Lync Phone Edition (LPE)

Lync Phone Edition (LPE) – AudioCodes offer Teams Ready device upgrade

Summary

AudioCodes is introducing a replacement program for Microsoft LPE (Lync Phone Edition) devices that will stop working with Microsoft Office 365 services beginning on October 31, 2018 when only TLS 1.2 compliant devices will be supported. The offer can be found and claimed on the AudioCodes website at http://online.audiocodes.com/lpeupgradeprogram.

What are Lync Phone Edition (LPE) devices and why won’t they work?

Lync Phone Edition (LPE) devices are the IP Phones first launched alongside Lync 2010.  The phones were produced by third-party certified vendors like Polycom, HP/Snom & Mitel/Aastra.  All of them run Windows CE 6.0 and a Microsoft written Lync Phone client. Windows CE – and therefore Lync Phone Edition – doesn’t support TLS 1.2, therefore, when Microsoft enforces TLS 1.2 only on Office 365, these devices will no longer connect.

Lync Phone Ediiton (LPE)

AudioCodes offers Teams Ready device for Lync Phone Edition (LPE)

 

The models of Lync Phone Edition (LPE) devices that are affected by this change are:

  • Polycom: CX500, CX600, CX3000
  • HP: 4110 and 4120
  • Mitel/Aastra: 6721ip and 6725ip

Why is this important?

Older TLS versions (1.0 and 1.1) are known to have vulnerabilities used by hackers. Security regulated markets (for example credit card processing) force services to only utilize modern TLS implementations. While Microsoft has stated that there are no known vulnerabilities in their own implementations of TLS 1.0 they recognize the potential for future vulnerabilities and making this change to more modern TLS. These newer regulations also encourage moving toward new security mechanisms – for example, Modern Authentication that Microsoft has implemented in recent years.  These newer security mechanisms are fully supported by AudioCodes phones.

Microsoft will enforce TLS 1.2 on the Office 365 Cloud on October 31, 2018. Affected phones can utilize different services within Office 365. As mentioned above, basic calling may be facilitated by Skype for Business Online so that is affected. Likewise, affected phones can utilize Exchange Online services for calendaring, voicemail services, Outlook contacts, call logs, and more. The fact that phones cannot access Exchange Online services will also impact on-premises/hybrid deployments using Exchange Online.

Will this affect my existing non-LPE devices?

All 3PIP (Microsoft 3rd Party Interoperability Partner) phones which are certified for Skype for Business Online will continue work after this Office 365 TLS 1.2 change and work with and be supported by Microsoft Teams. There will be no change to 3PIP phones connected to Skype for Business Server on-premises. They will be able to join Microsoft Teams scheduled meetings and place calls with the same user experience and features detailed above in the Microsoft blog.  LPE Phones will still be able to connect to Skype for Business Server on-premises as long as TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are supported in that deployment. Connectivity to Office 365 features like Exchange Online will not work after October 31, 2018.

Additionally, at Enterprise Connect in March 2018, Microsoft announced a new line of ‘native Teams’ phones that run a Microsoft Teams app directly on the phone itself. LPE phones will not work with Microsoft Teams. For more details check out the Microsoft Tech Community blog. The current Microsoft Office 365 roadmap shows this support coming in 3Q 2018.

How can AudioCodes help?  Are there trade-in/trade-up incentives?

Yes! AudioCodes is introducing a replacement program for Microsoft LPE Phones that will stop working with Microsoft Office 365 Services beginning on October 31, 2018 when only TLS 1.2 compliant devices will be supported. The offer can be found on the AudioCodes website at:  http://online.audiocodes.com/lpeupgradeprogram.  For every model of AudioCodes in this offer, we have a matching (or more advanced) set of features. On top of standard expected calling features, our AudioCodes phones have modern features like advanced boss-admin, sidecar options, resiliency options, superior centralized management and more.  A few charts detailing how AudioCodes phones compare – along with frequently asked questions – can be found on our LPE Upgrade Program FAQ page.

 

Direct Routing the future of hybrid voice with Microsoft Teams

Direct Routing the future of hybrid voice with Microsoft Teams

On May 15th, 2018 Microsoft announced Public Preview of Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams via this blog. You might ask, what is Direct Routing? Direct Routing is the future of hybrid voice with Microsoft Teams, allowing organizations to leverage on-premises voice infrastructure through Teams certified SBC’s (enter AudioCodes). You can find more information by viewing the Microsoft blog Here.

What does this all mean and what benefit do I get?

What exactly does this all mean for you? It depends on where you are in your UC/IC journey. For some, the journey might be moving from an existing PBX to Microsoft Teams calling directly. Others might already be using Skype for Business / Skype for Business Online and ready to make the move to Teams calling. Still, others might have sites around the globe that are not yet able to migrate phone numbers from the local Telco providers into Microsoft Calling Plans.

Organizations looking to migrate to Microsoft Teams calling can now utilize direct SBC connectivity into the Microsoft Teams environment. This allows customers to bring their own PSTN trunk into the Microsoft environment via a Teams Certified SBC. With the combination of Teams and an AudioCodes SBC, organizations will now be able to take full advantage of Microsoft’s Intelligent Communications vision by providing a complete Teams experience for their users.

Direct Routing the future of hybrid voice with Microsoft Teams

What about my environment today and tomorrow?

Customers that currently utilize AudioCodes infrastructure to connect to their existing PBX, Skype for Business on-premises, or Skype for Business Online with Phone System (previously Cloud PBX) are in a great position. In this scenario, you have the ability to leverage your existing infrastructure and repurpose/reconfigure/update it to connect to the Microsoft Teams environment. If that current infrastructure is not already in place or maybe it needs an upgrade, AudioCodes has a large portfolio of certified SBCs that supports from a few sessions all the way up to tens of thousands of current sessions.

The benefit of a complete, unified portfolio is that AudioCodes has a solution to fit your needs today and tomorrow, from physical devices to a full complement of highly scalable virtual instances. Furthermore, depending on the level of functionality required, the SBC portfolio can also provide advanced high availability (HA).

Things to consider with Direct Routing SBCs from AudioCodes

Now that we know of the wide range of options available in Direct Routing scenarios, what about diving into some specific use cases that make the AudioCodes SBC stand out?

  1. Ever wonder what you are going to do with those existing analog devices? How in the world do I plug that analog wire into the cloud? That will likely never happen, but AudioCodes has you covered. Time and time again, the conversation comes up on how to integrate these existing analog devices (think elevator, common area, warehouse and laboratory phones) in organizations both large and small. For these scenarios you can easily place an AudioCodes MediaPack (analog adapter) behind the SBC, providing the necessary connectivity to allow Teams users to communicate with the analog device (and vice versa). Analog in Teams – no problem.
  2. What about sites that cannot have an SBC connect to the open internet and thus directly into Teams? Perhaps these sites only have MPLS back to a centralized site to funnel all outbound traffic. This is most common in larger organizations where local internet is not the best fit for the organization. The SBC can serve dual purposes to handle this situation – a centralized hub that hosts the main infrastructure (aka SBC) along with a spoke at a branch site with a local PSTN breakout. That local PSTN break out could be required due to local regulations or because of a cost-effective contract with a provider. Either way, the AudioCodes solution stack can make this type of scenario possible.
  3. Do you have a local regulation that requires routing of calls based on the location of a user? Specifically, when dialing emergency numbers (911, etc.) do you need to present to call to the PSAP in a specific fashion (aka ELIN)? That is a driving factor to leverage the SBCs ability to utilize the IP address subnets within a network and where the user generated the call to make logical and dynamic routing decisions. With SBCs in the environment, especially connecting to on-premises trunks, AudioCodes has the ability to utilize the SBC routing logic to make intelligent decisions based on the IP address of a particular user. This functionality is critical in emergency (aka 911) environments, especially when it pertains to larger campuses. A person making an emergency request may be pinpointed to a specific floor and room, allowing first responders to granularly identify their location.

What Next?

Now is the time for organizations who are looking to test Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams to contact your local AudioCodes representative or get in touch with AudioCodes via our website. Working with Microsoft for over 12 years, this is just another exciting step in the evolution of Enterprise Voice. AudioCodes is keen to work with you to architect the best path to the Teams future while keeping an eye on existing capabilities. If you already have SBC licenses in your environment, AudioCodes will be able to help determine the best way to connect to the Teams backend. For organizations that are not yet leveraging AudioCodes infrastructure, reach out today to get started with AudioCodes and Direct Routing in Microsoft Teams.

Watch over everything from a single pane of glass

A Network Management Idea Whose Time Has Come

Watch over everything from a single pane of glass

A few weeks ago, when my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, she bought me one of those (very) expensive, high-end watches. But even though my wife has excellent taste, and did indeed choose a beautiful timepiece, I’ve got to admit that I’m very far from being a watch fanatic. To be honest, I haven’t worn a watch on my wrist for over 10 years. Why would I need to? If I want to know the time, all I need to do is have a quick peek at my mobile phone. Even better, I can also see the date, my emails and my WhatsApp messages — and I can even get an up-to-date weather forecast for anywhere in the world. It’s all there. So much information available at a single glance.

What if there was something similar in the telecommunications industry that could make managing networks almost as simple as having a quick look at a single pane of glass? After all, VoIP management landscapes generally comprise three main layers of management tools that you need to learn and keep up with.

Let’s have a look at each of these layers.

In the top layer, sitting above everything, are the service providers’ network management systems (NMS). Typically vendor-agnostic, these applications provide a picture of the aggregated status of the entire service provider network. The service provider NMS aggregates the multi-vendor EMS indications into a central view and gives general network level insight.

The second layer consists of multi-vendor VoIP management solutions. These applications monitor the voice quality of all the elements in the network and provide a root cause analysis based on the voice and data layers combined.

The third layer is made up of vendor-specific management tools and expert systems that cover device and element management, service monitoring, analytics, security and advanced centralized VoIP routing.

For monitoring the devices’ status, an element management system (EMS) is going to be your application of choice. When you need to perform a root cause analysis on a VoIP issue, another application will be required. The same goes for analytics — you’ll need a third application for that. It’s a bit like having to walk around all day with three different watches on your wrist — one to tell you the time, one to tell you the date and one to tell you what day it is.

And talking of time, it’s clear that the time has come for a network management solution that gathers all these disparate parts together under one roof. A full lifecycle management suite for VoIP deployments that provides monitoring, management and operation of all the products in the network — all in a single pane of glass.

AudioCodes’ One Voice Operations Center (OVOC) is that solution. OVOC shows all the devices associated with a specific user and the user service experience in a single window, without having to jump from application to application. From this one solution, you can do everything that previously demanded several different applications, including:

  • New device detection and configuration
  • Accurate inventory population
  • Automation and mass operation support
  • A central, correlated alarm dashboard
  • Group-based configuration and update management
  • Change documentation and device configuration backup and restore.

A Network Management Idea Whose Time Has Come

And if all that wasn’t enough, you also get service alarms, trends and statistical analysis, reporting, user experience monitoring, root cause analysis and issue correction. OVOC brings it all together in a single pane of glass, exactly the way a smartphone does.

Although I don’t really like the watch my wife bought me, I feel compelled to wear it. I genuinely want to remain alive to be able to celebrate my 31st wedding anniversary. However, now and again something strange happens. Sometimes, when my wife and I are winding down with a glass of wine and a movie in the evening, my watch will suddenly pick up a reflection from the television screen. Instinctively, I tap on it as I would my phone to see if I’ve got any messages. Old habits always die hard, don’t they? With a quizzical look on her face, my wife asks me if all is OK with the watch and reminds me that it has a lifetime warranty.

Our application note, The OVOC Journey from Detection to Correction, explains in detail how OVOC seamlessly fuses VoIP network device management and quality of experience monitoring into a single, intuitive web-based application.

To learn more, click this button.

Get It Now