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Lync Phone Edition “Bridge” Series Concept Design: Does The World Need Such a Device?

NOTE: This is totally my own brainstorm and creative (or not so creative) work and Microsoft has NEVER hinted they would produce such a device. This is just a mock up representation of a device I think would fill a need in some market sectors.

A while back I’ve “photo-shopped” this “wish list” device. Since I reference it in various discussions I thought I would post it for your consideration (and if you hate it, humor).

The codename/series name “Bridge” was selected because this device assists “the powerful few” in an org who are very set on having a “PBX desk phone experience” in “Bridging” to UC experience. ;-)

crazy idea for lpe

A couple things about this design:

  • dedicated hold and transfer, pickup and hangup buttons
  • The screen on the right is populated by Lync Contact Photo and details
  • The contact buttons would mirror Lync presence colors
  • Buttons could be contacts, Phone numbers, Overhead paging Units etc.
  • The buttons could be assigned by end user on the phone or by putting a contact in a Lync Group called “Phone Buttons”
  • Support for USB/Bluetooth devices directly (similar to polycom VVX/snom 7xx support)

Currently the closest thing to this concept is the Lync Qualified snom 720 and 760. For more information click here.

What do you think, would you have use for such a device? Please vote on the poll to the right to give your feedback.

Okay so much for creative (or not so creative, depending on your view) Have a great day!

ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS JUST BRAINSTORMING FUN. ENJOY.

Lync 2010 Server & Client January 2013 Update is Rolling Out

 

Updates seem related to joining meetings across non-federated organizations.

Lync 2010 (64bit client) 4.0.7577.4374: KB 2793351

Lync 2010 (32bit client) 4.0.7577.4374: KB 2793351

Lync Server 2010 4.0.7577.211: KB 2791665

How to Verify Lync Edge Server Ports Are Open


Okay, so the firewall guys said they opened your essential Microsoft Lync Edge ports, but did they? We’'ll go over the steps to test if the TCP ports are properly opened using the free TCP Test Tool 3.0 from Simple Com Tools. In our test we will not just check if the TCP ports are opened, but also that our Edge Server receives and can send data with no errors.

We can start by downloading the TCP Test Tool 3.0. You can download the free tool here.  Install the TCP Test Tool 3.0 on the Edge Server and some PC (can be any PC, doesn’t need to be a server) outside your network. We won’t run the tool just yet.

Next thing we will need to do is stop the Lync Edge Windows Services, so we can bind the ports to our test tool instead of Lync. We can stop the Lync Edge services in one of 3 ways: by individually stopping them from the Services MMC, from the Lync Server Control Panel or using the Powershell command Stop-CsWindowsService. Below we can see the services are stopped.

powershell-stop-services

Now that the Lync Edge ports are not being used by the Lync Edge services, we can run the TCP Test Tool 3.0 and bind the port we want to test to it. We do this by running the TCP Test Tool, then on the “Server” (right side) side of the TCP Test Tool program, select the correct IP interface, (the interface that is facing the web) and type in the port you want to test and click “Bind” (the first port we’ll test for our example is 5061 as shown below.)

setup server

NOTE: If there are any “Current connections” before you connect using the TCP Test Tool from a client PC, this means something is trying to contact your Lync Edge, very likely some Lync client if this is a live server. You may very well get the “Callback Error!” show below for every incoming connection that is not your TCP Test Tool client. A little annoying, I know, but just click OK to get rid of the message(s).

error on incoming traffic

Next we can go to a PC outside your network and test if the port is open. Run TCP Test Tool and on the “Client” side (left side) of the TCP Test Tool fill in the IP or Domain (using the domain tests DNS as well) of your Edge Server, Port and click Connect.

setup-client

Now you should see “Connected” on the Client side (PC outside your network) and a Connection entry on the Server side. (Note the connection on the server side as you will need to select this connection when sending a response back to the client.) Now you successfully established a TCP connection from a PC outside your network, through your firewall to the Edge Server. Good start!

Now in the “Edit/Send Data” type some text you want to send to your Server/Edge and click “Send”. Hey, our port is working fine!

from client to server

Now if we want to make sure traffic can go from the Server/Edge to the client we move to the server Server/Edge, select the TCP connection coming from our PC outside the network (that we are keeping in our head from when we started this session, remember?) type some text in the “Edit/Send Data” on the Server side, click “Send” and see if our ports are working bi-directionally.

If this test passes you can be quite confident that your Edge traffic is indeed passing through the firewall (and the firewall guys did their duty!)

Now you can repeat the steps to test all the other TCP ports. Below are the common TCP ports an Edge Server uses:

Single IP Edge Configuration TCP Ports UDP Ports
Access/Web/ IP 80, 443, 5061, 444, 50000-59999 3478, 50000-59999
     
3 IP Edge Configuration    
Access Edge IP 443, 5061  
WebConf Edge IP 443  
A/V Edge IP 443, 50000-59999 3478, 50000-59999

NOTE: If you want to test the UDP ports as well, there is a UDP Test Tool too, get it here: Click Here.

When you are done testing you can Click Disconnect on the Client side.

You will want to fire up your Edge Services by using Start-CsWindowsService and verify by glancing at the Services MMC

edge services mmc

When you are all done, make sure you close the TCP Test Tool on both the server and the client as they can be bound to ports and make production environment fail.

Download TCP Test Tool Here:
http://www.simplecomtools.com/Sierra

More TCP Test Tools and Links:
http://www.hw-group.com/products/hercules/index_en.html

tells who is using what ports:
netstat -a -n -b

Edge Ports:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425891.aspx

Logitech UC Keyboard 725-C: Desk Phone Gets Attacked From Yet Another Angle

kb

Desk phone makers probably aren’t looking for yet another device angling to take its place in the new age of Unified Communication, but this device looks like it aims to do just that.

This keyboard aims to take the place of your physical desk phone by providing caller ID/call length timer/date/time screen, dedicated voicemail , Pickup/Hangup and video buttons and other call control right on the keyboard in what is a first in the industry. (at least that I am aware of)

The keyboard has quite a few dedicated communication keys:

  • Nine dedicated phone/video control keys
    • Voicemail messages
    • Select handset
    • Select headset
    • Select speakerphone
    • Call Hold
    • Answer / hang-up
    • Video mute
    • Audio mute
    • Volume up/down
  • Illuminated keys display call/video status
    • New voicemail messages: red
    • Handset, headset and speakerphone select: white
    • Call-on-hold: green
    • Answer/hang-up button
      • Incoming call: red
      • Call-in-progress: green
    • Video and audio mute buttons: red
  • Two-line display, 40 character LCD

Only for Cisco Jabber at this time. It looks the price will be around the $169 mark. (source)

At $169 this new keyboard provides UC buttons/small display and saves desk space. The question: Will companies pay this price for deskphone/UC buttons and display? In the Lync world one can get buttons/display/handset and speaker phone USB device in the form of the Polycom CX300 for a similar cost. Or if you go the IP Phone route you can get the Polycom CX500 for $20 more.

See the excellent video below:

Below is Logitech details on the product:
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/logitech-ucsolution?crid=1252
Logitech Press Release:
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/press/press-releases/ucsolution725c

Microsoft Lync Mobile 2013 Voice & Video Over IP “Here” By Feb 19, 2012

 

NOTE: Learn about Lync Server 2013 Mobility service and deployment on Jan 17, 2013 11-12AM EST here:
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?ActivityId=830706

Microsoft Lync Conference 2013 - Windows Internet Explorer_2013-01-08_18-44-24

Jamie Stark, program manager on Microsoft, notes that “you’ll be able to checkout” Lync Mobile 2013 Voice and Video over IP on 3G, 4G and WIFI by Lync Conf 2013 (Feb 19, 2013)

A couple things he noted:

  • Lync 2013 Mobile is in BETA right now
  • Calling, Video over IP will be included in this Lync mobile wave 2 client
  • Available on the below platforms
    • iphones
    • ipad
    • Android
    • Windowsphone 8
  • Lync Mobile 2013 will require a server side component to stream AV (Source)
  • Jamie did qualify that “timing may shift depending on platform” (source)

He also notes its “really really good…” (okay, we knew that. Smile

Listen to Jamie below, or click Here to play JUST the mobile details:

This enhancement to the Lync 2013 Mobile clients in Microsoft Lync is important for Microsoft as the Gartner 2012 UC Magic Quadrant was weighted heavily in favor of mobility hurting Microsoft’s UC score and letting Cisco slip ahead in the UC Magic Quadrant. This move by Microsoft means that Lync Mobile will have the feature parity plus considerably simpler mobile client strategy at the same time.

Also, don’t forget to post a video about why you love Lync to win a free Lync Conf 2013 pass!

Source:
http://www.lyncconf.com/LyncLove.aspx

Step by Step Testing Lync Server 2013 Lync Web App and Looking at Functionality and Features – Part 6

The Lync Web App (aka LWA) gives external users (even without credentials) ability to connect to Lync 2013 meetings without having Lync client installed on their pc. Users with organization credentials might use LWA when they are at a PC that doesn’t have the Lync 2013 client installed.

If we followed the steps in Part 1 of this series then the Lync Web App should be installed and ready to use. By installing the pre-requisites on your FE and enabling Conferencing when defining the Lync Topology you did everything needed to install and configure LWA.

In this blog we will test to make sure the LWA is working correctly.

Before starting, if you are using a server or virtual machine to test LWA, make sure your audio devices are properly configured

  • right click on speaker beside clock, click on “Playback Devices” and you be asked if you want to enable Windows Audio Service, the answer is Yes.

To start a meeting, go to a computer that has the Lync 2013 client installed and logged in and start a meeting by pressing ALT+M or clicking Options | MeetNow

start-a-meeting

Next you will be prompted on how you want to join the Meeting Audio. Let’s click to use “Use Lync (Full Audio and video experience)”

start-meeting-with-lync-audio

Now click on More Options | Meeting Entry Info and copy/email/type the meeting URL to the PC you want to join the meeting using LWA. The meeting join URL will look something like: https://meet.lab.local/u2/NVCKCK1G

Open Internet Explorer and enter the above URL. (Note: actually LWA will work on select versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, depending on O/S and Version. See this page for details.

NOTE: If this PC has Lync client installed on it, suffix the URL with ?SL=1. This will force the PC to use the browser instead of the Lync client.
Example: https://meet.lab.local/u2/NVCKCK1G?SL=1

NOTE: When you browse to the meeting url in your lab, you may get a Windows Security logon request, you can click Cancel.

Next you will see the Lync Web App sign in screen. Since our first test will simulate a guest external user, let’s click on “Sign in here instead”. Now we see the guest login screen below. Now we can type any guest name and click Join the meeting

lwa-signin-as-guest

If this is the first time you ran LWA on this pc you will be prompted to download and install a small 7MB LWA plugin. Click Run

NOTE: if you do not install the plugin you will still be able to connect to the meeting, just the media based part of the meeting (audio, video, application viewing)

lwa-plugin-download

you may need to click Join. next you will be asked to allow the Plugin

you may be prompted to allow the plugin

lwa-allow-plugin

Now you will be joined to the meeting!

lwa-in-meeting

Now that we are in the meeting and see that, Yes, the Lync 2013 web client does do audio (and video) lets turn Instant Message and desksharing…

lwa-doing-everything-but-video

and Video along with multi-view video (not shown on the screenshot below)

lwa-video

Just to demonstrate how similar the Lync 2013 conversation/meeting window and LWA are, below is a screenshot side by side.

lwa-vs-lync2013conversation

As you can see, the LWA experience is very similar to the full Lync 2013 client meeting join experience. With LWA users can

  • participate in Audio and Video
  • View and Share desktop
  • See multi view video
  • configure audio and video devices settings

Below is the Options and settings screen, which we will note is similar to the Lync client Options.

lwa-settings

What happens if we try to run the LWA on a platform that is not supported? (Say Ubuntu Linux?) Let’s take a look:

[screen shots]

LWA is quite a good experience, some might ask: Why even install the Lync 2013 client? Some things the LWA does not do

  • It is not designed to log into to use as your client because there is no contact list, presence, search for contact
  • no meeting recording
  • you can think of LWA as the conversation window part of the Lync client

Some final notes:

  • due to the functionality of the LWA there is not a Lync 2013 branded Attendee client for Lync
  • LWA does not require Silverlight

Continue your lab with more articles in this Lync Server 2013 Step by Step Series:

 

LWA Supported Platforms:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425820.aspx

[NEWS] snom 760 and 720 Now Support Select USB Headsets

 

WP_000896

It appears that the the days of the “headset lifter” are finally starting to come to a close! (thankfully!) snom 760 and 720 now also support select USB headsets. (See our previous article/video on Polycom VVX500 supporting USB headsets)

We are using he snom 720 with the UC Edition firmware 8.8.2.8. Using the supported Plantronics Voyager PRO UC Bluetooth device, we just plug the device into the USB port on the side of our snom 720 and it the device worked. (there is no onscreen indication the phone detected the headset, but it seems to work)

WP_000904

There were several issues we noticed with the integration:

  • it seems like pressing the button on the UC Voyager Pro does not hang-up a call if you did not answer a call using the button on the UC Voyager Pro (switched from desk phone handset to blue tooth headset mid-call)
  • using the Mute button on the 760 is not working correct sometimes it mutes, sometimes it puts the volume at half, sometime it goes Mute then immediately unmutes again, the mute led is not always on when muted. It looks like snom has some work here.

Currently Supported USB Headsets for snom 720/760

snom HS BT
Plantronics Blackwire C620
Plantronics Savi W430 (Dect D100)
Plantronics CS540a (plus APU-70)
Plantronics Voyager PRO UC BlueTooth

Note: I tested a Plantronics BlackWire 720 (a relatively new device) and it did not work with snom 720, so supported devices appears to be an important list.

snom wiki on supported headsets:
http://wiki.snom.com/Settings/soundcard_event_map

snom forum thread on USB headsets for snom 7xx:
http://forum.snom.com/index.php?showtopic=10892