Common Area Phones

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Occasional Contributor

Hi 

 

Was wonder if and when common area phones will be supported with Skype Online and what people are doing in the interirm. 

 

Are you assigning generic ID's and logging into them?

 

Thanks

LT

30 Replies
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Skype for Business Online does support common area phones but not in the same way as on-prem.
It's a more simplistic approach in that the phone needs to have a user license and be set up like any normal user & handset.
So yes - we have customers setting up generic accounts and logging into those.
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Actually some devices labeled as 'Common Area Phones' like the Polycom CX500 are NOT supported witrh Skype for Business Online.  These devices do not include a USB port and thus cannot be authenticated.  SfB Online does not support PIN Authentication which is the only way to the traditional Common Area Phone account can authenticate.

 

This article covers user account/license requirements for phones used online: http://blog.schertz.name/2017/01/skype-for-business-online-meeting-room-accounts/

 

Using other 3PIP devices can emulate this approach buy using a regular user or meeting room account online (not CAP accounts).

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Thanks. this is what I was implying - that you need to use a fully featured user account and phone that supports this to "impersonate" a common area phone.
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Hi Larry, March 1st 2018 is the date that we can now share for this SKU to be available. Stay tuned, more details will come soon
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Alejandro - To be clear, when you say 'this SKU', do you mean a license specifically for common area phones?  If so, that's great news! 

 

We have many phones not dedicated to a specific user, but to a position or department, and may people use those.  It seemed silly that to accomplish this with MS Phone System I would have to give each phone an E5+PSTN calling license*, when the ONLY thing it needs is the ability to make and receive phone calls.  (And, most of those don't even need to receive external calls, but should at least be capable of dialing out)

 

*Or (E1 or Skype4b plan 2)+CloudPBX+PSTN Calling

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Jeff,

 

After upgrading to the December CU in Skype for Business On-Prem I have found out that my CX600 and CX3000 common area phones no longer support PIN Authentication. They all logged out after the update and were unable to log back in. Running the latest firmware 4531

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@Steve Whitcher wrote:

Alejandro - To be clear, when you say 'this SKU', do you mean a license specifically for common area phones?  If so, that's great news! 

 

--> Correct, it's a license what is coming soon (expect it to be available in about a month or so).

 

The introduction of this SKU is intended to provide Microsoft customers the flexibility needed to license all calling devices in their Enterprise appropriately and compliantly without over licensing.


 

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Alejandro -- Are you able to share any additional information about this new SKU yet?

 

Steve

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Actually, I was able to piece together some information about this from various sources.  I put together what I have in a short blog post:

 

http://www.neighborgeek.net/2018/03/common-area-phone-license-available-for.html

 

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Is there anybody who has tried to provision any phones using this new license and manner of provisioning? We have activated a trial for 25 licenses of "Common Area Phone" in my organization, and have assigned the license and calling plan, as required. However, the actual provisioning seems to fail every time.

 

Definitely nothing wrong with the account itself, as no errors when checking the account in Skype for Business Online PowerShell. I thought it might be due to hybrid configuration, so tried with a pure "In Cloud" account, which isn't synced from our Active Directory, and that made no difference.

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I've tried to provision a phone through the CAP portal and haven't been successful, likewise we're in a hybrid scenario.

 

Trying a pure online account I get an error: Provision failed, Correlation ID......

Trying a synced AD user I get "Error, we ran into a problem"

 

Logged with MS support, so shall see what they say.

 

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@Kevin Prudhoe

 

You are experiencing exactly the same issues which are observed in our own environment. Same exact errors as you as well.

 

Really curious to hear what Microsoft says about this. I think this may shed some light for a lot of people confused and frustrated by this new license who were excited about its launch.

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This SKU is now available to purchase -it's basically Skype Online Plan 2 plus Cloud System at a reduced cost. You still need to by a Calling Plan as an add-on

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I worked with MS today on this same issue. The guy I talked to was stumped and had to talk to engineering. I am waiting on him to get back to me. 

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Got the same thing as well when trying to use the web portal.

 

Also looks like there is nothing in the docs on using powershell to due this yet.

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@Alexander Grinman

@Kevin Prudhoe

@Joseph Kuehner

@Wayne Stuebing

 

Hi All, 

Can you provide me your ticket numbers in a direct message? I also have a open ticket and trying to consolidate this issue because it looks like something is going wrong in the backend of Skype for Business Online.

 

Cheers,

-Erwin

 

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I was able to figure out a workaround. Instead of using the CAP provisioning I was able to sign the phone in using the aka.ms/sphone instead of aka.ms/skypecap. CAP mode on the Polycom still works on the phone. I can make/receive PSTN and regular Skype calls with no issue. I will probably need to move forward with this method as I am deploying about 40 conference room phones next week. 

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@Joseph Kuehner

 

I suppose from the perspective of the physical phone handset itself, this workaround would be acceptable, since the phone is in CAP mode and does ultimately work. Hopefully this will not need to be used by everyone, as it is not especially convenient to have to enter a user name and password to sign the phone in, when this is the very thing which CAP Provisioning was meant to simplify. I sure hope Microsoft can figure out what is going wrong on the backend.

 

@Erwin Bierens

 

We have not actually opened a ticket with Microsoft just yet, though likely will if no progress on this is made this week.

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If you do please let me know, so we can collaborate to solve this issue.