Steve Jobs in 1984: We Admire the Ubiquity, Price & Ease of Use of the Office Desk Phone



We look at the [desk] telephone and we are really impressed by the was really the first and only desk appliance. To be a desk appliance you need to do something really useful and you have to be really easy to use, so people don't have to spend a lot of time learning how to use it (see), it has to be really cheap...and we don't think there has been a desk appliance since the telephone, and what we want to do is make the MacIntosh the second desk appliance…” –Steve Jobs, 1984 Mac Introduction

This is relevant advice even for IP desk phone vendors thirty years later:

  • Be Useful
  • Be Easy to Use
  • Be Cheap

There you go, items to take serious if you want to stay on the desk.

Many may not be aware, but Job’s has a history with phones goes further back than the Mac or iPhone. Read more about the “Blue Box” here.


Watch the whole video here: (or see quoted part around minute 12:00)

Logitech Brings Video Far End Control to Microsoft Lync: Existing BCC950 & New CC3300e Are Enabled


It looks like Logitech becomes the first to bring a commercial, SMB priced far end control video to Microsoft Lync.  (Scott Hanselman wrote the first app to do this. Click Here) Below are the instructions on how to get this working on either the BCC950 or new CC3300e.

How to Setup

#1-First Get the Logitech FEC Lync plugin/tray app: (same for bcc950 and cc3300e)

#2-Install the (same) app on local and remote PC. Now you will see the Far End Control for Lync 2013 tray app icon. (also, make sure the bcc950/cc3300e is selected video device on local Lync before your test call).


#3-Start a video and on the local side (side the controllable cam is on) check “Allow Remote”. Now you should be able control the remote camera. Cool?



Some Notes:

  • Local user can disable remote control
  • Only works peer to peer
  • For far side user, the Left and Right is reversed
  • No Preset locations: would be nice to have a couple presets
  • Control UI works with touch screen (see above video)
  • Works internally and through Lync Edge

If you need any of the below functionality you will want to take a look at Scott Hanselman’s FEC solution:

  • Transparent control overlay



Logitech’s Far End Control is extremely simple, cost effective and elegant solution for Lync. I think Logitech is to be lauded for bringing this to market and enabling the BCC950’s that already in the field. A very reasonably priced FEC solution when combined with the $249US ConferenceCam BCC950.


New Logitech ConferenceCam cc3300e:

Low Cost Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950 Review:

Logitech Far End Control Application Quick Start PDF: Click Here

Scott Hanselman’s Cloud PTZ:

Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e: #Lync Optimized PTZ With Far Side Control


The CC3000e is an Optimized for Lync PTZ conference camera to accommodate small 6-10 people meetings.


Control the PTZ with base console, remote control or far side control from a remote location using Lync plug-in. (no automatic active speaker center that I can see)

Some interesting specs

  • H.264 UVC 1.5 (1080p 30fps)
  • Bluetooth audio connections
  • USB video/audio connections
  • Pair using NFC
  • PTZ: 260 degree pan, 130 degree tilt
  • 10x lossless zoom
  • 2 omnidirectional microphones (20 ft diameter range)
  • Logitech notes Optimized for Lync 2013 (no entry here yet)  and also Cisco, Skype, Vidyo
  • Price: $999 USD

Other Notes:

TMCNet writer, Tom Keating, notes the CC3000e has a smoother and quieter motor than BCC950:

“One of my complaints about the BCC950 was that the step motor was a bit jerky and the motor's sounds was picked up by the unit's speakerphone and sent to the remote calling party, which is a bit distracting. I asked Logitech is the CC3000e sports a smoother and quieter motor and they said that indeed it does” (Article link: click here)



I believe this is the first SMB Lync Optimized device to support far side control. Seems to me too many pieces to be moving from room to room often. Another very interesting device to add to


Lync 2013 Mobile Jan 22,2014 Update: #iPhone Get #iOS 7 Make Over; #WindowsPhone Get Voice Controls

Lync 2013 Mobile has been updated and brings some interesting updates: iPhone/iPad get iOS 7 UI update which ironically makes the UI in i-Devices look much more like Windows Phone. WindowsPhone Lync client get even more integrated into the WP environment via Voice Commands.

Lync 2013 for iPhone

Lync 2013 for iPhone has been update on Jan 22, 2014 to give it a full iOS7 make over.

Ironically it look much more like Windows Phone 8.x version of Lync now.

Other new features:

  • View shared PowerPoint presentation during a Lync Meeting




Some social feedback on the new iOS Lync  UI:



Lync 2013 Mobile 5.3 Update Integrates Lync Experience More Deeply into Windows Phone With Voice Commands

The upgrades to Lync 2013 for Windows Phone:

  • View shared PowerPoint presentation during a Lync Meeting (screen/content sharing was implemented before already)
  • Voice Commands

I have long noted that for UC mobile app user take up to happen UC needs to be baked into the mobile experience. It appears that Microsoft is taking more steps in this direction with v5.3 of Lync with Voice Commands. Voice Commands means you can press and hold Windows button and say (for example) “Join Next Meeting”.

Lync for Windows Phone now includes Voice Commands:


Here is the list of Current Voice Commands:

  • join next meeting
  • join current meeting
  • show next meeting
  • show current meeting
  • show my meetings
  • show voice mails
  • play voicemails


I would  be glad see phone number dialing, Lync contact dialing and send IM Voice Commands in the future versions of Lync 2013 Mobile for Windows Phone.



WindowsPhone 8:

Get-umAutoAttendantDiagram: Auto Diagram Your #Exchange UM Auto Attendants With #Visio

Get-csAutoAttendantDiagram uses Powershell to output your Exchange UM Auto Attendant(s) in a text file that can be easily imported into Visio and viewed in a 1 page, easy to follow, graphical and hierarchical format. Below is an example of Visio output:



  • You can diagram all Auto Attendants at one time (1 per Visio sheet)
  • Does not do recursion at this time.

For step by step on how Powershell command line and How to import the resulting file into Visio see:

To download the Powershell script:

First Impression Review of Addometer Mechanical Calculator: Computing With No Electric?


Sometimes its good to take a break from the technological society and take a step back in time.  As George Santayana was famous for saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” …no wait a minute…no one I know is in danger of repeating the coolness I will demonstrate below…

Note: yes, in the video while multiplying I enter a wrong number and that is why the wrong answer: Junk in-Junk Out!

I need to admit that I have become a little fascinated with mechanical computing and it raises interesting questions in my mind. Computing without power has to be the ultimate in green! (no solar panel waste, just good old recyclable steal!) Is there a mechanical communicating machine? Actually yes, the 1200 year old Peruvian Communicator shown below: click here (due to no version 2.0 is lost out to PSTN)


Are there mechanical computers in nature? (would DNA count? is there other examples?)

Probably the most famous mechanical computer is the Babbage Difference Engine. A great video explaining it below:

These mechanical precursors to the computers of today are interesting in their own right. And …if things meltdown and you have to go off the grid you’ll wish you had one…no wait a minute, I guess a solar powered calculator would still work just fine… :-P

Get-csRgsWorkflowDiagram: Auto Diagram Your Skype for Business (Lync) Response Groups With Visio


Get-csRgsWorkflowDiagram uses Powershell to output your Response Group(s) to a txt file that can be imported into Visio to display in a visual format that is much easier to follow. Below is an example:


You can run Get-csRgsWorkflowDiagram without command line input and it will prompt you csv output path and filename and response group name.


Or you can input parameters from command line: (the below will output all response groups to n:\temp\r55.csv)


The below example will output a specific response group named “_Int Service Group” and will open Vision and the Org Chart Wizard after its done.


NOTE: Passing –ResponseGroupName value of “*All” will add ALL response groups to the file. Visio will chart one RGS per Visio page.

Import the CSV File Into Visio

This can be done using command line: (where ‘N:\temp\r55.csv’ is visio csv file)

OrgWiz.exe /FILENAME=N:\temp\r55.csv /NAME-FIELD=Name /MANAGER-FIELD=ReportsTo /DISPLAY-FIELDS=Name,Title,More

NOTE: OrgWiz.exe is located in the Office folder (something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15)

…or using the Org Chart Wizard:


We will be creating this “Org chart” from “Information that’s already stored in a file or database” and Next


Our script output the file to .csv so we will select “Text or Excel file” and click Next


Enter the path and filename and click Next


Define the org chart by select Name:=Name; Reports to:=ReportsTo


Now select what fields you want displayed on each object in the chart. (your discretion)


We are currently not populating a “Shape Data Field” so you can let this empty/as it.


How Org Chart” is designed: just let defaults


The Visio Org Chart Wizard has a bug in that it does render Org Charts in sorted order so you might want to go to  Design | Re-Layout Page to sort objects by ID.


You could also select all object and change color/shapes.

Voila-Visio Diagram (Hung Group example)


Example of a Interactive Response Group:


Current limitations:

  • Currently this tool is BETA
  • Get-csRgsWorkflowDiagram only follows “DefaultAction” branch of RGS Workflow (to be extended in subsequent versions) Now included in script
  • 1 RGS Workflow at a time. (in future can generate all or a group of RGS at one time) Now included in script.
  • Does not support Interactive Response Group at this time. (working on it)
    • IRG are now supported but Queue details are not charted (under a question) at this time
  • There is a command line switch (-OpenVisio) that will open Visio and the Org Chart Wizard, but at the moment it does not automate the Visio Org Chart Wizard.
  • The script is not signed, so you may need to copy past to run at this time.

Download Here:

Update History:

  • 1.00 – Does Queue based RGS diagrams
  • 1.01 – Added IRG based RGS
  • 1.01 – Ability to diagram all RGS Workflows at one time using –ResponseGroupName *All
    • 1 RGS Workflow per Visio page
  • 1.01 – many fixes
  • 2.00 – coming

I plan to add Visio Org Chart Import Wizard into PowerShell when I get a moment. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please comment or contact me.

Download Here:

Wish you could diagram Exchange UM Auto Attendants using Visio too? You can!


How to Automate Visio Org Chart Wizard via @visprocess: Click Here

snom Announces New snom 715: Adds Gigabit & USB


snom 715 expands on existing snom 710 (see 1st Impression review here).

New features that I notice:

  • Gigabit
  • USB (for optional WIFI dongle)

Considering the snom 710 is Lync Qualified I expect this model to be as well.


Lync Server 2013 & Lync Phone Edition Get Updates In Cumulative Update January 2014

Looks like CU January 2014 is largely fixes.

Lync Phone Edition gets some fixes: Click Here

  • 2918039 Voice is distorted when you resume a call from hold by using Lync Phone Edition for Aries telephone

  • 2918044 Exchange integration fails in Lync Phone Edition when an Exchange mailbox is enabled for the Exchange Online service

Lync Server 2013 Gets features & fixes: Click Here

  • Feature
    • Click Here "operator assistance" feature during a PSTN dial-in conference in a Lync Server 2013
      • This update enables administrators to provide support for the *0 Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) command in a public switched telephone network (PSTN) dial-in conference in a Microsoft Lync Server 2013 environment. After the update is installed, a PSTN caller is able to be transferred to an operator number that the administrator defines.
      • To enable this feature, the administrator must provide a valid help desk telephone number in the OperatorLineUri parameter by using the New-CsDialInConferencingDtmfConfiguration cmdlet or the Set-CsDialInConferencingDtmfConfigurationcmdlet.
  • Fixes
    • 2912334 Event ID 57006 is logged when you cannot restart the Lync Server 2013 front-end service

    • 2912338 Can't call Enterprise Voice-enabled users when the users have the same main telephone number in a Lync Server 2013 environment

    • 2912340 An external call is routed based on Location-Based Routing that is configured for internal AD sites in a Lync Server 2013 environment

    • 2912342 Lync Server 2013 supports TDE in SQL Server 2008 or a later version on a back-end server

    • 2912343 Event ID 1001 is logged when the RTCSrv.exe progress crashes on a Lync Server 2013 Edge server



#Sonus SBC1000/2000 Gateways Report QoE to #Lync Monitoring in FW v3.1


It looks like Sonus has implemented Lync monitoring QoE in version 3.1 of their firmware for SBC 1000 and 2000.

Other new features Sonus is noting in Firmware 3.1:

  • Lync Monitoring QoE reported to Lync monitoring
  • Greater Session count on SBC 1000 from 100 to 160 session
  • 3G/4G Failover on SBA’s
  • Sonus EMS integration

How QoE on SBC 1K/2K Work? (Click Here for Step by Step Install)

Sonus SBC 1K/2K uses the Lync QoE Agent running on a Windows Server (the Sonus ASM) to collect QoE data.

On the gateway UI the QoE options under System | QoE


Some notes on requirements:

  • Sonus QoE license required (click here)
  • ASM required on the SBC node functioning as the QoE Agent Server Gateway.


For Lync Enterprise Voice it is essential to have integrated insight into the quality of all media paths: real-time media hardware  that does not report QoE is like driving a car without a dashboard. All gateways, SBC's and IP phones designed for Lync should have native QoE reporting into Lync Monitoring Server. Currently QoE is not a requirement for Microsoft Lync Qualified Gateways (or IP phones/endpoints) and it is good to see Sonus continuing its Lync related innovation by bringing this very essential functionality to its SBC1000/2000 devices.

While some vendors have their own monitoring tools, in Lync scenarios admins are not looking for yet another tool or pane of glass to implement, monitor and maintain.


Webinar on Jan 9, 2013:

Sonus SBC1000/2000 Firemware 3.1 Release Notes:

Lync Hacker: Step by Step Native #Lync DoorBell Using #snom PA1


Lync administrator Daryl Sensenig is using full Enterprise Voice at Tents for Rent and wanted to extend Lync as far as possible so he put his hacking skills to use to turn the snom PA1 into a complete native Microsoft Lync door bell. I appreciate Daryl giving permission to repost his solution and if you have any ideas to improve or if you have a low cost external/weather proof door bell to suggest, comment below.  Here is what he did…

I spent a lot of time figuring out how to build a door phone for Lync 2013. The documentation was very poor and fragmented. So, I thought I'd share how I did it so that others could benefit.

  1. I started with the Snom PA1 and updated it to the UC edition firmware.
  2. I purchased an AIPHONE LE-A and a mini mic from Amazon.
  3. I setup a ring group for the doorbell in Microsoft Lync
  4. I entered the UC account data into the PA Web UI.
  5. I setup speed dial "1" to be the doorbell ring group.
  6. I set auto dial to "after 2 seconds" It is located in Advanced > Behavior > Auto Dial
  7. I set it to auto answer in Identity 1 > SIP > Auto Answer. This allows me to call it if necessary.
  8. I inserted the mini mic into the "mic in" jack.
  9. I opened the AIPHONE and soldered wires from the AIPHONE speaker and connected them to the "Speaker" connectors on the PA1.
  10. I connected the wiring harness to the KBD (keyboard) port of the PA1 and soldered the white and purple (6 and 7) wires onto switch on the board in the AIPHONE. Thus by pressing the button on the AIPHONE, it dials the number 1 and after 2 seconds, speed dials my doorbell ring group.
  11. I connected the wiring harness to the I/O 2 port of the PA 1. The black wire is ground, brown is always 12 V (good as a power supply for a relay). Yellow is pin 3 and purple is pin 4. These can be connected to a relay for a door strike, door opener and etc. I haven't done this yet, but I plan to. The first PA1 unit I had did not supply 3.3V to pin 3 and 4 when activated. So, I had to get another unit.
  12. You can turn these pins on by dialing 3# or 4# when in a call to the PA1. You can also turn them on in the web UI: Preferences > PA1 controls > Pin 3.

There were numerous other steps and dead-ends that I ran into before I came up with this simplified list. I've eliminated all my "wrong" steps to keep it simple.

Please let me know if I've missed anything. I hope this is helpful to those who would like to do the same thing.

My total costs were:

  • $105 for the PA1
  • $24 for the AIPHONE
  • $5.05 for the mini mic
  • Total out of pocket $134.05
  • Lots of time, hassle, forum reading, posting and soldering

My next project is an outdoor doorbell. I'm looking for an affordable weather resistant door bell. If you have any ideas, please post.

Connecting the Call Switch (below)


Call switch connection


snom PA1 and


snom PA1 Connections



More discussion: