About Me

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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Skype for Business MVP (2015-2016) - before that, a Lync Server MVP (2010-2014). My day job is titled "Technical Lead, MS UC" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, Skype, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2013/11/26

Lync 2013 with Cox SIP Trunk

I recently participated in a project where the SIP trunk provider of choice (the customer’s choice – not mine) was Cox.  As a refresher, here is the validated SIP Trunk provider list.  As a best practice, choosing a provider from the list means that the service offered has been vetted against Lync, and will work as expected with a base Lync setup.

Needless to say, we had “issues.”  Here are four things you may run up against if you choose to use Cox as your SIP trunk provider with Lync Server.

First, Cox provides their own E-SBC (Enterprise Session Border Controller).  This unit is setup by default with ONLY UDP.  You need to tell Cox that Lync does TCP and UDP.    And no, I do not know of a way to make Lync do just UDP.

Second, the Cox Lync 2010 setup guide on pages 29-30 indicates setting up the PSTN gateway with EITHER FQDN or IP. Their guide text and pretty pictures show using an FQDN. 

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Guess what.  While that FQDN may have worked in their test lab, it does not work in real life.  You MUST create the Gateway and Trunk with IP.  If you are using FQDN with the Cox gateway and noticing that the Cox gateway is ignoring all of your SIP OPTIONS requests  - then this will fix it.

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Lastly, once we got past those two issues, caller ID did not work for outbound calling.  Make sure to clear the check box for “enable forward P-asserted-Identity data.” MVP Brian Ricks has a nice explanation of why this is so. After letting that change percolate, you should have your caller ID for outbound calls.

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Finally, we could not get calls to forward very well  - as in not at all.  Going back to the trunk configuration, set the refer support to NONE.

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YMMV

2013/11/20

Sennheiser Lync Devices (Review)

I like toys.  The more the merrier when it comes to certain categories of toys.  Sennheiser just sent me a couple of new toys to play with – and better yet, both of these had the “Optimized for Microsoft Lync” label.  Life is pretty good when you have toys that match up with what you want to do in the first place.  What could be better?  A free motorcycle would be good, or maybe a new gaming PC with all SSD.  But in the gap that exists, I will take these Sennheiser units for a quick spin.  Here is the labeling for what is in the box.

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Thinking that I would do a little read-ahead on these units, I went looking for UoB material. This link here is for the SD Pro1 ML/SD 20 ML – US:  http://en-us.sennheiser.com/call-center-headset-office-headset-handsfree-sd-pro-1.  This link here is for the Presence UC ML:  http://en-us.sennheiser.com/bluetooth-headset-smart-phones-presence-uc-ml. Allow me to make an observation about the Sennheiser boxes – or at least the SD Pro1 box -  I failed miserably at my first attempts at opening the SD Pro1 box.  Funny really, but I flailed for several minutes before figuring out the Chinese puzzle that was the packaging.

Presence UC ML

What came in the box was a nice carrying case, a handy car charger, a very short (but fits in the case) USB cable, and a USB dongle.

sennheiser uc ml

When you plug the dongle in to your computer, you get an automatic install for Sennheiser BTD 800.  I was using Windows 8.1 for my test, and this part ran transparently with no input from me.  After getting a quick charge into the earpiece, turning the entire mess on has the earpiece and the dongle paired.  At this point, Lync has already acquired the device and you are ready to talk.

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Audio quality was pretty good, noise cancelling was mid-pack.  Build, fit, finish, button function (complete with tone signals) all seemed on par with the popular competitors.  The instruction sheet that came with the unit covered all the setup and functionality that I needed.  I made a few calls with Lync, and everything operated exactly as I expected. As a BlueTooth user, I thought the feel in/on my ear was a little wobbly, so I took the 5 minutes to try out the included ear-sizing thingies.  The medium works for me, and the wobblies are cured  - and the audio is more clear now that the earpiece is firmly attached to my gourd’s aural orifice.  As you would expect, the earpiece can be configured for left and right.  Overall, I would give this device a solid 9 of 10 rating.  There are some things I would change, but I can also see where this device could easily be your favorite.  Good construction, works as advertised, connects to Lync with no hoo-hoo needed, adjustable, good to excellent sound quality, and comfortable (after a little adjusting).  You can buy one right here.

SD Pro 1

Consider what came out of the box. For the size of the box, I was expecting this lump of something that dominated my desk.  Not so.  Fits off in the corner just fine.

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After getting a charge into the headset, a quick check of the included guides (including the obligatory safety brochure – what do they think the average consumer is going to do with these things?), I was up and Lync’ing in no time flat.  I appreciated the color-coded connections.  Perfect for an idiot like me.

Once plugged into my nearest USB port, my O/S and Lync went “bing bong” and I was in business. I did nothing special, it just worked.  Perfect.

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This SD Pro 1 is a DECT device.  So let’s walk around the TsoorRaD Campus.  Range is somewhere between excellent and excellent (see what I did there?).  The website claims some ridiculous figure that no regular user will ever exceed, so I will take the claims at face value.  I never got it to drop a call.  Battery life seemed pretty awesome.  I used it all day and it did not die (yes, I left it off the stand so it would not recharge).  Comfort for a one-ear cranial constriction device was pretty good.  For my poor, tired eardrums, I sure wish Sennheiser had sent me the two-ear version, I would have liked that much better, and I would have loved to try out the vaunted Sennheiser audiophile roots on some tunes.

There is a plethora of settings and switches – and the unit comes with a handy CD of stuff that I never looked at.  The user manual is written to the kindergarten level, complete with airline-safety-guide-cartoons of how to put things together.  Power, desk phone, Lync/PC, buttons.  All there. It even has a manual mic volume dial, multiple dial tones, and if you get one for Christmas, a complimentary Partridge in a Pear Tree.  Not.

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Overall, the SD Pro 1 is another 9 of 10 rating.  With a two-ear, I might have gone higher.  A very nice, solid unit with what appears to be a great feature set and high quality – and it works with Lync right out of the box. Based on my experience, I would think you could safely extend this review to include the SD Pro 2.  You can get one here.

YMMV

Technical Consulting

Something went through both of my brain cells today. And to keep a long story short, it centers on your approach to the question – whatever ...