I know the Polycom CX Series (300, 500, 600) have been around a long time, but they still look pretty good by today’s standards. I find it impressive how often I’ve come across these phones deployed, and that they are still requested by clients.
A recent project saw the client select and rollout roughly 250 Polycom CX300 USB desk phones to all staff, and CX600’s to a ‘select few’. Meanwhile, elsewhere I also had the pleasure of seeing a CX500 mounted inside a lift (elevator) – when you see that, you know it’s a company that takes Lync seriously.
It just goes to show the impact Microsoft made with their run of Lync Optimised Devices (Lync Phone Edition / LPE). I’ve yet to see vendor’s own attempts at Lync phones cause as much interest.
I’ve been able to pull a few strings, and call in some favours, and I now own a CX500, and CX600, and have a CX300 on the way. (If anybody wants to send me a Polycom VVX handset or two, perhaps something from Plantronics, Jabra, or Sennheiser… well.. it’s safe to say, you will be on my Christmas card list).
Beside the build quality, one of the nicest things about the CX Series phones is the wideband audio (branded as HD Voice), and that’s difficult to hear when you’re just handing lifeless lumps of plastic around a table to stakeholders.
Last weekend, I had an idea…
I already have a small private hosted Lync demo deployment, with a handful of users enabled for Enterprise Voice hooked up to an Internet SIP Trunk. On my laptop I have a virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2 with DHCP running on my Ethernet port for Lync Phone Edition specific options, and RRAS to provide NAT from Ethernet to my WiFi. With a VPN to the Lync environment.
I have the CX500 signed in with Extension+PIN. Then another account on the Lync Client, with the CX600 tethered, and provide AD Credentials for Better Together.
After showing the CX600 and how Better Together works with the Lync Client, you can disconnect the USB cable from the phone, and it retains the provisioning information, so you can sign into yet another account on the desktop client and show a headset too.
Throw in the Lync Mobile App on a tablet or smartphone, perhaps a colleague back at the office with a webcam, and away you go.
With very little to setup and minimal prep time, you can actually show an awful lot.. for example..
- Wideband Lync Audio
- CX500 as a common area phone, and hot-desking
- CX600 with Better Together, with Exchange integration for calendar, voice-mail, call-history etc
- Enterprise Voice features such as…
- Call Transfer (with and without consult)
- Response Groups
- Team Call
- Group Call Pickup
- Unified Messaging
Also, this type of setup can unarguably show how Lync paves the way for “Virtual Call Centres”, “Virtual Experts”, and facilitates flexible home working, and more…
I’ve even run this using a 4G dongle, and performance was perfect (for a demo).