The latest release of the Polycom VVX 5.4 UCS firmware branch is now available for Lync and Skype for Business environments. While the initial 5.4.0 release (220.127.116.1141) was published a few months ago that was only intended for Open SIP applications. The recent 5.4.0A release (18.104.22.16882) is fully supported for Lync and Skype for Business (SfB) 2015 Server environments.
Additionally this release introduces the capability to register directly to Skype for Business Online and Exchange Online as provided by Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud environment. This sets the stage for the planned launch of the voice features later this year. As official support for voice and IP phones with Skype for Business Online is coming later this year then the registration outlined in this article is at this moment unsupported, but is functional. For any hybrid environments with an on-premises Lync or Skype for Business deployment paired with Exchange Online this version also resolves connectivity issues previously seen in 5.3 with Exchange Online.
As covered in various other articles this process is unchanged. The same steps listed at the beginning of this recent article can be used to upgrade the phone firmware if not already familiar with it.
The new firmware is now available directly from the public Polycom Hosted upgrade server, and it identified as “SFB-Lync Only” so that customer using VVX phones on Open SIP platforms do not use this specific release.
As usual the entire release package can also be downloaded from this page and then loaded on to a custom provisioning or distribution server.
- Before advancing verify that the phone is upgraded to the proper firmware version by pressing the Home button and then then selecting Settings > 4 > 1 > 2 > 1 to quickly navigate to the Status > Platform > Phone > Main menu.
Office 365 Registration
Registering the phone to an existing on-premises or third-party hosted environment is performed the same as in previous releases. Given that registration to Office 365 is a new feature for leveraging Skype for Business Online and Exchange Online then this article will walk through these steps below.
Note that some of the steps shown here are new, which are a result of improving the first-time sign in process for users. These improvements are seen when registering to any Lync or Skype for Business environment, on-premises or hosted.
Select Base Profile
The VVX phone in use may already have this step configured by default, depending on the specific SKU that was used to purchase the phone. Regardless of the part number and what was pre-staged at the factory any VVX phone can be moved between the Generic and Lync Base Profiles.
- Depress and hold the 1, 4, and 9 keys on the phone’s keypad and keep them held for for at least 3 seconds.
- When prompted enter the Administrator password (factory default is 456).
- Select Lync if it is not already the default configuration. If the phone was previously set to Generic then it will automatically reboot when Lync is selected.
Any of the methods detailed in the recent article Lync Registration on VVX Phones can be used. The only difference for O365 registration would be the format the user credentials are entered in. As SfB Online does not utilize legacy Windows NetBIOS formats then only the User Principal Name format can be used.
A touch-enabled VVX 600 model is used for the examples shown in this article, but the steps are identical between all VVX models. For non touch-screen models entering the user credentials using the keypad could be a slow process and thus utilizing BToE or the Web Management UI are faster, easier methods of registering the phone.
The example below will show the process as performed directly on the phone itself.
- Select the Sign In soft key displayed on the home screen of the phone.
Another improvement in the sign-in process with this release is that in the event the phone does not discover any Lync/SfB certificate provisioning services URL from either the network (DHCP Option 43) or a dedicated provisioning server (STSURI) then PIN Authentication support will be automatically disabled on the phone. For Office 365 tenants or users of other hosted Lync/SfB environments where that authentication option is not currently supported this will simplify the sign-in process by defaulting directly to the User Credentials option.
- Using the on-screen keyboard enter the desired Office 365 user credentials as shown in the following screenshot. Only the Sign-In Address, User, and Password fields should be populated. The Domain field should be left blank.
- Select Sign-In and wait for the phone to complete registration.
- Once sign-in is reported as successful press the Next key to move on and pick a time zone, or press Done to skip right to the home screen.
If Next was selected in the previous step then the Time Zone menu will have appeared.
- Select the desired time zone and then either select Next or Done.
If Next was selected then additional menus will provide the ability to change the default Time Format from 12-hour to 24-hour, and then configure the desired Date and Time Format.
If Done was previously selected then the wizard will complete and the phone will display the home screen and along with it any currently pinned Favorites in Lync or SfB, just as it always has.
- To validate a successful connection to Exchange Online press the Home key and then select the Calendar icon. Any scheduled meetings should be displayed as shown.
When using either of the other documented registration processes the same requirements apply in terms of how to populate the user credentials.
- If using the Lync SignIn feature available the phone’s web management UI then the credentials are entered in the same as as shown in the steps above, omitting the Domain field.
- If using Better Together over Ethernet (BToE) pairing the Lync/SfB client prompt for sign-in credentials should be populated as shown below. (There is no separate Domain field to skip in this format.)
While this new wizard which mimics the behavior of Lync Phone Edition can be beneficial to unmanaged phones meant for hosted Skype for Business tenants current customers may already be handling time zone settings via DHCP or a provisioning server configuration. In these scenarios it would be ideal to disable this setup wizard to streamline the user sign-in process even further.
- To disable the user setup wizard simply configure the following three attributes on the phones using a supported provisioning server model.