First Impression of Polycom Better Together over Ethernet with UCS 5.0.0 Firmware


Below are some notes from my quick tests of the new UCS 5.0.0 Better Together over Ethernet.

Q. What are steps to initially pair a VVX and Lync Client using BToE?

A. Below are the steps:

  1. Upgrade VVX phone to UCS 5.0.0
  2. Install the Polycom BToE Connector software on the PC to be paired
    1. My PC gave an error on running the “Polycom BToE Connector” software
  3. Plug the PC to be paired into the VVX PC port
  4. Now initiate pairing process from the VVX phone by pressing: Home | Settings | 3-Features | 5-BToE
    1. when the pairing is activated the 1st time the “Polycom VVX Phone” driver will be loaded
  5. Now on the Lync client on your PC it will pop up and ask for your NTLM credentials (just like Lynce Phone Edition devices)


After the pairing the Polycom VVX Phone will show in Devices.


Some more detailed articles on installing BToE:

Q. What happens if the PC is unplugged from the PC Port in the VVX phone after pairing?

A. Every time the paired PC Ethernet is unplugged from the VVX PC Port you will need to “re-pair”. This is made easy by having a BTOE button in the “More” menu.

Q. What happens if the Polycom BToE Connector tray software quits running?

A. If you exit the Polycom BToE Connector tray software, the pairing is lost. (so the Polycom software needs to be running at all times)


Q. What happens if a call starts on the VVX and you try to escalate to a video call?

A. When I tried to escalate a call from audio to video call, the call dropped from the VVX, but did not seemed to move to the PC (it did not disconnect) but seemed to loose audio. (bug?) As noted below

Q. Can BToE Paired device act as a USB Audio Device?

A. In this version of Polycom VVX BToE no. Polycom has communicated this is coming in future versions.


Q. Can the VVX Phone be on a VLAN separate from the PC and BToE still work?

A. I have not tested, but I see no reason why not. It appears to me that the only requirement is that the paired PC is plugged into the PC Port of the VVX phone.

Q. Will the Polycom VVX BToE functionality work with the Lync 2013 SDK (client side Lync SDK)?

A. From our quick tests, the Lync SDK works with BToE implementation. Since it appears to use a “virtual” USB connection this is as expected.

Q. Does BToE (UCS 5.0.0/BToE v1.0) work in a VDI/RDP/RemoteDesktop scenario?

A. At this time this scenario does not appear to be supported as the PC that is paired with the phone must by physically plugged into the PC Port on the VVX.

Q. What Ethernet Traffic does pressing “Pair” on the VVX generate?

A. From my Wireshark capture it appears that the VVX is initially sending a UDP broadcast packet on Port 2081. (show below) After that the phone and pc seem to communicate on Ports 24801 (from Phone) and 56xxx (from PC).


Misc Notes and Concluding Thoughts
  • Pairing was lost when Laptop went to sleep
  • It didn’t notify me that phone and Lync client users were mismatched
  • More blogs about BToE

UCS 5.0.0 has introduced version 1.0 of BToE.  This is a big leap forward for Lync Qualified IP Phones.


  1. Hi Matt,

    Great write up i have a couple of question

    1. How does it deal with phone login and credentials?
    2. How does it deal with hot-desking if someone else plugs in to the ethernet jack?
    3. Does it still work if the phone is on a voice VLAN?


    1. @Jon,

      #1,3- see updated blog above.
      #2-did check atm. (if someone else has, please comment)

    2. Thanks Matt,

      We are about to eval both the Polycom VVX and Snom phone if if i find out any further info i'll post back here.

      FYI it looks like Snom are in the process of getting there beta version up on there website but some of the links are not working at present.

    3. atm snom is ahead of polycom on Lync features in general (except btoe...which as you noted snom is not far behind)

    4. We are deploying the VVX300's as our common area phone. I am able to create a contact and log in with that contact. I am not able to have the vvx300 auto log off a lync account and back into the common area phone after a defined amount of time. Anyone have any luck getting this to work?

  2. Hi all
    anyone get the BToE working with out have local admin??

  3. I have a new VVX 500 out of the box, updated to version 5.0 and configured via BToE but phone simply reboots now over and over. Any tips on how to fix that type of issue?

    I reset to factory defaults removed provisioning server and configured again via BToE and got the same results, it pairs-->prompts for cred--> then starts to reboot over an over.


    1. in the pre-5.0.0 UCS fw I had a issue of the VVX in a continuous loop reboot, but when i upgraded to 5.0.0 it went away. talk to polycom support.

  4. I've been trying to use this phone and notice even when BToE status shows paired, occasionally if I hit the Accept button in the Lync client for an incoming call, the VVX shows the call was picked up by another sip client and the call is active on my computer but in a useless state since I have no mic hooked up.
    Sometimes after this happens the VVX hangs and reboots itself. Once it re-pairs again, the problem is resolved.
    Anyone else see this?