls = 0
  • call action = forward to SIP address
  • SIP address = huntgroup1@lyncdomain.com (<-or your “hunt group” lync user)

image

Now create a Workflow/Response Group and place the above “Queue” in it. Now you will have the snappiness of TeamCall “huntgroups” plus the afterhours configurability of Workflow/Response Groups.

Note that using a Response Group to control your after hours is a benefit in that you have flexible, server based schedule, but it is a failure point if this is a remote branch.

Some Notes/Pros/Cons About The Work Around in this article:
  • Only the member of the Team-Call group that answers gets a call record (good)
  • the Ring Group "hunt group/dummy" user does not need to be logged in (good)
  • Actually avoids some survivability issues that might come with Response Groups  in a SBA WAN down scenario (good) (Read more: Click Here)
  • Avoids “trombone” in a SBA scenario where PSTN comes into remote branch but RGS is hosted on Front End at main site. (good)
  • Simplest way to administrate is log into user using Lync 2010 client (no web administration or Powershell) (not so cool)
  • No dynamic login and logout of Ring Group by group members. (not as good)
  • Open hours will depend on Outlook work hours which are quite a bit more limited than Lync RGS business hours and cannot be administrated via Powershell. (not so cool)
  • There is a hard 20 end point limit in team call. (if a user has an IP phone and Lync client that is 2 end points)  (See: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ocsvoice/thread/9523eeae-4182-47f8-a2d7-28d987c81026)
  • We have tested having the TeamCall “Unanswered Calls” going to an Exchange UM Attendant and this scenario seems to work fine.
  • NOTE: TeamCall Group members cannot transfer TO a TeamCall Group they are a member of. So this means someone who is a part of our “hunt group”/teamcall can NOT transfer or forward calls to this number (not good)
  • NOTE: If the Lync User with TeamCall is not logged in, and call transferred to this user will goto Voicemail.
  • Finally, be very careful and make sure all your objectives are met before implementing and/or recommending this work around.

I suspect there might be some other cons I didn’t think of, so feel free to comment!

Source of Idea:
TechNet user emu78 in this post: Click Here
Thanks to commentor AL for the Response Group idea.

Lync User Tip #20: How to Record Lync to PSTN Calls (With No Addon)

 

Ever want to record a Lync to PSTN call but stymied by Lync’s need for call to be a conference call? Here is a very simple work around…

recordingcallgraphic

#1- Make the PSTN/Phone call

#2- Click on People Options | Invite by Email.

invite2

#3- An email meeting invite will result, you can just close it. Now the call will be a conference and you can start recording. Note that the PSTN side of the call will get a recording “the meeting is being recorded”

recording

Note: A slick alternative to “Invite by Email” trick is to drag a contact that cannot do a Conference (like a Live Messenger or even an Offline Lync Contact). The contact will fail to join, but the call will then be converted to a Conference and you will be able to recording as well. If you have your Lync admin create a Lync user name “Recording” that is always Offline, this will make logical sense in the CDR and Missed Call Log.

Note: Your Lync administrator does need to have Lync recording enabled, if they need any help with that, have them take a look at the below excellent tutorial:
http://ucken.blogspot.com/2010/11/lync-call-recording.html

See the whole Lync User Tips Series:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/LyncUserTip

#iPhone Siri Says #WindowsPhone Is Best; WindowsPhone Ask Ziggy Says #Android Is Best: WHO is Best?

It is being noted that iPhone’s Siri is saying that the Nokia Lumia 900 (Windows Phone) is the best phone out there.

 

I decided to ask “Ask Ziggy” on my Samsung Focus Windows Phone what he thinks is the best phone. And below is the scandalous answer!

2012-05-11 10-14-28.251

Google android was name the world’s best-selling smartphone platform in q4 2010

So, a little outdated, but no less scandalous. Are Siri and AskZiggy just really feeling good? or what? Winking smile

#Polycom Introduces First #Lync Wireless IP Phone And Announces It Will Divest Wireless Devices In Same Day

 

dect_5020_large

Just saw Polycom press release: “Polycom Announces Definitive Agreement to Divest Its Enterprise Wireless Voice Solutions Business for Approximately $110 Million to Sun Capital Partners Affiliate”

This strategic decision to divest the wireless voice business reflects Polycom’s focus on initiatives that extend the company’s leadership in its unified communications business.  Polycom’s enterprise wireless voice portfolio, which is part of the UC personal product category, includes Wi-Fi and DECT handsets, related infrastructure and accessories, and generated revenues of approximately $94 million in calendar year 2011.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, Polycom paid $220M for Spectralink in 2007. Here is the press release: Click Here.

Read Complete Polycom Press Release:
http://www.polycom.com/company/news_room/press_releases/2012/20120510.html

Polycom Wireless Achieves Lync Qualified Status:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2012/05/polycom-delivers-first-lync-qualified.html

#Polycom Delivers First Lync Qualified Device: KIRK DECT Wireless Series


picture

**In Progress**

Note: Polycom has many Lync Optimized Devices already. This is Polycom’s first entrant into the Lync Qualified/ Other Compatible IP Phone Class of devices.

Some Quick Things Noted:

  • 8 DECT Models
  • First Lync Qualified DECT Devices for Polycom
  • Every price range except very low (less than $150)
  • It is the first Lync Qualified/ Other Compatible IP Phone to require separate Server: Kirk Wireless Server.
    • Understandable considering it is DECT



Read More:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/gg278172

snom UC Edition BETA FW Released With New #Lync Features: PIN Sign-In, Call Park, SBA, Music On Hold, Updates From Lync Server Support and More

snom is releasing a new UC Edition (Lync) firmware 8.8.1.1 BETA for partners, customers and system integrators to test.

more features

This release has some sizeable new features:

  • Native Software Updates (manage firmware update from Lync Server like native devices)
  • PIN Based Sign In
  • Call Parking
  • SBA Support (Survivable Branch Appliance)
  • DNS NLB Support (Click Here)
  • Music On Hold (configured via Lync powershell)
  • Boss/Admin Functionality
  • Assign Lync Contacts to Phone Buttons from the Contact List
  • Asian language support on snom 821

 

FEATURE: Call Park and Unpark from Desk Phone

coming…

 

FEATURE: Assign Lync Contacts to Buttons Right on the Phone

When on a Lync contact select “Fkeys” to assign one.

assign-buttons

Select Button/Fkey on the Phone you want to assign this key to….

assign-buttons2

Select the Function.

assign-buttons3

Voila.

assign-buttons4

FEATURE: Contact/BLF Buttons Now Labeled

The contact name and presence state labels the buttons.

lyncnames

FEATURE: Music On Hold from IP Phone

MOH seems pretty straight forward, just use standard Lync powershell (CSClientPolicy) to enable music on hold.

Note: Limitation in this Version: Replacing the media file on the device with a custom file is not possible

FEATURE: Managing Firmware Updates from Lync Server 2010

(I suspect for anyone that used snomtastic the below screenshot is a welcome sight. )

fw

This is not a complete list of new features, but just some features I called out.  I did not test features and Please note this is BETA FW, but if you want to test it out, get your snom login and head over to the snom user portal.

NOTE: You do need a partner, customer or integrator login to access this BETA firmware.

Other Blog Posts About snom UC Edition:

  • Lync Presence on snom Buttons: Click Here
  • Lync Feature Screenshots Details in snom UC Edition:  Click Here

 

Browse To:
www.snom.com

snom Director of UC Indicates Increased snom UC Edition Device Management Through Lync Server “Coming Soon”

 

snomUCedition

snom’s Tim Koehler made mention of increased UC Edition management on the Lync forum:

Please note, that snom will have a Beta very soon with a lot of improvement on manageability (like firmware update through Lync server) and introducing several new features. Register now at http://www.snom.com/en/lync to get informed when the Version is available.

snom-management-thru-lync

Source:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ocsvoice/thread/196375a5-3ae9-4452-acbe-2679a8deef80/

Lync User QuickTip #19: Understanding Lync to Outlook Calendar Based Presence Integration


One of the great things about Microsoft Lync is how it lights up hitherto hidden information. One of these items is the Outlook Busy/Free status. We find it is not uncommon for organizations/users to not be paying much attention to Outlook free/busy state until they implement Microsoft Lync …then presence starts being set by it and it is nicely visible! Outlook has been storing this information all along, but since it is somewhat "out of sight" it is not being set correctly by the user. This becomes important when Lync presence starts using that info.

Q. How to Turn On Lync Outlook Calendar Free/Busy Presence Integration

By default this integration is turned on, but if not: Just click on the Options button (upper right of Lync client) then click Personal as shown below.Lync Options Personal

Once you’ve configured this, your Lync presence will be set based on Meetings and Appointments from Outlook.

Q. I Added an Appointment or Meeting for Right Now, But My Presence Didn’t Update Yet. What’s Up?

So what is the delay? Well, by default Lync only checks in with Exchange Web Services and changes Lync Busy/Free state every so often (by default, roughly every 30 minutes).

Also, some users think that if they click “Reset Status” the Lync will immediately check Outlook and set Lync to Outlook Free/Busy state. In reality Lync will takes its standard interval (mentioned above) and check at the next interval. ( default up to 30minutes, but admin can set longer or shorter.) This may seems a little long, but it does optimize network traffic.

reset status

This interval can be changed/shortened by your Lync administrator using Justin Morris’ great article below:
http://www.justin-morris.net/how-does-lync-2010-use-exchange-calendar-information/

Q. Since We Started Using Lync, My Presence is Always Busy/In Meeting Since My Days are Scheduled.

 

Depending on how you setup an appointment or meeting’s Free/Busy setting, will depend how Lync shows your status when that appointment is in progress.

For Appointments this is how Free/Busy Affects What Users See in Lync:

  • Appointment Free = Lync will show Available (green)
  • Appointment Busy = Lync will show Busy (orange)
  • Appointment Tentative = Lync will show Available (green)

For Meetings this is the mapping:

  • Free = Available (green)
  • Busy = In a Meeting (organge)

appointment-marked

 

When I Hover over Calendar Field on Contact Card I can’t See Appointment/Meeting Details

If a Lync contact has you as WorkGroup or closer Privacy Relationship you can see their Calendar Appointment/Meetings’ Subject and Location as shown below.  This is very cool for answering the question “Your busy, but what are you doing?”.

see meeting appointment details-marked

If you cannot see the details of the Calendar appointment/meeting, this means that the contact in question does not have you set as WorkGroup (or Friends and Family) in Privacy Relationship. Just ask them to do this.

privacysetting


What Happens if you schedule a meeting/appt that starts before now?
-It seems this works fine, Lync will check the free/busy state at the normal interval, and change it.

What If i change/set my presence, does Hover to see current appt/mtg still work?
-Yes, it will say set presence, but still show meeting.

See the whole Lync User QuickTips Series:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/LyncUserTip

Free Microsoft Lync HotKey Contact Dialer App: Launch Conversation With 1 Button Touch

 

screenshot

Assign hot keys to Lync contact so you can Instant Message or Audio Call contacts or phone numbers with 1 hot key whether you are in Lync or not. No need to look at your screen to launch Call.

Get it here:
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Lync-HotKey-Contact-Dialer-bbf5b463

#Lync User QuickTip #18: How To Get Lync 2010 Call and Conversation History On Lync Mobile Device

Do any of the below scenarios catch you?

  • Sometimes you are on the road and you know you made a call when you were back in the office an hour ago, and what was the number?
  • You miss an IM on your Lync Mobile client (for technical or others reasons) and you wonder what the person wanted.
  • You just want to find an old IM that someone sent you yesterday

The Lync Mobile client does not save Missed, Incoming and Outgoing voice calls. Also, It doesn’t save conversations history of IM’s that didn’t originate on Lync Mobile. How can get get around this? One simple way is by adding the Exchange/Outlook Conversation History email folder to your mobile device.

main-witharrow

Note: My instructions will be Windows Phone specific here, but I’m sure you iOS and Android people can apply this trick to your devices. (but of course not as beautifully as with a Windows Phone tile ;-)

To add the Exchange/Outlook Conversation History email folder to your Windows Phone:

  • Open the Exchange/Outlook email that is associated with your Lync account.
  • Tap “Folders” and then “Show all folders” (below)

menu-witharrow

  • and add the Conversation History folder
  • Finally Pin this email Folder to your Start menu for very efficient access to you Call History.
  • Now, with one tap you can see Missed, Dialed, Connected calls along with all call history on your mobile device. Also, using Outlook mobile you can search for string. (below)

calldetails-withblurr

  • Call detail record (below)

details

Notes/Caveats:

  • There is an approx 5-10minute delay on a missed IM message showing up in Conversation History
  • Lync Mobile conversations are not saved in Exchange Conversation History (I know, I know, I wish they were too…
  • If you Tap on a phone number in Call History detail Outlook mobile will use the mobile phone to make the call. (You can Tap and Hold, copy and then paste into Lync Mobile. For some reason it adds digits in front of the number, so unfortunately this doesn’t work great for Lync Mobile Call Via Work.)

See the whole Lync User Tips Series:
http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/search/label/LyncUserTip