Choosing New Devices
Topic Last Modified: 2012-10-16
We recommend deploying only qualified unified communications (UC) devices that display the "Optimized for Microsoft Lync" wordmark. For a list of recommended devices, see "Phones and devices qualified for Microsoft Lync" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=208938.
To select the devices that are right for your organization, consider what capabilities you want to give users and how each device’s requirements affect your total cost of ownership (TCO).
Features and Functionality of UC Devices
After you determine and prioritize the capabilities that you want to provide users, try to find a device that provides all the capabilities that are most important to you, and then evaluate whether the requirements of that device support or detract from your TCO.
In Lync Server, you have four options for IP desk phones and one USB phone option. IP phones provide a broader set of UC features and do not need to be connected to a computer that is running Lync Server to provide communication and collaboration features. USB phones require this connection.
The supported IP desk phones are the Aastra 6725ip desk phone, HP 4120 IP Phone, Polycom CX600 IP desk phone, and Polycom CX700 IP desk phone. The supported USB desk phone is the Polycom CX300.
Some desk phones provide large touch screens or fingerprint readers. All supported desk phones provide the following:
Headset, speakerphone, mute, and volume-control buttons
In-call, voice-message, call-forwarding, and multicolor presence indicators
Wideband audio, full-duplex speakerphone, automatic gain control, dynamic noise reduction, and acoustic echo cancellation
A two-port switch (applies to IP phones)
For a summary of the key details about supported desk phones, see Desk Phone Comparison Table. For updates related to Lync Server and details about the phones, see the Aastra website at http://www.aastra.com/products-desk-phones.htm, the HP website at http://www.hp.com/, and the Polycom website at http://support.polycom.com/PolycomService/support/us/support/voice/index.html.
The supported conferencing devices are the Polycom CX5000, which replaced the discontinued Microsoft RoundTable conferencing device, and the Polycom CX3000, the IP conferencing device.
The previously released Polycom CX5000 enables users in two or more locations to interact by using concurrent video and audio transmissions. It uses an array of five cameras and six microphones to capture 360-degree audio and video in your meeting and share it with remote conference participants who connect to the conference by using Lync or Live Meeting. The capabilities and requirements of the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable device are identical. For complete details about the Polycom CX5000’s capabilities and information about requirements, see the "Polycom CX5000 data sheet" at http://www.polycom.com/global/documents/products/voice/conferencing_solutions/cx5000_datasheet.pdf.
The new IP conferencing device, the Polycom CX3000, provides all the audio features of the Polycom CX5000 and Microsoft RoundTable conferencing device without the video support. Unlike the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable devices, the Polycom CX3000 does not require a USB connection to a computer that is running Lync in order to provide telephony functionality. Additionally, the Polycom CX3000 provides wideband audio, whereas the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable devices provide narrowband audio. Complete details about the Polycom CX3000 are not currently documented.
For a summary of the key details about supported conferencing devices, see Common Area Phone and Conferencing Device Comparison Table.
When deciding which conferencing device to buy, decide how important it is that your organization invests in full conferencing-device capabilities. You might also look at the supported speaker phones to see if one meets your conferencing needs. To learn about supported speaker phones, see "Phones and Devices Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=186185. Note that this list may not yet include all of the devices.
Common Area Phones
You have three options for common area phones, the Aastra 6721ip common area phone, HP 4110 IP Phone, and the Polycom CX500 IP common area phone. The Polycom CX3000 IP conferencing phone is another variant common area phone however it is intended for used in conference rooms. All of the common area phones are IP phones, so they do not need to be connected to a computer to provide Lync Server UC functionality. To provide this functionality, you can configure the phone as a hot-desk phone, that is, a shared phone that allows users full desk-phone functionality. When a common area phone is configured as a hot-desk phone, it allows users to log on to their own user accounts. When they do, the features, policies, and settings that are associated with the user account will apply for as long as the user is logged in. When the user logs out, the phone provides basic common area phone usage.
Most often, you will configure phones in shared workspace as hot-desk phones. If the common area phone is in a lobby or kitchen or on factory floor, you’ll probably configure it to have a dedicated user account only.
Common area phones can be configured to provide the same software features as IP desk phones however they do not provide any information that comes from the Exchange server. The differences between common area phones and IP desk phones are in the hardware. For example, common area phones have only one Ethernet port, because they don’t need to connect to a computer and do not provide click-to-call integration Also, they do not have speakers.
For key details about the supported common area phones, see Common Area Phone and Conferencing Device Comparison Table.
When deciding which common area phone to buy, consider contacting the manufacturers after the phones release, to find out and then to compare details about audio performance and the warranty, level of support, and pricing-including shipping costs. For contact information, see the Aastra website at http://www.aastra.com/products-desk-phones.htm, the HP website at http://www.hp.com/, and the Polycom website at http://support.polycom.com/PolycomService/support/us/support/voice/index.html. You can also look at the supported desk phones to see if one meets your common area calling needs. To learn about supported desk phones, see Desk Phone Comparison Table.
To compare the capabilities of all supported UC peripherals (that is, speakerphones, handsets, headsets, and webcams), see "Phones and devices qualified for Microsoft Lync" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=208938. This list is updated as new devices are approved.
In addition, a basic headset, with high-quality audio, is available through Plantronics and available only through direct sales.
To learn about computers that provide integrated, high-quality audio and video capabilities and display the "Optimized for Microsoft Lync" wordmark, see "Phones and devices qualified for Microsoft Lync" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=208938.