SkySwitch Webinar: Simplifying Polycom Provisioning Using DHCP Option 160 and a SimpleWan Router

If you deploy Polycom phones and SimpleWan routers, then you should know how to use DHCP Option 160 to automate the provisioning  process. In this SkySwitch University Webinar, our Support Team Leader, Cameron Besaw, explains how to take advantage of this capability.

 

Polycom Announces New Entry Level 2-Line Phones

Polycom has announced the release of two new phones in the popular VVX line.  The new entries – VVX 101 and VVX 201 – are 2-line devices that promise to replace the workhorse Soundpoint 331 and 335 models.

An unboxing video of the VVX 101 is here:

 

A video describing features and operation of the VVX 201 is here:

 

Recent releases of Polycom’s version 5 firmware are not compatible with devices in the Soundpoint line.  As a result, the new entry-level devices fill a keenly felt void the Polycom product line.

As with all Polycom phones, the new models are auto-provisioned with the  fully-automated SkySwitch Device Provisioning Server.

Remember:  Your success as a hosted PBX reseller depends on your ability to customize the look and operation of the phones that you deploy.  SkySwitch makes this easy to do. The SkySwitch device provisioning server enables remote provisioning and management of all the major SIP phone and ATA devices, including Polycom, Yealink and Cisco among others.   To learn more, contact a SkySwitch white label VoIP specialist today.

Polycom Gets Smart with the Cone of Silence (aka Acoustic Fence)

cone-of-silenceA new Polycom feature called Acoustic Fence reminds me of one of my favorite childhood TV shows, a Mel Brooks comedy from the 60’s called Get Smart.  The show featured a plethora of futuristic gadgets including telephones that were built-in to almost everything.  Anyone that has seen the show will remember the shoe-phone, a device  that required the show’s protagonist, Maxwell Smart, to take off his shoe in order to talk.

Another gag on the show was the “Cone of Silence“, transparent plastic spheres that ensconced participants in a top-secret bubble.  Invariably, the device would malfunction, requiring the characters to shout loudly in order to be heard by each other (and allowing them to be heard by anyone else in earshot).

While the schtick was quite funny on the show, the new Polycom feature is anything but because it promises to solve a problem that plagues telephone users working in the “open plan” offices that are popular today.  Specifically, the new technology is designed to eliminate background noises by creating a ‘fence of silence’ around a Polycom VVX series  phone running UC Software 5.3.

Although it was originally developed as part of Polycom’s video conferencing suite, the feature has recently been added to VVX phones.  It is perfect for receptionists that frequently handle phone calls and in-office visitors simultaneously, contact center agents that work within close proximity to other agents, or anyone that uses the phone in an inherently noisy environment.   The technology uses algorithms to detect and block noise.  It eliminates unwanted background noise – such as peripheral conversations or printer rattle – by matching the sound level between the VVX phone’s speakerphone microphone on the one hand, and the handset (or headset) microphone on the other.  By selectively cancelling out sounds from beyond the ‘audio fence’ only sounds within the “bubble” around the handset are transmitted – everything else disappears. This ensures that conversations are not superimposed by the surrounding noise of an open-plan office, but remain clear and understandable.

As with all telephone features, this option can be easily enabled for a single user or an entire office with a simple 1-line override in the fully-automated SkySwitch Device Provisioning Server.  When combined with the many advanced features of the SkySwitch hosted PBX and Contact Center solutions, the new Polycom technology contributes to a solution that is truly futuristic.

Remember:  Your success as a hosted PBX reseller depends on your ability to customize the look and operation of the phones that you deploy.  SkySwitch makes this easy to do. The SkySwitch device provisioning server enables remote provisioning and management of all the major SIP phone and ATA devices, including Polycom, Yealink and Cisco among others.   To learn more, contact a SkySwitch white label VoIP specialist today.

Polycom’s 2015 Predictions for the Workplace

As enthusiastic Polycom supporters, the SkySwitch team aways pays attention to the device maker’s prognostications.  This year is no different.  The seven predictions for 2015 below, unveiled in a press release by Polycom yesterday, are closely aligned with our own vision about the near-term future of unified communications and collaboration (UCC).

1.Globalizing companies will rapidly adopt and use collaboration tools…

Global expansion means working across time zones, borders and cultures. The future of business requires collaboration tools that extend business and defy distance and time. Ultimate success comes when organizations embrace individual collaborative preferences and build a culture of collaboration by accommodating a variety of tools from email, telephony, social media, video and content sharing. In 2015, more tools that enable visual communication from people to content will help break down communication borders and enable more global success.

2.Integration, not just interoperability…

Conferencing is altering business models, according to the white paper, “Revolutionizing the Future Workplace” by futurist Jack Uldrich. It is quickly becoming one of the most used collaboration tools and is expected to overtake email as the preferred tool by 2016. But mass adoption does not happen unless it is made contextual to an end user’s preferred work style. Integrating collaboration technology, such as voice, video and content sharing tools, into communication systems, business applications and workflows will drive adoption. New technologies such as WebRTC, standards-based video, rich SDKs and a deeper understanding of unified communications applications, make this a reality. New industry-specific solutions—particularly in healthcare, government, financial services and retail—will increase the use and relevance of video this year.

3.The workspace itself will evolve…

The workspace itself is changing significantly. To reduce real estate space and related expenses, some companies are moving from rows of cubicles to more open workspaces and offering employees flexible work arrangements. As a result, we expect workplace innovation from a distance to define the future of working. New technology innovations, like noise cancellation, lighting adjustments and digital white-boarding, will support this transformation. These technology innovations, coupled with a stronger desire for open collaboration, will render the current office-based workspace obsolete. More emphasis will be placed on connecting to anywhere, from anywhere, at any time.

4.The Age of ‘Supermobility’…

In “Revolutionizing the Future Workplace,” Jack Uldrich predicts smartphones will grow to 2.4 billion units by 2018—a ratio of 6:1 to PCs. In 2015, device-to-device communication will enable contextual-based collaboration. We are entering the age of “supermobility,” in which mobile devices will provide all of the tools and technology that employees need to be productive on the go, including voice, video and content collaboration solutions. This “supermobility,” which will include more use of near field communications (NFC), Wi-Di, Ultrasonic and other wireless technologies, will give mobile device users easier and moresecure access to an enterprise’s visual collaboration tools.

5.The SMB market will accelerate the use of cloud-based collaboration solutions…

Fueled by the evolution of mobility and the cloud, subscription-based services provide organizations with the ability to collaborate and achieve more. More than ever, large scale movement of small- to medium-sized businesses(SMB) to cloud-based VoIP, video and content sharing services will grow. Traditional PSTN infrastructure is becoming outdated, and with a regulatory mandate to move all voice services off of the PSTN within the next five years, cloud-based voice, video and content use will rise dramatically. New applications and capabilities that were previously hard to get in the traditional premise-based world will become much easier to deploy with these cloud-based collaboration services.

6.Browser-based collaboration solutions will become the tool of choice…

Companies looking for simple and effective communications will turn to the web browser in 2015. Enabled by WebRTC, companies globally will come to depend more on the browser to perform communication functions within work streams. Simplicity will ultimately rule this change, as more businesses look to make video an easy to use option. WebRTC will continue to gain traction in 2015, but will remain basic, meaning any advanced functionality will still require an enterprise solution. We believe 2016 will offer even greater adoption.

7.Meetings as you know them are changing for the better…

Meetings are changing because technology continues to foster new ways to communicate. Better quality and easier to use collaboration solutions are making it feel as natural as being there—so users have a common experience regardless of their location or device. Video conferencing solutions also will easily connect to third-party audio services, such as Skype for Business (Microsoft Lync), increasing business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communications.

Expect 2015 to be a signature year for advancement of collaboration tools around the globe. With work environments shifting from traditional to more advanced collaboration environments, more employees will look to their employers for flexible yet productive “offices” to conduct work from wherever they choose. Video collaboration is eliminating the distance between locations and the barriers to communication with as good as being there experiences. The workplace is changing for the better, and we expect visual communications to be one of the biggest catalysts in next generation team collaboration.
Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/polycoms-top-7-workplace-of-the-future-predictions-for-2015-20150106-00440#ixzz3O6HCrGXr