At our recent ‘Are you ready for Skype for Business’ webinar, our experts fielded several questions from the attendees which covered integration within existing UC environments, impact on current telephony, video and content sharing solutions, and how you can protect your current collaboration infrastructure investments. In this blog post, we feature some of the most frequently asked questions at the webinar. Read on to find out the answers…
Q: We are a small/medium NGO. I would like to know more about Office 365 and voice as a complete multisite PABX replacement. Timeframe for start of pilot / rollout is 6-18 months.
Microsoft is planning to rollout PSTN Voice for Office 365 multi-tenant in the US this year with other countries to follow in 2016 and beyond. The exact dates for availability in ANZ are still not confirmed. Polycom VVX phones will support Office365 multi-tenant in Q3 of this year. Skype4B Server supports hybrid topology where users hosted online can leverage on-premise PSTN infrastructure for Enterprise Voice
Q: Can Polycom software end points talk directly using IP / SIP protocol without relying on Lync/ Skype / Polycom infrastructures?
Polycom Room Systems eg RealPresence Group Series can enable direct calling via IP address without SIP registrar. However, in most environments the room system will register with a SIP server such as Lync/Skype4B server or Polycom DMA7000. Polycom RealPresence Desktop software can be used without Polycom Infrastructure as long as the software is licensed for local individual use.
Q: Are you aware of a roadmap for the CX Series IP Phones to update the OS from the Microsoft Lync Phone Edition to Skype for Business Phone Edition?
At this stage there are no plans for Microsoft to update the OS on the LPE devices but they are supported with Skype4B server.
Q: If a regular Skype client is installed on a PC can you log in with your Skype for Business credentials?
The Skype consumer client cannot be used to login to Skype4B server and vice versa. They remain separate and independent client and server software
Q: Can you talk about Polycom's PTZ Front-of-Room camera option which automatically zooms in on the active speaker, which can be used (with HDMI adapter) with the CX8000 Lync Room System? Will this be a packaged option to order with the CX8000?
This is possible using a video bridge such as Vaddio but we do not provide it as a packaged option when ordering the CX8000. The Vaddio bridge can be purchased separately from the appropriate resellers
Q: Will Enterprise Voice be available for Skype for Business soon? Enterprise Voice for on-premise Skype4B is part of the product. Enterprise Voice for Skype4B hybrid is possible where users hosted online leverage on-premise PSTN infrastructure for EV. Skype4B O365 multi-tenant is not yet available at this stage. Contact your Microsoft representative for further details.
Q: What does Cisco side equipment need in order to connect to our Skype for Business? Skype4B provides a new Video Interop Server (VIS) role that can allow P2P and conference calls between certain Cisco EPs and Skype4B clients. CUCM v10.5 or higher is required and Cisco EPs with TC7.0 or higher are required.
Q: I have a client with 51 Endpoints + RMX1800- 40-720p, looking to integrate Skype for Business channels. How will this be possible? This is achievable using Polycom RealConnect technology, which allows multiple bi-directional video and content streams to be send/receive between Skype4B clients and standard room Endpoints. Contact your Polycom representative for more details.
Q: If I currently have Polycom DMA, CMA and RMX 1500, as well as RealPresence Access Director, which only serves for H.323 call, what additional requirements are needed to setup in order to link with Skype video calls?
Enable SIP on the Polycom RPP components and implement Polycom RealConnect technology, which allows multiple bi-directional video and content streams to be send/receive between Skype4B clients and standard room Endpoints. Contact your Polycom representative for more details.
Q: I do not see the Round Table 100 listed in the Lync/Skype4B solutions catalogue. When will this be updated? Round Table 100 will be available in APAC in Q4 2015. The catalogue will be updated once the product is officially available for purchase.
Q: Video calls from Polycom VVX 500/600 are not possible with Lync/Skype4B client. What is the plan to make this happen? Video calls between VVX500/600 and Lync/Skype4B clients is planned a future release of VVX firmware targeted for Q4 2015
Q: It seems that most vendors on the market are moving towards USB device for the meeting room devices. Will Polycom also move in this direction away from IP device? We cannot disclose anything specific at this stage but Polycom R&D has been looking into these types of devices for some time already and we will make the announcements (if any) in due course.
Q: Why does the CX5500 have the extra CPU unit? It is bulky. The CPU unit is responsible for the video processing and encoding. It is a necessary component of the CX5100/5500
Q: a) Can we bring in a participant that would like to join the Skype meeting via other VC equipment? b) What’s needed for the HDX7000 to have a face-to-face meeting and presentation in the same session? c) Does Skype4B support Polycom old equipment HDX 7000/8000 models ? This is achievable using Polycom RealConnect technology, which allows multiple bi-directional video and content streams to be send/receive between Skype4B clients and standard room Endpoints. Contact your Polycom representative for more details.
Q: Can we use the Lync Room System with the Touch Screen system if we are not in a call? Yes the Lync Room System can be used as a whiteboard even if not in a call.
Q: Is there much difference between Lync 2013 and Skype for Business to Polycom infrastructure (DMA, RMX)? There are minimal differences between Lync 2013 and Skype4B in terms of integration with Polycom infrastructure. Newer versions of RealPresence Platform will be released soon that will officially support Skype4B Server.
Q: Does Polycom Group 500 support Skype4B? Do we need to upgrade the firmware in Group 500 before using with Skype4B? Yes, Group 500 will support Skype4B server and clients in the upcoming firmware release targeted for Q3.
Q: Does the CX5500 series phone hardware work with normal Asterisk Telephony solution and is it compatible with Cisco telepresence devices? Yes the CX5500 series phone module will work with any industry standard Open-SIP platform including Asterisk.
Q: How many Polycom devices can connect at one time? This depends on the capacity of the Polycom RPP infrastructure that is installed. However Skype4B Server only supports five active speaker streams in a conference, even if there are more participants in the call.