The Enabling Technologies Blog


Dave Bergquist / / Categories: Best Practices, Organizational Change Management

Desktop phones are the "face of change" to the end user

When implementing Microsoft Skype for Business either on premises or online, a major portion of the deployment’s success depends on user experience and adoption. From what I have seen throughout my deployment experience, whether it’s standing up a greenfield deployment or moving away from traditional TDM-based PBX phone systems to a Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business IP PBX, endpoints tend to be the focal point for the success of the deployment. Endpoints and devices are what make the Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business IP PBX come to life!

Eric Buchbinder, Project Manager at Enabling Technologies recognizes, “Desktop phones are a critical component. They are the “face of change” for the new telephony system to the end user”.

When replacing your PBX with Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business, many users are “wedded” to their desktop based phone sets. They have been using them for years, are accustomed to all their features and capabilities, and tend to rely on them for their day-to-day business needs. When they discover the company is changing phone systems many users will want to be provided with the same type desktop experience they had before. Some will go with headsets and/or speakerphones, and some will want (and need) a desktop set. Not to forget those common areas throughout the business that require a traditional desktop or wall mount style of phone or device.

Enabling Technologies can assist with ongoing user adoption hurdles through our suite of Organizational Change Management offerings. Together we can create a winning deployment strategy, articulating formal communications plans and engaging templates and delivering world-class training. Enabling has a variety of OCM offerings; take the first step and ask about an OCM Planning and Design session today!

As a systems administrator, we realize that we require some desktop / wall mount style phone sets when moving to Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business. We want to appease our users and provide the best experience Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business offers, however we must also provision these devices; applying the latest firmware and feature set configuration. Most clients narrow their choices down to a few specific model types: high, medium, and low end devices.

I recently had the opportunity to work with Yealink phones, specifically the T48G – Skype for Business Edition. This device is certificated for Skype for Business Online as well on premises. I evaluated the T48G (SFB) using the BToE software connector installed on a PC working in conjunction with the Skype for Business client, while the PC was connected through the phone’s network connection. Likewise, I have deployed the Yealink phones while directly connected to a “Voice VLAN” and the PC connected to a “Data VLAN” while still utilizing the BToE software (with full functionality). The T48G can be used without BToE and connected directly to the network authenticating via PIN authentication; which I have tested as well.

From an end user’s perspective, I was very impressed. The phone’s interface is very intuitive and full of features and capabilities. They sound great, work great out of the box, and look even better! From a system administrators point of view; I was also satisfied with how easy it was to deploy the Yealink devices one at time or on a mass scale. Here are the items that made me ecstatic, exceeding my expectations!

  • Represents Skype for Business in an impressive way; from the color scheme, down to being able to see my contacts rounded picture icons:
    • 800x480 backlit 7-inch color touchscreen
    • Adequately represents expected Microsoft Skype for Business client theme
    • Modern yet simplistic multilingual interface. Properly represents an actual Skype for Business device
    • Sharp, colorful, brilliant, interactive depictions of my favorites with presence indication
    • Ability to navigate through pages of favorites
    • Can set presence status via upper right hand corner via touchscreenYealinkblog1.jpg
      • Download Microsoft Skype for Business specific .cab files and use Skype for Business to provision the Yealink phones:
        • With this method, you are limited to what can be configured
        • Must use Skype for Business Management Shell / Control Panel to install / apply firmware
      • Utilize FTP TFTP, HTTP and HTTPS applications / protocols to provision the Yealink phones:
        • With this method, you can alter the phones feature-set via configuration files
        • This can be done per phone (MAC.cfg) or for groups of phones by model type (common.cfg)
        • Utilize this method to apply firmware updates to phones
        • Can schedule provisioning automatically, weekly, daily, etc.
          • Interface competencies:
            • All Skype for Business favorites were directly represented on the Yealink device
            • At a glance, I can quickly and adequately see the presence of my favorites
            • Switching between favorites, contacts, and call history from the main screen using touchscreen is very instinctive; not having to dig through layers of menus
            • Contact search and calling using touchscreen with a single screen / key press
            • Initiate a “Meet Now” Conference from the menu
            • Boss / Admin Support
            • Call Hold, transfer, mute, volume, and redial hard keys
            • Backlit headset and mute hard keys
            Yealinkblog3.png
          • Signing into Lync / Skype for Business:
            • Entering my user credentials using the touch screen wasn’t a chore; ample room and sized touchscreen keyboard / keys
            • Long SIP URI’s and complex passwords - Interpreted and accepted my exact input without having to delete, backspace, and enter my credentials more than once
            • Sign in methods: PIN Auth, NTLM user credentials, BToE, phones web interface
          • Exchange Integration Features:
            • EWS integration (on premise and Office365)
            • Ample visual voicemail with MWI integration (LED and screen based); view and pay voicemail messages
            • Calendar Integration with meeting join capability
          • Yealink Optima HD voice via handset, speaker, and/or headset with life-like sound quality
          • BToE features:
            • Can switch audio device from Yealink phone to PC; without pairing / connecting network through the phone. You can use separate networks / VLANs and still switch audio devices via wireless BToE pairing
            • PC can utilize phone as an audio device
            • Phone lock
          • More information regarding the Yealink T48G SFB can be found here

          Provisioning – Mass Deployment

        • Download Microsoft Skype for Business specific .cab files and use Skype for Business to provision the Yealink phones:

          • With this method, you are limited to what can be configured
          • Must use Skype for Business Management Shell / Control Panel to install / apply firmware
          • Utilize FTP TFTP, HTTP and HTTPS applications / protocols to provision the Yealink phones:
            • With this method, you can alter the phones feature-set via configuration files
            • This can be done per phone (MAC.cfg) or for groups of phones by model type (common.cfg)
            • Utilize this method to apply firmware updates to phones
            • Can schedule provisioning automatically, weekly, daily, etc.

       

       Glossary of Terms

      OCM – Organizational Change Management

      BToE – Better Together over Ethernet

      TDM – Time Division Multiplexed

      PBX – Private Branch Exchange

      MWI – Message Waiting Indicator

      VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

       

      Enabling deals with many endpoint and phone manaufacturers.  We are able to set up a device bar so your end users can try all of them to see which they prefer!  Contact us :  Info@enablingtechcorp.com to arrange for the device bar to be sent to your organization!  

       

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