Merry Christmas and God Bless All of You on the Good Earth


On Christmas Eve December 24 1968 the Apollo 8 crew was orbiting the moon and transmitted the below historic broadcast to earth. I thought the “dark and foreboding moon” comment is interesting:

I hope everyone on earth can see what we mean when we say it is very foreboding…horizon…a very dark and unappetizing looking place…


I’ve always been fascinated and awed by the universe and when I get a bit of time here and there I like to put in some amateur astronomer time. This year I took my first freehand photos (below – Using Meade STX-125 telescope and freehand Nexus camera!)

So, in the words of Apollo 8 crew:

Good Night, Good Luck, Merry Christmas and God Bless All Of You, All of You on the Good Earth!

Some Other interesting links:
How Apollo 8 Almost Missed Earth Rise Photo: click here
Is the universe all there is? click here

#Cisco VCS 8.1 Release Brings H.264 AVC Interworking to #Lync H.264 SVC


Looks like Cisco VCX 8.1 brings H264 interworking between Lync 2013 and Cisco according to @rvaglid.

In March 2013, Shelly Marston (Senior Product Marketing Manager Lync) noted:

A basic assessment concluded positively that interoperability between Lync 2013 and Tandberg VTCs with Video Communication Sever (aka VCS B2B UA) was achievable with minor modifications of the VCS. With Lync 2013, transcoding is no longer required. Hence, there is no need for the expensive Cisco Advanced Media Gateway. In this new interoperability mode, the codec used natively by both systems is H.264 AVC resulting in a higher quality video experience for the end user than was the case with Lync 2010 interoperability. H.263 is no longer required. [highlight mine]

It looks like VCS 8.1 includes this “minor modification”.

Embedded image permalink

Interop Capabilities: (see page 9 of Deploy Guide here)

  • Presentation sharing from VCS to Lync 2013 Only
  • VCS requires a Microsoft Interoperability key


Thanks and Credit to @rvaglid


VCS 8.1 Lync Deployment Guide:

VCX 8.1 Configuration Guides:

Extensible, PowerShell Driven Lync Server Control Panel Anyone?

NOTE: This started as an experiment to centralize Lync powershell  but after a while it started to look like an almost Lync Control Panel replacement. Not quite ready for release but will update this blog article when it is.

Been working on an extensible Lync Server Control Panel in my elusive spare time. The effort is entirely PowerShell driven so any of the great Lync community PowerShell functions can be entirely integrated.


This is entirely configurable or use it as it is.



This screen is similar to Lync users pane. Since it is extensible you can add your own “Actions” on the right side. Filter and add/remove columns to your heart’s content and without knowledge of Powershell.


Drill Down Example

Voice Features

Tom Arbuthnot’s excellent Get Number Assignment” is integrated directly into the “Voice Features” section of the control panel. The beauty is that any Poweshell can be added to the control panel.


Global Functionality

View/Edit Lync Object Form


Output from any area of the control panel can be reported on:


End user can easily see the Powershell that was run for the results:


Add or remove any available object from output windows


Very sophisticated filters can be made, even if you don’t know Powershell


useful context sensitive community content and functions



Q&A About Microsoft Lync Boss Admin and Shared Line Appearance


What is Lync Boss Admin?

The Lync Boss/Admin feature allows you to place a call on hold for another user and pickup with one button press.

How Do I configure Boss Admin?

The overview of how you setup Boss Admin is:

  • Lync Server 2013 has Boss Admin enabled at the server level out of the box. If you have Lync Server 2010 you will need to run a little SQL to enable Boss Admin functionality. Click Here.
  • Now you need to use the Lync client of the “Boss” Lync user and add Delegates which will be the “Admins”.
    • There can be more than 1 Admin for each Boss.
  • Now on the Boss phone you add a Boss/Admin button for each “Admin”
  • On the Admin phone you need to add a Boss/Admin Boss button for “Boss” they assist.

You can either add Boss/Admin buttons from the phone UI or the phone Web UI as shown below:


Now below you can watch how Boss/Admin works on Snom UC Edition Devices:


Q. What are caveats to watch out for?

  • On Admin phone, the Boss button will show “In a Call” and “Holding” but it will not show “Available'”, “DND” or “Busy”.
    • The Boss/Admin button is not a Lync User presence button, but a Boss/Admin status button.
  • Only Lync Qualified devices supporting Boss/Admin feature work with Boss/Admin
    • Lync Phone Edition, Lync Client do not support Boss/Admin
  • Appears like you may not want to mix Polycom VVX and snom UC Edition devices when doing Boss/Admin scenarios
    • In my quick test you can place a call on hold on snom (admin) and pickup on Polycom (Boss), but if you place the call back on hold from Polycom you cannot pickup from snom. (in other words a polycom would not make a good admin phone in a mixed environment…:)
    • While pickup does not seem to work between vendors, the “In a Call” and “Holding” status does seem to display correctly.


Q. What are some pleasant surprises around Boss/Admin

  • If you have several Admins for 1 Boss, the Admins can all “pickup” a call placed on hold for the Boss by other Admins via the Boss button on their phone
    • This is ironic since the Boss himself can only pickup a call placed on hold for him if he has an Admin button assigned for the Admin who placed the call on hold.
    • In other words: the Boss need a dedicated button for each Admin that might place a call on hold for him. Admins associated with Boss will see and be able to pickup all calls placed on hold for the Boss by another Admin
  • If an Admin placed 2 (or more) calls on hold for the Boss it will be handled quite elegantly: the Boss or Admin will be presented with a list of calls (by Caller ID) they can select from to pickup when they press the Boss/Admin button.


Q. Does Lync Support Shared Line Appearance? (CO Lines, Key System Emulation)

Lync Server does not have the concept of Shared Line Appearance/ CO Lines/Key system emulation but by being a little creative with the new Boss/Admin feature might be able to emulate this functionality somewhat. (With caveats)

The overview of how to do this on snom UC Edition:

  • Setup a Lync user called something like “Line1” to act as your place holder Boss Lync user. This Lync user will have no IP phone associated with it.
  • Add all the users/phones that will participate in this “share line appearance” group as delegates to the “Line1” Lync “Boss” user using the Lync client.
  • Now add a Boss/Admin button for the “Line1” “Boss” to each phone that will participate in this “share line appearance” group
  • If you want phones to “silently” ring, Login to snom web UI and goto Identity1 | Login | Ringtone for Forwarded Calls = Silent (not necessary)
  • Call “Line1” user. You should now be able to place this call on hold and pickup from any of the phone in the group.


See this “SLA” in action below:

Caveats to consider

  • The phone that put the call on hold will not have the “Line1” (Boss/Admin) lit. I will look like a standard call on hold. But it will say on the display
  • You will likely want to see if “Line1” is already in use (On a Call/On Hold) and then send subsequent calls to Line2, Line3 etc. I have not figured out a method to do this…yet.


If you have an findings about Lync Boss/Admin I’m very interesting in your feedback. Please comment below or on Twitter.

Related Articles:

MSPL Script:

Official Devices for Lync Page Has Gotten Dramatic Upgrade


Just noticed today that the Lync devices page has gotten what looks to be a dramatic improvement. You can quickly go over click here  and/or I’ll quickly go over what I noticed below.


Phones and devices


Looks much more filtering/accessible detail:


Comparison seems to work pretty good: (would be nice if you could print the long list, doesn’t appear you can at the moment)


Pretty detailed information:


Go check the page out here: click here

Poor Man’s Lync Manager Listen-In Functionality

Note: I don’t have the hardware so I haven’t test this scenario yet. If you do, I’d be glad to hear your experience.

Occasionally I get the question if there is some simple & cheap way of getting simple “manager listen-in” functionality in a very small call center that is using Lync Response Groups without buying a complete call center solution.

It appears that some Plantronics headset models have the ability to conference up to three guest headsets to one DECT USB adapter which could solve this challenge. The Save w440 manual explains it below:




Several things to note:

  • You will need the Agent’s assistance in “joining” so it is not totally silent/oblivious to them
  • When agent puts their headset into charger it will remove “manager” from “listen-in/conference” mode
  • Manager can be joined “through multiple calls”

This of course not perfect and if it it is a workable solution, it will only work in the smallest scenarios but may be able to act as a very “poor man’s” listen in capability. Generally if you need call center functionality with Microsoft Lync count on implementation a Lync call center solution.


PS-Sennheiser DW series also has this feature. (Thanks to @northerlync and @justinmorris)

How to Make Jabra Pro 9450 Work snom 760 Using EHS Advanced 2.0


The below setting is vital to make the Jabra Pro 9450 work with Snom EHS Advanced 2.0.

Connect headset base to a PC with USB cable (only required for setup)

Open the Jabra Control Center

Uncheck "Automatic detection of hook lifter type" and select "DHSG"


Getting Started With Lync and Wireshark: Tips & Quirks

Hopefully this can jump start those who are just starting to use wireshark and maybe give a tip or two to those of us that have been using it for some time. We’ll start by getting Wireshark setup to look at Lync traffic, then we’ll find a call.

Making sure Wireshark Detects RTP Packets

If you want to make sure RTP streams are detected as RTP (and not UDP) in Wireshark, goto Edit | Preferences | Protocols | RTP and enable “Try to decode RTP outside of conversations”


PowerTip: In most lists in Wireshark you can save time and scrolling by typing list value to jump to an entry. In the case of the “Protocol” just click the + and start typing the protocol you want to jump to. (in our case “SSL”). This works in many lists in Wireshark.


Making Sure Wireshark Detects All SIP Packets

To make sure SIP traffic that is not using port 5060 is detected as SIP goto Edit | Preferences | Protocols | SIP and in “SIP TCP Ports” enter your range of TCP ports.


Show Source and Destination Ports in Packet List Pane

So you can nicely see RTP ports being used for media you will likely want add Source & Destination port columns in the packet list. Goto Edit | Preferences | User Interface – Columns | Add

Destination Port and Source Port. To change the column Title you double click right on the title text in the grid. If you want to move the position of the column


Now you will have the Ports in your packet list panel.


Change the Time Date Format to Your Preference


Finding a Call or Invite

There are several ways to find a call

  • Filter for the phone number or invites
  • Use the VoIP Calls and Flow window

Using the filter method you can just search for the phone number using something like: sip contains “8005551212:”

Or you can use the VoIP Calls window by going Telephony | VoIP Calls.  (Wireshark will take some time to Recalculate the statistic…)

Now you can visually pick out the call by phone number or caller name.


Now you can click Flow to see the SIP “ladder”


If you click on a line, the packet will be centered and highlighted in the Wireshark packet list window. (you may need to click on it to show packet details in some scenarios)

Listening to Unencrypted Call

At this point we can listen to the call by clicking on “Player”. The RTP player dialog will popup and you click “Decode”


Now select the two sides of RTP media and click “Play”


The RTP player is not your smooth user interface MP3 player software. It has several quirks I’ve noticed:

  • When it reaches the end of the audio the Pause and Stop buttons are still enabled even though they are not relevant. You need to press Stop then Play again to Play again.
  • If you want to start playing part way through the RTP stream there is no Selector, just click and have faith that you clicked the correct place. There is not always a distinct line where the audio is at when you start playing in the middle…
  • If you start playing from the beginning there will be light lines (shown below) indicating what has been already played. You can click “Pause”.


NOTE: In the above RTP player stream you will notice a yellow line with a “W”. What does this mean? (source)

  • D = Dropped by jitter
  • W = Wrong timestamp
  • S = Silence inserted

How to Save Audio

You can save the audio of an RTP stream. Just select a packet of the RTP stream in the Wireshark packet list and then goto Telephony | RTP | Stream Analysis


The RTP Stream Analysis window will be shown.


Now click “Save Payload”. Type in a name of the file, along with .AU extension. (the .AU extension is not automatically added). Also check “.au” and “both” and “OK” to save.


You can double click on the resulting file and play back using Windows Media player.


How to Filter SIP Traffic for One Call

Select the SIP INVITE of the call you want to isolate. In the MESSAGE HEADER of the SIP INVITE select the Call-ID entry and right click | Prepare a Filter | Selected


In the Filter you will now see something that looks like the below:


sip.Call-ID == "305ec9e7-d9ae-437c-b20a-58333d919ce2"

Adding Media

In the SDP of the INVITE and the PROGRESS or OK you will find the port numbers you need to filter for:


Now add "or udp.port == 56789 or udp.port == 6600” ,replacing highlight with your call RTP/UDP ports so that complete filter looks like:

sip.Call-ID == "305ec9e7-d9ae-437c-b20a-58333d919ce2" or udp.port == 56789 or udp.port == 6600

Now to save just this call: File | Export Specified Packets


Common Filters
  • sip contains “INVITE sip:”
  • sip.Call-ID == “
  • udp.port == 56789 or udp.port == 6600
  • ip.addr ==
  • tcp.port eq 5061
  • udp.dstport == 10150 or tcp.dstport == 10150
    • destination port regardless of protocol/tcp-udp
Investigating BYE’s

Ended Normally by PRI/ISDN Channel


By Lync user


Random Tips

Sometimes the call flow window has black on black colors for some reason. Just click on a particular packet to see it.


Other Great Wireshark/Lync Posts:

Jeff Schertz Tips:

Lync Dialog:


Wireshark / Lync Tools:

Related to VoIP and Ethernet:

Lync 2013 November 7, 2013 Update Released: Web Contact Picture Back & Fixes


New Features:

  • Web hosted user pictures supported again
  • Lync Recording Image Resolution 480p, 720p, 1080p (via Tom Arbuthnot click here)
  • Photos in Instant Message stream (via Tom Arbuthnot click here)


  • 2907820 Inconsistent format and duplicate telephone numbers are displayed in a contact card in Lync 2013

  • 2898888 Lync 2013 crashes when an RCC-enabled user signs in

  • 2898886 "Presence unknown" status for a contact in a federated environment or a different front-end pool is displayed in Lync 2013

  • 2898887 User cannot call another user by clicking a telephone number hyperlink in a contact card in Lync 2013

  • 2883716 Presence status isn’t updated based on Exchange calendar in Lync 2013

  • 2880161 You can't drag a contact from Lync 2013 to another application

  • 2880163 Proxy authentication dialog box appears when you sign in to Lync 2013

  • 2880164 Instant message sent from Lync Web App displays wrong symbols in Lync 2013

  • 2880167 Can’t sign in to Lync 2013 when a user logs on to a computer by using an account from a different AD forest

  • 2882812 A proxy authentication dialog box appears when you upload a PowerPoint presentation in Lync 2013

  • 2882813 Can’t sign in to Lync 2013 on a computer that is running Windows 7

  • 2882814 Extended character is displayed incorrectly in a disclaimer in Lync 2013

  • 2854650 You cannot start a collaboration application that is integrated with Lync 2013

  • Some components in the contextual Mini toolbar and ribbon appear blurry.
  • When you use a UIA-based screen reader (such as Microsoft Narrator) to read a message, the shapes and images are not read by the UIA-based screen reader.
  • The inline attachment is read as "image" instead of as "attachment" by UIA-based screen reader such as Narrator.

Other Articles:

See KB and Download:

Lync Phone Edition Gets Transfer to Voicemail in Oct 2013 Update

This has been a busy week for me but it looks like Microsoft has completed another top requested feature at ---Transfer to Voicemail Functionality.

In this new update you can select a contact card and arrow down to the voicemail and transfer directly to voicemail.


NOTE: You might be hoping that you can call a contact’s voicemail directly as well, but currently you can only Transfer To voicemail.

Video Demo of New Feature:

4.0.7577.4414 - Transfer to Voicemail Functionality Explained by KB:

Get the Update:

Interesting: Variou Lync Pro’s didn’t think Microsoft Would Update LPE With This Feature:

Update all your devices with Pat Richard’s excellent powerhsell:

Or manually:

All Lync Users Need a Destination on No Answer: Call Forwarding When No Endpoint Registered


If you are implementing Lync users that don't have voicemail you might be forgetting about the caller experience when a Lync client or phone is not registered.  Have you thought about what the caller will experience when no IP phone or Lync client is registered? (or if they have portable WIFI phone and it is powered off?)

When a Lync endpoint is registered and that Lync user is called things will work as you expect: the call will ring for the length of time defined in the “Call Forwarding” dialog (up to 60 seconds) and then fail.

Where it gets more confusing and inconsistent for the caller is when the Lync user in question has a DID and external/PSTN users are calling the Lync user directly. If the Lync user has no IP phone/Lync client registered the caller can get various messages depending on their own telco:

  • The number you have reached is not in service. This is a recording (SIP trunk provider)
  • sorry, this mobile number is not available at this time. (mobile
  • this number is no longer connected
  • busy
  • etc. (in other words, a very inconsistent and confusing caller experience)

Technically What is Happening?

Lync to Lync User: The caller is getting a SIP 480 “Temporarily Unavailable” (below)


PSTN to Lync DID


So this brings up the point that every Lync user needs to have a destination on no answer even if there is no voicemail (voicemail is effectively a global destination on no answer) for this user.

What are several options?

  • setup the Lync user(s) to forward to a Response Group (RGS will need an extension# or DID to configure this in Lync client call forwarding settings) that says something like “Sorry, no one is available at this time.” and then disconnects  (you can set this up centrally using SEFAUtil)
    • Notes
      • with this method, if there is no voicmail and no client registered the call will be answered immediately by the “message” RGS
    • Cons
      • if call forwarding is enabled for this user they could change call forwarding to nothing and forget to set it back reintroducing the problem
      • if they have a snom UC Edition phone forward and clear forward, the forward on no answer is cleared
      • If you disable call forwarding using a Voice Policy obviously user can no longer forward to distination *they* want to forward it to and they may be confused by fact that Lync client still presents forwarding options (see: Click Here)
  • another possible option: have SBC/Gateway reroute call on message from Lync
    • cons:
      • only calls going through sbc/gateway will be rerouted
  • MSPL script
    • I did not sit down and write an MSPL script, but this could be quite elegant. If someone has such a script, I’d be glad to post it/link here.
    • Perhaps this script could be modified? Click Here

If you think “Destination on No Answer” functionality should be built into Lync you may want to vote for it here:

The following professionals have contributed to this blog: @lyncdialog @patrichard @Matt_Friedrichs @wangshoulun @jveldh

October 2013 Cumulative Updates for Lync Server 2013 Is Here: What Is New?


What are some new features?

  • This update enables administrators to provide support for the *0 Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) command in a public switched telephone network (PSTN) dial-in conference in a Microsoft Lync Server 2013 environment. After the update is installed, a PSTN caller is able to be transferred to an operator number that the administrator defines.


All Updates:

AOL Announces Direct Federation With Microsoft Lync and UC Federation Plans for AIM


Is Microsoft Lync the UC solution that consumer IM providers can not afford to not be connected to? But perhaps even more importantly: does AOL have plans to return AIM to relevancy via an enterprise UC federation exchange service?

Microosft has noted that its support for AIM and Yahoo on it’s PIC (Public IM Connectivity) service is “winding down”. While mindshare for AIM among general users is non-existent, there is a loyal following in trader/financial sector users.


In an interesting move that indicates AOL values Microsoft Lync federation, AOL is offering direct AIM federation with Microsoft Lync:

“AOL is pleased to offer Microsoft Lync customers the opportunity to continue their current federation with AIM and establish new federations if needed. For the first time, we are enabling companies with the ability to establish a direct relationship with AOL to provision and manage their connectivity to the AIM network. This will also allow you to have direct and immediate access to AIM technical support engineers who can quickly identify and resolve any AIM-related issues, thus making the transition to AOL is seamless with no disruption to your company and users.

It is interesting the AOL notes they are offering support from “a dedicated team of enterprise engineers…” and “federation with other companies currently connected to the AIM network”

“Our customers receive technical support from a dedicated team of enterprise engineers. In addition, AOL will soon offer other optional services that will extend the reach of federation with AIM to include federation with other companies currently connected to the AIM network.

Does this mean that AOL is aiming (no pun intended!) to become a Lync/UC federation exchange? Will AIM avoid fading into the sunset by becoming relevant again via some enterprise federation exchange service?

Does this indicate that Microsoft is the party not interested in continuing the relationship with their existing PIC service?

To read more including a detailed AIM-Lync FAQ: Click Here
Lync as the Most Connect UC Solution?: Click Here
Lync Federation Directory Project: Click Here