Product Review (and setup) DECT Phone for Lync 2013 – SNOM m9


The old DECT question seems to come up time after time. Having worked on many PABX systems in the past I can say that DECT always comes across as an afterthought. With that in mind I wasn’t at all surprised to see the Lync-DECT solutions mostly required some sort of SIP server.

Then I came across the SNOM m9.

Plus points

  • As a Lync device it makes use of the assigned Dial Plan and Voice policies, unlike other DECT for Lync solutions I have come across
  • Its easy to setup, no SIP trunks to Lync etc.
  • You can access voicemail from the handset
  • CLI is displayed on the handset for incomming calls
  • missed calls also show on the screen
  • It supports Presence!!! You cant set presence from the handset, but it will display Online, Offline, In-call, Away, Busy and Do-not-disturb – where detected
  • The m9 supports DECT GAP or “Generic Access Profile”, this means that other GAP compliant handsets can be used to register to the base station
  • The m9 base can also be configured as a repeater to extend the range of the DECT handsets

Negatives

  • The SNOM m9 is voice only! No IM or video 🙂
  • If you need to roam across multiple m9 base stations then each base station will need to kow the identity information for the user involved
  • No seamless handover of active calls
  • The SNOM m9 handset could be more rigid (other GAP compliant phones could be used to circumvent this)

What is it?

Its an IP – DECT base station that allows up to 9 identities to be configured to it. Each identity can be configured for a single Lync user. The base station then fires registrations to the Lync Front End Pool using each of these identities.
The DECT handsets are registered to the base station and each handset is then associated to an identity.

NOTE

With some of the other SNOM endpoints I have tinkered with the UC Edition software was needed to get the devices talking to Lync. This is NOT the case with the m9, at least not with version 9.6.1-a which I was on.

How to setup SNOM m9 to register with Lync 2013?


1. Get the IP Address of the m9 Base Station

The base station is set to DHCP by default, connect it to your network and boot. Also power up the DECT handset. Initially the handset will display “searching for base”, once it finds the base you can use the handset to determine the IP address assigned to the base station. Press the right key on the circular menu button on the handset


– scroll to System Info and select OK, the IP Address should be shown on the display

2. Log on to the Base Station

Browse to the IP Address as seen on the handset from your web browser to connect to the base station for Web Based Management

The default login is as follows:
Username: admin
Password: password


3. Configuring the Base station
I wanted the config to work both on the internal network as well as from externally (over my edge servers). SInce we use internal certs internally and public certs externally we need to tell the base station not to validate the certs as it wont trust our internal CA.
This is done from the Security tab, select “Don’t validate certificates” and save.


4. Configuring the Lync identity

Mostly this is self explanatory. I did find that leaving the outbound proxy field blank meant that the legacy (to pre Lync 2013) auto discover method was attempted

  1. SRV _sipinternaltls._tcp
  2. SRV _sip._tls

 In my case however it was less successful in determining the outbound proxy from external since I no longer use those records.


To manually specify the Outbound Proxy use the following format:

sip:sip.domain.com:5061;transport=tls (where sip.domain.com is the access edge FQDN)



That’s it! You can check the status to ensure that the Lync registration was successful and that the DECT handsets have registered with the base station, however once the handset is logged in the Display Name will appear on the display of the handset.

Final comments

I do like the simplicity as well as the price. Its really cool how presence is included, many other solutions with gateways having DECT hanging off the gateway exclude presence.

I am not a great fan of solutions that feel as if they have been forced to fit. This is not one of those IMHO.

If you are deploying a dozen or so DECT phones in a warehouse then this is your solution.
If you need a DECT solution that allows roaming across multiple sites with large floor coverage, then keep looking.

Sorted 🙂

References




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About Paul B

My name is Paul Bloem and I am employed at Lexel Systems in New Zealand as a Principal Consultant for Unified Communications. I have been working on enterprise voice solutions for over 20 years. My first 10 years were spent working for a Telco in South Africa (Telcom SA). This is where all the groundwork happened as I was exposed to just about every aspect of telecommunication you could imagine. I develop an interest in PBX technologies and eventually became the go-to guy. Next, I had a 10 year run at Siemens South Africa, most of my time there was as a Technical Trainer. During this time VoIP hit the world stage, I had the privilege of introducing VoIP both as H.323 and later SIP across the Siemens HiPath 4000 solution stack. In 2008 I immigrated to New Zealand with my newly attained MCSE, I was ready to go where no PBX Techie had gone before. I was employed to explore OCS 2007 and that was pretty much the beginning of the end for me. I have been working on OCS and Lync ever since. My current role focuses exclusively on Lync and associated technologies.. That includes pre-sales, consulting, architecture and design, training and support. I even get to play in the development space from time to time - focus on play ;-) I was nominated as a Microsoft VTSP for Lync early in 2013 and also awarded Microsoft's MVP award for Lync in 2014.
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2 Responses to Product Review (and setup) DECT Phone for Lync 2013 – SNOM m9

  1. Hello,

    I had having an issue like Snom m9r connection randomly/intermittently disconnects. Essentially, the Lync 2013 server sends a lot of information which can 'break' the handset link to the base. Is there any experience like that?

    Thanks and regards,

    Like

  2. Paul Bloem says:

    I have had a similar comment from another source stating that its usually when the handset hasn't been in use for more than a day. Is that you experience as well?

    Like

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