BLOG: USB Phones Offer More than a Headset
USB Phones Offer More than a Headset by Peter Huboi
Are you looking for more than "just a headset" to use for your Lync calls when working from home?Do you need a Lync phone for 'Hot Desking' and 'Hotelling' at the office with no Pin Authentication required? Have you ever used up the battery of your Bluetooth headset and wondered "how am I going to make that call now"? Today’s workplace is changing. Businesses are offering more telecommuting options for employees. Even full time office workers may start or end their day at home, regularly jumping on conference calls with peers from other parts of the world. Some businesses are reducing office real estate costs when they recognize that a sizable number of employees are working primarily from home at least a few days per week. Still, these employees want to have a work space at the office when they need to be at the office. To accommodate the changing work environment, more and more offices are now equipped with guest cubicles and open work spaces. To have a phone available for the employees when they visit the office can be a challenge for both the user and for IT. “Hotelling” is reservation-based seating, whereas, “hot desking” is reservation-less seating. The terms are often used interchangeably. At the workplace, the Hotelling feature on PBX phones has been around for a long time. Training a user to how to enter a user ID and password on a phone might seem easy enough to do, but it’s one of those things that, as a user, if you don’t do it all the time, you probably will need to call IT to walk you through the steps. I remember the hotelling feature being added to the Nortel Meridian 1 PBX back in 2002. Back in my earliest days as a telecommuter, when I’d go into the office, I never once used the hotelling feature to login to a phone to make it mine for the day. I thought about calling IT once or twice to see how it was done but never acted on it. I just fell into the habit of using the phone in the guest cubicle with the phone extension already assigned. If I got a direct call to my own number, a voicemail would show up in outlook and I’d return the call. Later, when instant messaging took off with the arrival of “Unified Communications”, a lot of internal phone calls started with an IM message like “have a minute to talk?”. That is fairly typical start to a sizable number of phone conversations today. Many businesses are now fully transitioning to UC and enabling Lync voice to replace the traditional PBX. For Lync voice users, thePolycom CX300 R2 USB Phone for Microsoft Lync is a great desktop phone for telecommuters. Could it also be a great solution for guest cubicle users? Let’s take a look. With a CX300 USB phone at home you have the choice of using a handset, speakerphone, or headset (via headset jack) for Lync calls. Come into work, boot up your laptop and plug into a CX300 USB phone at the guest cubicle, and the phone operation is exactly the way you use it at home. For those who use a headset with Lync at home, if they forget to bring in their headset or if the battery runs out on the Bluetooth headset, the CX300 is like having a “no headset insurance policy” giving you audio in and out with Lync when no headset is available. Whether you are at the office or at home, once you boot up and login to your laptop, with a CX300 plugged in, you’re up and running and ready to make or receive calls. No phone login and PIN authentication is required. No IT training is required. No IT support call with the question “How do I login to the phone?” required. If you know how to use the Lync client for voice calls, the CX300 R2 USB phone is plug-and-play and provides you with some familiar desktop phone capabilities. Lync recognizes the device when you plug it into the USB port on your PC. You have the choice of making the call from the Lync client or dialing a number using the familiar keypad on the CX300. There are no drivers to install and there is no need to go into your Lync configuration settings and change audio in and audio out ports in the configuration to your USB phone. Plug it in and it’s ready to use—it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
- View more of the blog on the Polycom Community.