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What's New for Devices

 

Topic Last Modified: 2012-10-18

Lync Server provides support for an expanded line of IP phones and management and troubleshooting tools weren’t provided in previous server versions. These new features and capabilities can potentially reduce your total cost of ownership (TCO) and improve your experience and the experience of your users.

Compared to the previously released IP phones, the newest phones are:

  • More versatile.   For the first time, unified communications (UC) phones designed for common-area use and IP phones for conference rooms are available.
  • Less expensive.   The new IP phones can be sold at a lower price point because they do not include fingerprint readers and touch screens, and the new conferencing device does not include cameras.
  • Easier to use.   Features that contribute to improved ease of use include faster Internet speeds; sharper resolution; personal identification number (PIN) authentication so that users do not need to enter domain credentials for basic usage; and UI improvements, such as a calendar from which you can join a meeting with one click.

The newest phones are built by Aastra, HP, and Polycom and include three desk phones, three common area phones, and a conferencing device.

For details about the new IP phones, see Choosing New Devices in the Planning documentation.

Multiple vendors are working on providing new peripherals for use with Lync Server. For details about supported devices, including peripherals, see "Phones and Devices Qualified for Microsoft Lync" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=208938. This list is updated as new devices are approved.

In Lync Server, your deployment and management tasks should be more consistent, efficient, and simple than they were in the past because of the following features:

  • Lync Server Control Panel, a web-based and has a consistent and streamlined user interface. For details, see Tools and Services for Managing and Troubleshooting Devices in the Operations documentation.
  • Lync Server Management Shell, the primary scripting interface and allows you to do everything you can do in Lync Server Control Panel, in addition to some unique tasks, at the command prompt. For details, see Tools and Services for Managing and Troubleshooting Devices in the Operations documentation.
  • Central Management store, the new configuration data store, replacing Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and providing a schematized, simpler way of storing and sending configuration and topography. Now that the configuration information is stored in the Central Management store, you do not need to change the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) schema for Lync Server.

Lync Server provides a simple mechanism for tracking and reporting on the IP phones that are currently deployed in your organization. The new IP Phone Inventory Report tool is provided with the Monitoring Server Reports, for device asset tracking and monitoring. Call detail recording (CDR) captures device information based on registration activities (for example, manufacturer, hardware version, MAC address, user account name, and software version). The IP Phone Inventory tool lets you use CDR information to track:

  • Manufacturing and hardware versions so that you can see what devices are in deployment.
  • Software versions, which is useful to look at after deploying a new update, as it lets you identify which devices have been successfully updated and which devices are still running older builds. You can use this information to identify devices that may be having issues with upgrading.
  • Misplaced devices, by running a report based on the user account name and MAC address of the misplaced device so that you can find out if the device is being used on the network.
  • Usage, to find out when a user last logged in to a device.
  • General device inventory, to determine the number of devices currently deployed and identify all device owners.

In addition, the improved user interface gives users more information about issues and possible solutions.

In Lync Server, device logs include more information than they did in previous versions, and the logging level can be adjusted (that is, to low, medium, or high) to allow you to get the right level of information when troubleshooting. Synthetic transactions, power-on self test (POST), and Factory and Hard Reset are troubleshooting tools supported only in Lync Server.

For details, see Tools and Services for Managing and Troubleshooting Devices in the Operations documentation and Troubleshooting Devices in the Troubleshooting documentation.

 
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