Merry Christmas and God Bless All of You on the Good Earth


On Christmas Eve December 24 1968 the Apollo 8 crew was orbiting the moon and transmitted the below historic broadcast to earth. I thought the “dark and foreboding moon” comment is interesting:

I hope everyone on earth can see what we mean when we say it is very foreboding…horizon…a very dark and unappetizing looking place…


I’ve always been fascinated and awed by the universe and when I get a bit of time here and there I like to put in some amateur astronomer time. This year I took my first freehand photos (below – Using Meade STX-125 telescope and freehand Nexus camera!)

So, in the words of Apollo 8 crew:

Good Night, Good Luck, Merry Christmas and God Bless All Of You, All of You on the Good Earth!

Some Other interesting links:
How Apollo 8 Almost Missed Earth Rise Photo: click here
Is the universe all there is? click here

#Cisco VCS 8.1 Release Brings H.264 AVC Interworking to #Lync H.264 SVC


Looks like Cisco VCX 8.1 brings H264 interworking between Lync 2013 and Cisco according to @rvaglid.

In March 2013, Shelly Marston (Senior Product Marketing Manager Lync) noted:

A basic assessment concluded positively that interoperability between Lync 2013 and Tandberg VTCs with Video Communication Sever (aka VCS B2B UA) was achievable with minor modifications of the VCS. With Lync 2013, transcoding is no longer required. Hence, there is no need for the expensive Cisco Advanced Media Gateway. In this new interoperability mode, the codec used natively by both systems is H.264 AVC resulting in a higher quality video experience for the end user than was the case with Lync 2010 interoperability. H.263 is no longer required. [highlight mine]

It looks like VCS 8.1 includes this “minor modification”.

Embedded image permalink

Interop Capabilities: (see page 9 of Deploy Guide here)

  • Presentation sharing from VCS to Lync 2013 Only
  • VCS requires a Microsoft Interoperability key


Thanks and Credit to @rvaglid


VCS 8.1 Lync Deployment Guide:

VCX 8.1 Configuration Guides:

Extensible, PowerShell Driven Lync Server Control Panel Anyone?

NOTE: This started as an experiment to centralize Lync powershell  but after a while it started to look like an almost Lync Control Panel replacement. Not quite ready for release but will update this blog article when it is.

Been working on an extensible Lync Server Control Panel in my elusive spare time. The effort is entirely PowerShell driven so any of the great Lync community PowerShell functions can be entirely integrated.


This is entirely configurable or use it as it is.



This screen is similar to Lync users pane. Since it is extensible you can add your own “Actions” on the right side. Filter and add/remove columns to your heart’s content and without knowledge of Powershell.


Drill Down Example

Voice Features

Tom Arbuthnot’s excellent Get Number Assignment” is integrated directly into the “Voice Features” section of the control panel. The beauty is that any Poweshell can be added to the control panel.


Global Functionality

View/Edit Lync Object Form


Output from any area of the control panel can be reported on:


End user can easily see the Powershell that was run for the results:


Add or remove any available object from output windows


Very sophisticated filters can be made, even if you don’t know Powershell


useful context sensitive community content and functions



Q&A About Microsoft Lync Boss Admin and Shared Line Appearance


What is Lync Boss Admin?

The Lync Boss/Admin feature allows you to place a call on hold for another user and pickup with one button press.

How Do I configure Boss Admin?

The overview of how you setup Boss Admin is:

  • Lync Server 2013 has Boss Admin enabled at the server level out of the box. If you have Lync Server 2010 you will need to run a little SQL to enable Boss Admin functionality. Click Here.
  • Now you need to use the Lync client of the “Boss” Lync user and add Delegates which will be the “Admins”.
    • There can be more than 1 Admin for each Boss.
  • Now on the Boss phone you add a Boss/Admin button for each “Admin”
  • On the Admin phone you need to add a Boss/Admin Boss button for “Boss” they assist.

You can either add Boss/Admin buttons from the phone UI or the phone Web UI as shown below:


Now below you can watch how Boss/Admin works on Snom UC Edition Devices:


Q. What are caveats to watch out for?

  • On Admin phone, the Boss button will show “In a Call” and “Holding” but it will not show “Available'”, “DND” or “Busy”.
    • The Boss/Admin button is not a Lync User presence button, but a Boss/Admin status button.
  • Only Lync Qualified devices supporting Boss/Admin feature work with Boss/Admin
    • Lync Phone Edition, Lync Client do not support Boss/Admin
  • Appears like you may not want to mix Polycom VVX and snom UC Edition devices when doing Boss/Admin scenarios
    • In my quick test you can place a call on hold on snom (admin) and pickup on Polycom (Boss), but if you place the call back on hold from Polycom you cannot pickup from snom. (in other words a polycom would not make a good admin phone in a mixed environment…:)
    • While pickup does not seem to work between vendors, the “In a Call” and “Holding” status does seem to display correctly.


Q. What are some pleasant surprises around Boss/Admin

  • If you have several Admins for 1 Boss, the Admins can all “pickup” a call placed on hold for the Boss by other Admins via the Boss button on their phone
    • This is ironic since the Boss himself can only pickup a call placed on hold for him if he has an Admin button assigned for the Admin who placed the call on hold.
    • In other words: the Boss need a dedicated button for each Admin that might place a call on hold for him. Admins associated with Boss will see and be able to pickup all calls placed on hold for the Boss by another Admin
  • If an Admin placed 2 (or more) calls on hold for the Boss it will be handled quite elegantly: the Boss or Admin will be presented with a list of calls (by Caller ID) they can select from to pickup when they press the Boss/Admin button.


Q. Does Lync Support Shared Line Appearance? (CO Lines, Key System Emulation)

Lync Server does not have the concept of Shared Line Appearance/ CO Lines/Key system emulation but by being a little creative with the new Boss/Admin feature might be able to emulate this functionality somewhat. (With caveats)

The overview of how to do this on snom UC Edition:

  • Setup a Lync user called something like “Line1” to act as your place holder Boss Lync user. This Lync user will have no IP phone associated with it.
  • Add all the users/phones that will participate in this “share line appearance” group as delegates to the “Line1” Lync “Boss” user using the Lync client.
  • Now add a Boss/Admin button for the “Line1” “Boss” to each phone that will participate in this “share line appearance” group
  • If you want phones to “silently” ring, Login to snom web UI and goto Identity1 | Login | Ringtone for Forwarded Calls = Silent (not necessary)
  • Call “Line1” user. You should now be able to place this call on hold and pickup from any of the phone in the group.


See this “SLA” in action below:

Caveats to consider

  • The phone that put the call on hold will not have the “Line1” (Boss/Admin) lit. I will look like a standard call on hold. But it will say on the display
  • You will likely want to see if “Line1” is already in use (On a Call/On Hold) and then send subsequent calls to Line2, Line3 etc. I have not figured out a method to do this…yet.


If you have an findings about Lync Boss/Admin I’m very interesting in your feedback. Please comment below or on Twitter.

Related Articles:

MSPL Script:

Official Devices for Lync Page Has Gotten Dramatic Upgrade


Just noticed today that the Lync devices page has gotten what looks to be a dramatic improvement. You can quickly go over click here  and/or I’ll quickly go over what I noticed below.


Phones and devices


Looks much more filtering/accessible detail:


Comparison seems to work pretty good: (would be nice if you could print the long list, doesn’t appear you can at the moment)


Pretty detailed information:


Go check the page out here: click here