Last Monday, January 30, 2017, AudioCodes has released the updated Beta version for 450HD phones.
Better Together over Ethernet (BToE) PC application version also has a newer release, version 2.0.3:
- AudioCodes BToE.exe
- AudioCodes BToE.msi
List of New Features:
Online sign-in – connectivity to Office 365. New capability to sign in to (connect to) and authenticate with Microsoft’s Cloud PBX, Microsoft’s cloud-hosted version of enterprise voice. AudioCodes’ phone features two new sign-in method options, allowing users to connect to Microsoft’s Cloud PBX:
- ADAL (Azure AD Authentication Library) that is based on OAuth 2.0 (RFC 6749). The phone always starts with ADAL and if it’s unavailable on the server side, the phone moves to OrgID.
- OrgID (Organizational ID) or LiveID is Microsoft’s proprietary connectivity to Cloud services.
Cloud PBX Web Sign-In k.a. Device Pairing – connectivity to Microsoft’s Cloud PBX, Microsoft’s cloud-hosted version of enterprise voice. AudioCodes’ 450HD IP phone features a sign-in option allowing users to connect to Microsoft’s Cloud PBX: Web Sign-in
The option exempts users from having to laboriously key in their user name and password using the phone keypad in order to sign in. If the option is selected, a URL and a Pairing Code are displayed, as shown in the figure above. Users must then point their browser to the URL and enter the Pairing Code in the Microsoft web page. Sign-in to Microsoft’s Cloud PBX is then performed
Multi-Party Skype for Business Remote Conferencing utilizing CCCP (Centralized Conference Control Protocol) is now supported on the phone. A new Meet Now/Conf softkey is displayed by default in the 400HD phones. The softkey allows users to easily initiate remote multi-party Skype for Business conference calls. By pressing the new softkey, users can initiate, join or be added to a multi-party conference call while having full control and viewing capability. Users can now:
Merging a call into a conference. Two separate calls can now be merged into one conference call. This can be performed via a new Merge option accessed from the phone’s Call Menu softkey, or via the Skype for Business client if the user is paired.
Integration with Microsoft Exchange Server (Calendar) + click to join a Skype for Business meeting. [Applies to all AudioCodes phones except the 420HD]. Users can view their Microsoft Exchange Calendar meetings in the phone’s LCD by selecting a new Calendar option from the MENU key. The phone by default displays meetings scheduled to commence between the present and 24 hours from the present (24H), but the network administrator can change the default and configure the phone to display meetings scheduled to commence between the midnight of the night before the present and the midnight of the night ahead (TODAY). Via the phone, the user can join any online meeting scheduled in Skype for Business: A Join softkey is displayed for the user to join in the meeting online. To connect to Microsoft Exchange and receive the Calendar feature, sign-in must be with username in UPN format, as described in the Note above.
Meeting Reminder. [Applies to all phones except 420HD]. The phone automatically pops up a Meeting Reminder for meetings scheduled in Skype for Business. The Meeting Reminder pops up in the phone’s idle screen at the time defined for it in the Meeting Invitation. Users can either Snooze the Reminder, or Dismiss it. If the user selects Dismiss, the Reminder does not pop up again. The user will still be able to access the Calendar items and view the meeting. If Snooze is selected, the Reminder pops up 10 minutes before the start of the meeting, five minutes before the start of the meeting, and when the meeting starts. This provides the user advance notice and allows them to join in from the phone by selecting a new Join
- Automatic Pairing (requires BToE PC/laptop application Version 2.x). Users no longer need to manually pair the BToE PC/laptop application with the phone. Pairing is now automatically performed when the phone’s PC port is connected to the PC/laptop ‘behind’ the phone. If the laptop after automatic pairing is disconnected and moved to another location, its speaker/headset becomes the audio device associated with the Skype for Business client.
If the laptop is manually paired and then relocated (manual pairing is still an option), Skype for Business audio remains through the phone. It’s therefore advisable to pair automatically.
Phone Automatic lock. The Skype for Business phone now supports the capability to automatically lock after a preconfigured period of time. The feature secures phones against unwanted (mis)use. When the phone is locked:
- Incoming calls are allowed but outgoing calls require a security PIN code
- Without the PIN code, the Call Log, Calendar and Corporate Directory cannot be accessed but users are allowed to call preconfigured emergency numbers
Capability to handle multiple calls – N Concurrent calls (NCC). The phone is capable of managing up to 8 concurrent calls per line, for example, of holding multiple calls and switching between them (most relevant to the receptionist)
Integrated Log Upload. Allows uploading logs from the phone to the Microsoft server for troubleshooting/support purposes. Complies with Microsoft’s certification requirements for 3rd party Skype for Business clients.
Device Update. The Skype for Business server can update the IP phone firmware version.
For detailed information on the update process, refer to https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398861.aspx/
Quality of Experience (QoE) reports are now sent to Microsoft’s SQL server. The phone supports QoE reporting directly to the Skype for Business monitoring tool. Supported metrics include the voice quality parameters of Jitter and Packet Loss.
- New codecs supported: Skype’s SILK 8000 and SILK 16000.
The section below shows the features that were included in Version 3.0 of the 400HD series phone models but which are presently missing from Version 3.0.1 of the 450HD phone model. All features are planned to be supported as part of forthcoming 3.0.1 releases, or as part of the 3.0 GA release.
- Multicast Paging
- Multi-Language support
- Support for video calls.
- Switching between audio devices.
- Visual Voice Mail.
- Skype for Business ‘Favorites’ contacts & Outlook contacts integrated with the phone.
- Locking / unlocking a paired phone: If a user’s phone was automatically paired (by connecting its PC port to the PC/laptop ‘behind’ it) and if the PC/laptop is active (not locked), the phone cannot be manually locked. The user can manually lock it only after locking the PC/laptop.
I’m excited to test these features on my lab, hopefully my boss will lend me one test unit.