The 2014 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is happening this week so we thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of our Microsoft Lync devices for Unified Communications (UC).

The Microsoft WPC is an annual conference for members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). Some of our own partners, of which we carry their Lync products, are exhibiting or sponsoring the WPC 2014 such as:

  • 3CX:   Software-based PBX for Microsoft Windows
  • AudioCodes:  Lync Gateways
  • Cisco:  Cisco UC services integrated with Lync
  • Jabra:  Lync headsets
  • Patton:  Lync gateways
  • Plantronics:  Lync headsets, speakerphones
  • Polycom:  Lync phones, speakerphones, video conferencing
  • Sangoma:  Lync gateways
  • Sennheiser:  Lync headsets
  • snom:  Lync phones

The WPC features keynote speakers, workshop sessions, and exhibits focused on the latest best practices and trends that businesses are using to become more successful using a Microsoft platform.

For VoIP Supply and you, our customers, we’re concerned mostly with the latest developments in using Microsoft Lync as a communication platform.

Microsoft Lync Has Good Adoption Rate for Unified Communications

If you’re still debating the usefulness of Microsoft Lync or are unsure how it fits into a business communication solution, you should read the Unified Communications Strategies article “Q&A with Enghouse Interactive from Microsoft WPC 2014” written by Blair Pleasant.

In the article Pleasant asks Ernie Wallerstein, President of Enghouse Interactive, about Microsoft Lync trends. Wallerstein comments that there is now a “good adoption rate” for UC especially for instant messaging and using mobile devices or working remotely. He explains the trend further:

Now we’re seeing people leverage Lync as a voice platform and try to federate their Lync experience with other business partners and organizations they communicate with regularly, such as in their supply chain partners. Regarding customer experience management and the contact center, we’re definitely seeing the push towards opening communications to multiple options – chat, voice, email, and more. Microsoft Lync and Skype are pushing out the customer experience to people so they can communicate anyway they want, from anywhere, and on any device. We’re seeing the proliferation of Lync on mobile devices to let people communicate via the medium of choice (Unified Communications Strategies, July 14, 2014).

Other Microsoft Lync trends that Wallerstein points out include giving customers several options to contact you through their mobile device via voice, web, or app.

What’s happening now is that a customer initiates a chat session online with your representative and then, thanks to Lync’s functionality, you can escalate that conversation with one click to speak with them in real-time with either voice or video.

Oftentimes though the video sessions are used only by customer to show a technical support person what’s wrong with their particular device. But the video option is there and that array of communication choices that Lync provides are what today’s consumers want.

Lync Phones, Speakerphones, Headsets, Conference Phones, and Gateways

As Microsoft Lync continues to change how we use our VoIP systems, the technology is adapting along with it.

There is a bevy of devices that are either “optimized” for use with Lync or they are “compatible” with Lync.

Tom Costelloe, VoIP Supply Online Marketing Manager, wrote a post, “Optimized for Lync 2013 vs Compatible with Lync VoIP Phones,” explaining the difference.

We currently carry a range of phones, speakerphones, headsets, and conference phones that are either optimized or (what did we learn above?) compatible with Lync. Read on for some examples:

Lync Phones, Speakerphones, and Conference Phones

Polycom CX500
Polycom CX500 Features Embedded Microsoft® Communicator “14” Software
Plantronics Calisto P620-M
Plantronics Calisto P620-M is a Personal Bluetooth Conference Phone Optimized for use with Microsoft Lync

Lync Headsets

Plantronics Savi W445-M
Plantronics Savi W445-M is a Monaural Wireless DECT Headset Optimized for Microsoft Lync PC Voice Communications
Jabra UC Voice 550 MS Mono
Jabra UC Voice 550 MS Mono is a Single Ear Plug & Play USB Headset Optimized for Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Office Communicator

Lync Gateways

Patton Smartnode 4940 Series VoIP Gateway
Patton Smartnode 4940 Series VoIP Gateway

Lync Video with Polycom CX5100 Lync Unified Conference Station

Another interesting option if you want to combine Lync video capabilites with a conference phone is the Polycom CX5100 Unified Conference Station which is part of the Polycom CX series of Lync-optimized solutions.

The USB CX5100 provides a 360-degree 1080p video conferencing experience that zeroes in on the active speaker so that all conference participants feel like they are fully engaged in the meeting.

With a user-friendly design, the CX5100 makes it easy to launch or join a call directly from the Lync user environment.  All you have to do is connect the CX5100 with a USB to any computer that is running Lync.

Polycom CX5100 Lync Optimized Unified Conference Station
Polycom CX5100 Lync Optimized Unified Conference Station

Enjoy the 2014 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference if you’re down in Washington, D.C. this week and if you have any questions about a Microsoft Lync solution for your business, call us at 800-398-8647.

 

grandstream-gxv-webinar-reminder-voip-supply

Last chance to register for the next webinar in our Grandstream Learning Series.

Thursday’s webinar, June 26, 2014 at 2 PM EST, will give you an opportunity to learn and ask questions about the many multimedia features of the:

grandstream-gxv-cta-voip-supply

grandstream_gxv_video_phones_webinar_voip supply_banner
Grandstream video phones combine Android operating system and apps market with desktop VoIP features and HD video conferencing.

We’ve joined forces with Grandstream to offer you webinars through the Grandstream Learning Series.

Next up on the schedule is your chance to get a first-hand look at the new Grandstream GXV Series of Android-based VoIP Video Phones.

We encourage you to attend to ask questions and learn how they can fit into your business communication solution because as Gina Narcisi at SearchUnifiedCommunications points out, “There’s no doubt that consumerization has impacted business needs, and employees expect more of the features they are used to using in their personal lives — like video — at work. ”

  • When: June 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST
  • Where: Online. Click here to Register.
  • What: Explain how business communications can be enhanced through the phone’s abilities to make video calls, initiate video conferences using multiple popular platforms, and access popular business and productivity apps from the Google Play Store such as Skype, Microsoft Lync, Salesforce1, and GoToMeeting.

grandstream-gxv-webinar-cta-voip-supply

Grandstream GXV3240 Multimedia VoIP Video Phone for Android

The Grandstream GXV3240 is a multimedia Gigabit VoIP Video phone with 3-way video conferencing, a tiltable CMOS camera, and HD audio/voice.

The GXV3240 is a great solution solution for a high-tech school campus or a fast-paced business that uses their own API for custom apps with its integrated WiFi, a built-in web browser, and HDMI connectivity.

grandstream_gxv3240_voip_supply
Android-based Grandstream GXV3240 VoIP Video Phone with Access to Google Play Store

Features & functions:

  • Visual: Generous 4.3″ (480 x 272) capacitive touch screen and megapixel CMOS sensor camera with a privacy shutter.
  • Audio: 6-lines with up to 6 x SIP accounts, free IPVideoTalk account including video mail, HD Wideband Audio, up to 6-way audio conferencing and 3-way video conferencing, speakerphone with acoustic echo cancellation.
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, PoE, USB, SD, HDMI, EHS with Plantronics Headsets, Android 4.2 OS, access to Google Play including custom apps with Google API and Grandstream SDK toolkit, integration with Grandstream GXV Series of IP Surveillance Cameras, and built-in web browser.

Grandstream GXV3275 Multimedia VoIP Video Phone for Android

Want an Android tablet on your desktop that can also make and receive voice and video calls?

Then the Grandstream GXV3275 is for you.

This a 6-line multimedia video phone with a 7″ color touch screen, integrated WiFi, a built-in web browser, and HDMI connectivity.

gxv3275_front
Android-based Grandstream GXV3275 VoIP Video Phone with 7″ Touchscreen

Features & Functions:

  • Visual: Large 7″ (1024 x 600) capacitive color touch screen and megapixel CMOS sensor camera with privacy shutter.
  • Audio: 6 lines with up to 6 x SIP accounts including FREE IPVideoTalk account with video mail, HD Wideband Audio, up to 6-way audio conferencing and 3-way video conferencing, speakerphone with acoustic echo cancellation.
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, PoE, USB, SD, HDMI, EHS with Plantronics Headsets, Android 4.2 OS, access to Google Play including custom apps with Google API and Grandstream SDK toolkit, integration with Grandstream GXV Series of IP Surveillance Cameras, and built-in web browser.

“The new Grandstream GXV3240 and GXV3275 video phones offer a unique user experience by combining the power of Android, VoIP, and video conferencing all from your desktop,” said Tom Costelloe, Marketing Manager of VoIP Supply.