Great news! Google today announced that their Hangouts Meet, a designated business video conferencing solution, will be compatible with Polycom and Cisco hardware in a few weeks.

These integrations will make it easier for businesses to use meeting solutions utilizing existing VoIP hardware they have.

“Nothing’s more frustrating than hosting a meeting and having trouble getting people to join because of issues with technology—it can interrupt workflows and slow down productivity,” Rany Ng, Google’s director of product management for G Suite

Additionally, Google also introduced its new third party integration with Google calendar. Now you can join some third party calls such as Webex right from Google Calendar with a simple click.

We are expecting to see more integrations and analytics updates from Google in a few months. Stay tuned!

Last week, Polycom, a multinational corporation that delivers video, voice and content communication technology, announced the release of their new Cloud Services and Polycom Device Management Services (PDMS).

These new services open up new capabilities for enterprise customers to manage and measure their telephony devices efficiently.

“Employees are solving problems together more than ever before by connecting from meeting spaces of all sizes from all over the world. As meeting technology innovation accelerates, so does the complexity,” said Mary McDowell, CEO of Polycom.

The PDMS is designed for enterprise customers to easily manage all their Polycom devices from a single Cloud portal, including desk phones, conference unites, and all other audio devices. This new portal will simplify the process for customers to provision, update, and secure their devices.  

We are thrilled to see this breakthrough from Polycom and look forward to seeing more of our customers take advantage of it!  

Our Refresh program is one of a kind.  It is the opportunity to purchase “like-new” VoIP equipment at a lower cost. This is especially nice for resellers and business owners buying in larger quantities.

 

While we cover all VoIP Equipment, VoIP phones are number one when it comes to our Refresh products.  Our experts go through a rigorous 10 step process to ensure that the physical and internal quality of our phones is top notch!  And not only that, but we also cover your purchases with a six-month warranty!

Of course, this is all talk.  I’m sure most of you at this point are saying “well, let’s see one!” and that’s why we made this video!  Take a closer look at one of our Refreshed Polycom VVX 410s and find out just how stellar our Refresh products are!

Have you purchased Refresh products from VoIP Supply? If so, what has your experience been like? We want to know!

March 28, 2018Plantronics, a learning electronics manufacturer for audio communications equipment, announced today that they have entered a definitive agreement to acquire Polycom, a multinational VoIP provider for video, voice, and content communication collaboration.

This acquisition is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2018 with a cash and stock transaction valued at $2 billion. This acquisition deal will allow Plantronics to become a big part of the communications and collaboration industry.

Significant benefits that will come out of this acquisition

  • Polycom’s global leadership position in voice and video collaboration will accelerate Plantronics vision of delivering advanced communications experiences.
  • Plantronics will be able to expand its portfolio to provide more communication and collaboration products and services across the global ecosystem.
  • This acquisition will provide additional opportunities across the Unified Communications (UC) market and increase growth opportunities.
  • Polycom will significantly expand Plantronics offerings in management and analytics services.

This news definitely came as surprise this morning but Polycom and Plantronics are great partners of VoIP Supply and we are very excited to see what develops out of this acquisition.” – Paula Griffo, President and CFO of VoIP Supply

Simply put: Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a no-frills method of moving files from one place to another. There’s no authentication, and there’s no encryption. It is, however, one of the most common ways to place a select version of firmware on a phone, and for our discussion, a Polycom phone.

Why Polycom? Well, it’s the golden standard by which we measure all other phones. Also, because it has the most confusing firmware.

So, why even bother changing firmware?

Well, you might not need to. However, we may change firmware on a phone for a few reasons:

  1. There might be a software bug
  2. There might be a vulnerability
  3. There might be an interoperability issue
  4. There might be a new feature

Typically, upgrading your phone system will require a phone firmware upgrade. Documentation might suggest making a phone firmware change to leverage a new feature. If you are an installer, or integrator, and want to be good at your job, always read your system’s firmware release documentation.

How to Upgrade a Polycom Phone Firmware

Let’s get down to business. First, install a TFTP server.

Luckily, most TFTP servers are free, just like the best things in life. We recommend the one from SolarWinds.

After installing, open the TFTP server.

By default, TFTP uses UDP port 69, and c:\TFTP-Root as the root directory. You’re welcome to change the root directory by going to File -> Configure, and going to Storage, but for our purpose, we’ll leave it as it is.

Next, download the recommended firmware from Polycom. Double check your documentation for the correct version and also check your bootrom version currently on the phone.

Bootrom is code that is run when a phone first starts, and it executes the actual firmware. Older bootrom versions will not always be compatible with newer firmware, so when downloading from Polycom, make sure to RTFM (Google it if you don’t know) before proceeding with an upgrade because you end up in a boot loop. Luckily you should be provided with the correct bootrom file for the intended firmware version.

Extract the files you downloaded into the TFTP root directory, which is indicated on the bottom of the TFTP server window. Make sure the firmware files AND the bootrom file in included in the root directory to avoid any mishaps.

You’ll also notice that there are two types of downloads, combined, and split. Combined is a single universally accepted firmware across a range of phone models. The split has the firmware broken out by phone model. The split will load faster due to the files being much smaller.

Now configure your Polycom phone to connect to the TFTP server:

  1. Plug in your Polycom IP Phone and press the SETUP button to stop the auto-boot process when prompted.
  2. Enter the password 456 when prompted
  3. Scroll down and select server menu
  4. Edit the server type to “Trivial FTP”
  5. Edit the server address to the IP address of the PC running the TFTP server
  6. Exit the server menu, and exit the setup menu.
  7. The phone will prompt you to save and reboot, select OK
  8. After rebooting, the phone will go through its auto-boot process again, and then display “Uploading Bootrom” on the screen
  9. You will also see verification on the TFTP Server as the bootrom and firmware files are being uploaded to the phone
  10. When the phone completes its boot cycle, it will briefly display a welcome screen, which shows the current firmware version loaded
  11. If you see this version, you have successfully upgraded your Polycom phone

Using the DHCP option 66 method:

DHCP option 66 is a pointer some devices read when they receive their IP address information. By setting option 66 in your DHCP server to the IP address of the TFTP server, you can avoid manually setting the TFTP server address in all of the phones you are upgrading.

Multiple phones may upgrade at once, but if you are using the combined firmware, you could experience a much-delayed process.

Also keep in mind that because TFTP is an extremely unsecured protocol, you’ll want to keep these file transactions on your local network.

Thanks for reading and happy VoIPing!

Our tech support team at VoIP Supply offers great pre- and post-sales support plus provisioning, consultations, configuration, and installation help. We get a lot of VoIP hardware and software questions and would like to share the solutions with everyone.

In previous Mom’s calling Q&A series, we have discussed: What is my password for the Grandstream UCM? Today, we have more new real questions and answers from VoIP users just like you.  

Is the Polycom IP 7000 Phone Compatible with a Shortel Phone System?

Question: We have a Shortel Phone System and would like to know if the Polycom IP 7000 conference phone is compatible.

Answer: Yes! Shortel PBX will support 3rd party open SIP phones including the Polycom IP 7000 conference phone.

STAY TUNED

Come back for more VoIP questions and answers next time! If you have VoIP questions to ask us, please submit a technical support ticket or contact our VoIP experts today at (866) 582-8591

2018 is a new year, and the VoIP industry is already starting off with a rather sizable change.  Once finalized in the first quarter of 2018, Polycom will have officially acquired Obihai Technology! This is a big move for Polycom and Obihai specializes in hardware and software for VoIP phones.

It will be exciting to see what Polycom has in store for the future, and it is making everyone wonder exactly how many more of acquisitions we’ll be seeing this year!

In this episode of the VoIP News Update, VoIP Supply Marketing Supervisor Mary Cheney also covers what you need to know about this years ITEXPO!  VoIP Supply will be there February 13th – 16 at booth #428! If you plan on stopping by, don’t forget to say hi!

And lastly, on The VoIP News Update, Mary covers some important details on Sangoma University.  If you are thinking of becoming a VoIP reseller, or if you already are but have not looked into Sangomas product portfolio, then you will want to pay attention!

We want to hear from you! Are you a certified member of Sangoma University? Will you be at ITEXPO 2018? Do you think Polycom made the right decision by acquiring Obihai? Let us know, below!

January 4th, 2018 – Polycom announced that they have signed a merger agreement to acquire Obihai Technology, Inc, a VoIP audio solutions innovator based in California’s Silicon Valley.

Polycom is a multinational corporation that develops video, voice and content collaboration and communication technology. After completion of this strategic acquisition, Polycom expects to broaden their solutions portfolio to add the cloud-based capabilities and Analog Terminal Adapter solutions.

Obihai Technology specializes in developing software and hardware for VoIP endpoints. Their innovative development team will add great value to Polycom to compete in the global voice market. The acquisition is expected to close early in first quarter of 2018.

“Sangoma Technologies (the parent company of VoIP Supply)  always admires watching other North American based businesses growing both in revenue and product portfolio through organic growth and Acquisitions after completing 5 of them in 5 years ourselves,” said Tony Lewis, COO and General Manager of Sangoma. ”The acquisition of Obi by Polycom appears to be a great strategic fit and we look forward to seeing where the newly combined companies have to offer.”     

“I have personally had a good relationship with Obi over the years through the FreePBX project and always admired the product and people at the company and we congratulate Jan and the whole team on a job well done.  I think this is just a start of a busy 2018 of Mergers and Acquisitions in the VoIP and Telecom space and we will see many more of these in the upcoming weeks, months and quarters announced so stay tuned for a fun 2018.” said Tony Lewis, COO and General Manager of Sangoma

It’s always good to see more North American companies coming together and trying to figure out how to have broader product portfolio and be competitive in the global landscape. We are excited to see how the two companies collaborate and bring value to more customers in the near future!

polycom-logoRecently, Polycom announced their integration of its HD voice and video technology into Microsoft’s Teams. Aside from this integration, Polycom also introduced two new audiovisual solutions, Polycom RealConnect Hybrid and Polycom Microsoft Skype Room System.

microsoftPolycom has a long-standing partnership with Microsoft and they are dedicated to supporting Microsoft customers in all stages of their collaboration which include Skype for Business, Office 365, and Microsoft Teams.

“We are pleased to partner with Polycom to integrate their core voice and video devices with the Microsoft Teams platform.  Microsoft Teams and solutions like Polycom MSR and Polycom RealPresence Group Series will be a powerful combination for customers that need high-quality collaboration experiences.” – Bob Davis, CVP, Skype Business Services & Office Product Group Customer Experience at Microsoft

Are you considering to use Polycom Phones with Digium Switchvox but you are worried about the compatibility and other possible issues? Your questions have been heard! Our VoIP experts are here to answer the three frequently asked questions about using Polycom phones with Switchvox. Let’s find out!

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Question 1: Can I use Polycom VVX phones with Switchvox?  

Answer 1: A customer can use Polycom VVX with Switchvox but it’s important to understand the difference in the features they will and will not receive.  

Switchvox customers get the tightest integration when using a Digium Phone as compared to any other phone on the market. The phone applications (contacts, status, call queues, interactive voicemail, voicemail screening, etc.) are just a few of the features that really differentiate a Digium phone compared to other SIP phones.

See this video below that highlights some of the Digium Phone features under 2 minutes:  

For example, the status, presence and contacts apps, will save you an enormous amount of time on a daily basis.  You can press the contacts soft key on my D65 and start typing a name and immediately able to see the status/presence indicator of the person you are trying to reach.

Question 2: Do I need to add the Polycom feature pack to the order?

Answer 2: The Switchvox Polycom Phone Feature Pack enables easier configuration and greater flexibility and control for users and admins.  However, as Digium continues to roll out new integration and features, there is no guarantee that the Polycom phones will support the features.   

Today, the Polycom Phone Feature Pack enables features such as distinctive ringtones, you can enable or disable the missed call notifications, etc. More detail on Phone Feature Packs can be found here.

Question 3: If I have valid licenses and use Polycom phones, will I get full support from Digium?

Answer 3: Digium doesn’t support the Polycom phone (hardware).  However, Digium tech support will assist with answering questions related to the configuration/setup of an eligible Polycom phone when using a Switchvox Polycom Phone Feature Pack.  

More questions about Polycom phones, Digium phones, and Switchvox? Call one of our VoIP experts at 1-800-398-8647 today!