Verba call recording for Lync – Polycom Group Series endpoints

I was recently asked by Verba to help test their call recording solution with Lync endpoints. Specifically they were interested to know if the Polycom Group Series devices could be recorded using Verba when registered as Lync endpoints. In the past I have produced a few basic overview videos on Youtube describing how to configure and operate Polycom Realpresence devices as Lync endpoints and have recently update the material to include the new Group series devices. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVMyuqqe2Y0 It’s pretty early days but I thought it would be useful to document what we have found so far, particularly as the pressure of other commitments means this activity may have to take a back seat for a week or so. The installation of Verba was pretty pain free and achieved in about half a day with the help of the Verba support team. In very simple terms I installed an additional Windows server which runs the Verba software and installed an agent onto the front end server (testing was done in a single standard edition environment). The way call recording works for Lync is by intercepting the SDP traffic at the Front End (can also be intercepted at the Edge server) and rewriting such that media is sent via a proxy (the Verba server) where it can be recorded. This isn’t the only option but was deemed the simplest for these purposes. Security groups in AD are used to determine which calls get recorded. I have it set so that any calls involving the user accounts used by the Polycom devices will be captured. The specific use case we are interested in...

‘Skype for business’ to Replace Lync

Yesterday Microsoft announced that a new version of Lync will be released in 2015 along with a new name – ‘Skype for Business’. Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion and since then have been working on merging it with their unified communication platform, Lync. In May 2013, Microsoft took the first steps toward connecting Lync and Skype, meaning that the two platforms could connect using audio. Earlier this year, Microsoft demonstrated both platforms making video calls, and executives hinted then that the two platforms would eventually converge. Since its introduction a decade ago Skype has changed the way people live their lives, bringing family and friends together from all over the world. Today it is used by more than 300 million people for messaging, calling and sharing. It allows people and groups to connect from far and wide, truly making the world a smaller place. For the past 10 years, Microsoft has simplified and unified all of the different tools people used to communicate for work through Lync. They made Lync a core part of Office transforming the way we do business. Today, thousands of organizations count on Lync for voice, video and conferencing. During yesterday’s announcement Giovanni Mezgec, General Manager of Product Marketing for Skype said that during the first half of 2015 the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business. At that time, Microsoft will phase out the Lync name. The idea is to take all the usability of Lync and combine it with the simplicity of Skype. Microsoft believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of...

New Addition to our Demo Room!

We are very excited to announce that we have taken delivery of the Polycom Group Series 300 video conference unit – with seamless Lync interoperability  it makes a great addition to our demo room! Benefits Polycom® VisualBoard™  technology for simple, real-time content annotation Breakthrough simple user interface and Polycom® SmartPairing™ to your employees can start collaborating instantly with  their mobile device Seeing participants in full 1080p60 delivers more realistic meeting experiences that break down distance barriers with both sharp resolution and life-like motion Content can be received in up to 1080p60 quality and is easily shared using the Polycom® People+Content™ IP application Interoperable SVC delivers a great experience even on bandwidth- limited networks Enjoy clutter-free conference rooms with the compact design and simple digital connections for displays and content sources Can be used as an upgrade to older room based VC unit It makes a great meeting room endpoint for use with MS Lync Click here to find out more about the Polycom Group Series. Keep checking back at our blog as we will be testing and comparing cameras and blogging our findings....

Polycom Group Series – Camera comparison

We recently took delivery of a Polycom Group 300 series device to add to the 1plex demo room. The system is currently licenced for 720p video but we are expecting the 1080p licence soon so will run additional comparisons when it arrives. Our main interest in this device is as an MS Lync 2013 Endpoint for meeting rooms which we will blog about shortly but in the meantime this article provides a very quick comparison of the different cameras. Having always used Eagle Eye PTZ devices in the past I was interested to see how the new Eagle Eye acoustic camera compared. The acoustic camera is a much cheaper option and provides built in microphone and camera position at the front of the room. The published list price for the Group 300 720p with EagleEye IV and desktop microphone array is £4133 whereas the same system but supplied with Acoustic microphone lists at £2199. In the test below I have taken screenshots from a PC running RealPresence Desktop, the PC is in a Video Call with the Group 300 device using either the Eagle Eye PTZ or Acoustic camera. The cameras are in the same position for both sets of images and were taken within a couple of minutes of each other so light levels were fairly consistent. The Eagle Eye IV is also supplied with a desktop microphone array which also clearly has advantages in anything other than a small meeting room where the built in mic in the acoustic microphone is suitable. As you’ll see from the shots below, the Group Series supplied with the Acoustic camera...