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The Fourth Day of Lync’mas: Lync and Paging Best Practices

This is part four of a twelve post series, to see an index of all twelve posts click here.
On the fourth day of Lync’mas my UC Team gave to me:  Lync Enterprise Voice and Overhead Paging Best Practices.
Before we deep dive into the technical details, you might be wondering how does overhead paging relate to the fourth day of Lync’mas?  When planning Enterprise Voice migrations, we typically work with our customers to integrate Lync certified gateways with their analog devices, including overhead paging systems.  During migrations, it’s important to understand the paging system requirements and how to make the functionality work seamlessly with the best UC solution on the market.   Therefore, the fourth day Lync’mas focuses on FXS/FXO interfaces and loop/ground start signaling… 

Perficient works closely with AudioCodes for Lync Enterprise Voice migrations.  There are numerous gateways available to meet the customer’s requirements.  The table below outlines the various gateways, interface options, and signaling types available for each model.
Best Practice #1: Gather overhead paging system requirements (interface and signaling specs) prior to purchasing Lync certified voice gateways to avoid interface and signaling mismatches between the two platforms.

Gateway FXS/FXO Interface Options Signaling
AudioCodes MP-112 2 FXS Loop Start
AudioCodes MP-114 2 FXS / 2 FXO Loop Start
  4 FXS Loop Start
  4 FXO Loop Start
AudioCodes MP-118 4 FXS / 4 FXO Loop Start
  8 FXS Loop Start
  8 FXO Loop Start
AudioCodes MP-124D 24 FXS Loop Start
AudioCodes Mediant 800 4 FXS Loop Start
  4 FXO Loop Start
  4 FXS / 4 FXO Loop Start
  8 FXS / 4 FXO Loop Start
  12 FXS Loop Start
AudioCodes Mediant 1000 mult. options Loop Start or Ground Start

For the purposes of this blog, I’ll be referencing a Bogen overhead paging system with a Bogen Universal Telephone Paging Interface (UTI1).  The UTI1 is a flexible telephony interface that allows administrators to select the interface that matches the Lync certified gateway interface (pretty sweet huh?!?!).  The picture below displays the numerous options available and the planning that needs to be considered when selecting the appropriate analog gateway.
Best Practice #2: This may not be a “best practice,” but rather a recommendation.  Based on my experience with voice gateways and overhead paging systems, using a FXO interface with loop start typically provides the best end user experience.  Why you ask? I recommend going FXO between the analog gateway and paging system for an “instant answer.”  With FXS, your users will hear 1-2 seconds of ringing and it’s possible that there might be a disconnect delay with the FXS interface which could cause a fast busy sound over the speakers.  A fast busy over the loud speakers for 5-10 seconds is never a good thing. 
What has your experience been with paging systems?  I welcome your comments.
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 Best Practice #3:  I’ve seen miscellaneous blogs out there and I’ve even had discussions with technical folks that analog gateways (e.g. AudioCodes MP-11x) can register directly to the Lync Mediation servers for PSTN/analog connectivity.  Does it work and have I seen it work, yes.  It’s important to understand though that there are NO analog voice gateways certified with Lync. Analog voice gateway integration has not been validated by Microsoft and analog voice gateways are not listed on the OIP webpage.  Analog voice gateways must connect through enhanced gateways.  Otherwise, configuration is not supported.  The difference between unsupported vs. supported is distinguished in the architecture examples below:

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Best Practice #4: I was going to stop at three best practices, but I present the fourth overhead paging best practice for the fourth day of Lync’mas… Once the overhead paging system has been integrated with the voice gateway, an analog device object should be created in Lync to improve the end user experience.  At the end of the day, it’s all about improving the dialing experience and making the end user happy. 
Below is a PowerShell example demonstrating how to create the overhead paging analog device contact. 

New-CsAnalogDevice -LineUri tel:+13125551000;ext=1000 -DisplayName “Paging System” -DisplayNumber “+1 (312) 555-1000 x1000” -RegistrarPool lyncpool.contoso.net -sipaddress “sip:pagingsystem@contoso.net” -AnalogFax $False -Gateway lyncgw01.contoso.net -OU “ou=Analog_Devices,dc=contoso,dc=net”

Below is a comparison of the end user experience with and without an overhead paging analog device contact created.  I’ll let you make the call as to which one is easier to remember. 
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 Merry Lync’mas to all and to all a good night!

One thought on “The Fourth Day of Lync’mas: Lync and Paging Best Practices

  1. Pingback: The Fourth Day of Lync’mas: Lync and Paging Best Practices | Microsoft Enterprise Technologies | JC's Blog-O-Gibberish

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