Thursday, September 8, 2011
Microsoft Lync and DECT
When you purchase a PBX system from one of the “traditional” vendors, there is practically always a cordless option available. However, when rolling out Microsoft OCS or Lync, this is an area when things get a little tricky. I already discussed the technological options in the area of cordless communications in one of the previous posts, and DECT is something that would fit in nicely into the Microsoft world, especially in Europe where DECT is a mainstream technology for quite some time.
In the past few years, snom did get the expertise on how to talk to Lync and it seems logical, that the m9 platform should also connect with Lync. To make it short, there is something on the m9 available; however this is in a “beta” stage without proper and systematic testing available yet and also some features missing. In contrast to the desktop phones, on the m9 there is no special build necessary; you just need to set the m9 up properly and then you can try the Lync functionality out if you like.
Right now, there are essentially two things that should be working. This is once making and receiving phone calls (honestly, I am not even sure if the transfer would work properly). The other thing is that when you are on the snom m9 handset, you would see that in the presence state. http://forum.snom.com/index.php?showtopic=5182 and http://wiki.snom.com/Snom_m9/Documentation/Online_Manual#Microsoft.C2.AE_Office_Communication_Server_2007_R2_Integration have some more details what needs to be done to get this working.
There are a few things still missing. First of all, the plug and play experience is not really there yet; you still have to set everything up through the web interface. IMHO that is something important, because manual setup cost time/money and that’s where Joe Doe screws things up. Lync offers a nice way to use PIN codes to get the registration job done (no passwords necessary it seems), it would be very handy to have that working. Even software update for the handset would be a possibility, once you can install a CAP on Lync that has the right firmware. Other essentials are calling 911 (Lync has its own way to get this job done) or accessing the address book the Lync style. Also, the question is if we can integrate some basic instant messaging features on the handset.
So for those who want to get some cordless experience in the Lync world, right now you have to either take what’s there or you have to wait until there is a fully integrated, tested and approved version available. The latter might take a few months; until then we are happy if you give us feedback on how it works and we can see if there is anything that needs to be fixed and that can be fixed.