Topic Last Modified: 2010-07-15
We recommend deploying only qualified unified communication (UC) devices that display the "Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator" wordmark. For a list of recommended devices, see Phones and Devices Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator, and note that while this list does not yet include the new line of IP phones, these phones are optimized for Microsoft Communicator "14". The new line includes the Aastra 6725ip and 6721ip and the Polycom CX600, CX500, and CX3000, all of which are described in this topic.
|The new IP phones are not yet released to the public.|
To select the devices that are right for your organization, consider what capabilities you want to give users and how each device’s requirements affect your total cost of ownership (TCO).
Features and Functionality of UC Devices
After you determine and prioritize the capabilities that you want to provide users, try to find a device that provides all the capabilities that are most important to you, and then evaluate whether the requirements of that device support or detract from your TCO.
In Microsoft Communications Server 2010, you have three options for IP desk phones and one USB phone option. IP phones provide a broader set of UC features and do not need to be connected to a computer that is running Communicator to provide communication and collaboration features; USB phones require this connection.
The supported IP desk phones are the new Aastra 6725ip, the new Polycom CX600, and the Polycom CX700. The supported USB desk phone is the Polycom CX300.
Some desk phones provide large touch screens and/or fingerprint readers. All supported desk phones provide the following:
- Headset, speakerphone, mute, and volume-control buttons
- In-call, voice-message, call-forwarding, and multi-color
- Wideband audio, full-duplex speakerphone, automatic gain
control, dynamic noise reduction, and acoustic echo
- A two-port switch
For a summary of the key details about supported desk phones, see Desk Phone Comparison Table. For additional details, check the Polycom and Aastra websites for updates related to Communications Server 2010 and for details about the new phones or to see the the Polycom CX700 data sheet and the Polycom CX300 data sheet, at the Polycom website.
The supported conferencing devices are the Polycom CX5000, which replaced the discontinued Microsoft RoundTable conferencing device, and the Polycom CX3000, the new IP conferencing device.
The previously released Polycom CX5000 enables users in two or more locations to interact by using concurrent video and audio transmissions. It uses an array of five cameras and six microphones to capture 360-degree audio and video in your meeting and share it with remote conference participants who connect to the conference by using Live Meeting or Communicator. The capabilities and requirements of the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable device are identical. For complete details about the Polycom CX5000’s capabilities and for information about requirements, see the Polycom CX5000 data sheet, at the Polycom website.
The new IP conferencing device, the Polycom CX3000, provides all the audio features of the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable devices without the video support. Unlike the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable devices, the Polycom CX3000 does not require a USB connection to a computer that is running Communicator in order to provide telephony functionality. Additionally, the Polycom CX3000 provides wideband audio, whereas the Polycom CX5000 and RoundTable devices provide narrowband audio. Complete details about the Polycom CX3000 are not currently documented.
For a summary of the key details about supported conferencing devices, see Common Area Phone and Conferencing Device Comparison Table.
When deciding which conferencing device to buy, decide how important it is that your organization invest in full conferencing-device capabilities. You might also look at the supported speaker phones, to see if one meets your conferencing needs. To learn about supported speaker phones, see Phones and Devices Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator. Note that this list may not yet include all of the new devices.
Common Area Phones
You have two options for common area phones, the new Aastra 6721ip and the new Polycom CX500. The Polycom CX3000 is another variant common area phone. All of the common area phones are IP phones, so they do not need to be connected to a computer to provide Communications Server UC functionality. To provide this functionality, you can configure the phone as a hot-desk phone, that is, a shared phone that allows users full desk-phone functionality. When a common area phone is configured as a hot-desk phone, it allows users to log into their own user accounts; when they do, the features, policies, and settings that are associated with the user account will apply for as long as the user is logged in. When the user logs out, the phone provides basic common area phone usage. (Most often, you will configure phones in shared workspace as hot-desk phones. If the common area phone is in a lobby or kitchen or on factory floor, you’ll probably configure it to have a dedicated user account only.)
Common area phones can be configured to provide the same software features as IP desk phones. The differences between common area phones and IP desk phones are in the hardware. For example, common area phones have only one Ethernet port, because they don’t need to connect to a computer and don’t provide click-to-call integration; they also don’t have speakers.
For key details about the supported common area phones, see Common Area Phone and Conferencing Device Comparison Table.
When deciding which common area phone to buy, consider contacting the manufacturers, after the phones’ release, to find out and then to compare details about audio performance and the warranty, level of support, and pricing-including shipping costs. (Contact information is available at the Polycom and Aastra Web sites.) You might also look at the supported desk phones, to see if one meets your common area calling needs. To learn about supported desk phones, see Desk Phone Comparison Table.
To compare the capabilities of all supported UC peripherals—speakerphones, handsets, headsets, and webcams—see Phones and Devices Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator. This list is updated as new devices are approved.
In addition, a basic headset, with high-quality audio, is available through Plantronics and available only through direct sales.
|If you’re looking for headsets to use with USB phones, choose an analog headset (RJ-22 connector) instead of a USB headset. USB peripherals and USB phones shouldn’t be used together.|
To learn about computers that provide integrated, high-quality audio and video capabilities and display the “Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator” watermark, see Phones and Devices Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator.