Tuesday, October 6, 2015

AudioCodes Webinar about Fax and Modem Transmission over TDM and IP Networks

AudioCodes did a webinar on Fax and Modem transmission over TDM and IP networks that is very informative. If you have ever implemented Fax and Modems in an AudioCodes environment, then you'll know how valuable this presentation is. I had to learn all this the hard way and they have served it up on a nice platter for you to enjoy...


Presentation (requires AudioCodes website login)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Time2Market's Cloud Complete Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

First off... this blog post is going to come across as a sales pitch and that is because it is. I'm not going to insult your intelligence... but there is a lot of confusion out there as to what is offered with various different Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solutions and where they can fit into an organizations plan to further their communications. I'm not going to go into detail about all the other offerings out there, but what I'm going to do is offer you detail about Time2Market's Cloud Complete offering. We also offer a Cloud Custom option, that adds some additional functionality, but this blog post will focus on the Cloud Complete offering.

Anyone who knows me... knows that I'm not a fan of the "cloud". The reason is because I think it is one of those terms that gets thrown around and decisions made without really understanding the implications of turning over control to the cloud. I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense 100 percent of the time... because it actually does in a lot of scenarios.  I just don't like the blind run toward the cloud that I see a lot of people doing just because all the cool kids are doing it.

Having said that, Time2Market's Cloud Complete offering is a hosted UCaaS that is a Multi-tenant... Enterprise Voice... Skype for Business environment.

Yup.. you read that right... Skype for Business.

Time2Market's cloud is not based on the now defunct Lync Hosting Pack that was limited to the same feature set and Lync Online.

The is a Skype for Business hosted environment with feature sets that to my knowledge are currently not offered anywhere else. Those feature sets even include the new Broadcast Meeting offering that depends on a hybrid implementation with Office365. We even leverage Exchange Unified Messaging in Office365.

Now why would an organization want to do this. It is simple... instead of investing in all the equipment, server licenses and professional services to implement an on-premises solution that has costs as a capital expenditure. This allows an organization to move these costs to the operational expenditure column. The Cloud Complete offering scales and shrinks as you do and is a totally managed service from deployment to support. In short, you focus on your business, not running a Unified Communications infrastructure.

So what are some of the things that Time2Market offers in its Cloud Complete that make it unique...
  • E-Faxing Services
  • Advanced Call Routing Options
  • DID Parking
  • Common Area Phones
  • Standalone Fax Services
  • Unlimited Calling Plans
  • Auto Attendant
  • Dedicated Conference Bridge
  • Room Systems and Video Integration
  • Conference Room Audio Devices
  • 800# Support
  • Paging Applications
  • Contact Center (Clarity)

But here is the really big key to Time2Market's offering, we have a whole organization that will help you every step along the way with a White Glove Service. Cloud Complete isn't a self service type of offering, instead it is an offering where you have a whole team of people who have been in the business of helping organizations communicate for decades. Here are some of the things we can help you with...
  • Office365 Tenant Setup/Mail Migration
  • Unified Messaging Setup
  • IP Phone Setup
  • On-Premises Active Directory Integration
  • Auto Attendant Configuration
  • Room System Installation
  • Device Consultation

But wait.... there's more!! Sorry couldn't resist saying that.

But really there is more... Time2Market has created a Self Service web based portal that gives easy access to the following tasks...
  • Password Reset
  • Add New Users
  • Assign DIDs
  • Modify/Update Conferencing and Global Dialing Policies
  • Update Federation Policies
  • Get Support
  • Access to Usage Reports and Billing Info
  • Access to training, tips and tricks

What are you waiting for? Interested in Time2Market's Cloud Complete offering or have further questions? You can contact me by SIP or email using jonathan at t2mdev dot com or by calling 303 997 2100.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Change in route selection behavior in Lync Server 2013 from Lync Server 2010

I was recently working on a rather complicated dial plan and ran into a situation where the route I expected to be followed wasn't being followed. What I was trying to do was create a single Voice Usage that would route for specific numbers and then have a catch all route that would be the route as a last resort.

After doing numerous tests and doing an Outbound Routing debug it was clear that the route wasn't being skipped and it wasn't being marked down. The catch all route was being tried first even though the order of the routes in the Voice Usage had it at the bottom.

Interestingly, if I simplified the regular expression of the route that matched a range of specific numbers to just be one of those numbers, it magically started to work correctly. As soon as I modified it back to the larger range, it would fail.

Knowing that I have done this many times before, I was convinced somehow I hit some sort of bug. So a case with Microsoft was opened. After some lengthy testing, the Microsoft support engineer was just as baffled as I was and was coming to the same conclusion I did.

As a work around, until the Microsoft engineer decided how to proceed, we created two different Voice Usages. The first one was for ranges of numbers and the second usage contained the catch all route all by itself. The routing worked as expected, but this was not ideal, because this would increase the number of Voice Usages across the hundreds of sites in this deployment. I was aiming for the simplest dial plan possible since it was already complex.

Anyway, after a few days the Microsoft engineer got back to us and dropped a huge bomb.

Believe it or not, this was working as designed. He informed me that there was a change in Lync Server 2013 in how it processes routes in a Voice Usage. Lync Server 2013 now chooses the least complex regular expression before it processes the other routes. The reason for this change I don't agree with, but apparently there were some customers that had really large dial plans, where processing a large list of routes in a Voice Usage was taking too long and this change was decided to speed up processing the list.

So... if you have similarly complex in the same usage, the order of the routes matters. But if you mix complex and simple rules in the same Voice Usage, then the more simple rules will always be followed first.

I hate this because now everyone else is forced to create more Voice Usages, sometimes with a single route in them, to have the routing work as desired. The other item that bugs me is that there is next to no documentation of this change and this was not communicated to the technical community in any other way that I'm aware of. This is a big change for a product that a lot of people depend on to be consistent.

I think a better alternative would have been to give the engineer an option to process the routes within a Voice Usage using the Lync Server 2010 method or to switch to the new Lync Server 2013 method. I can see merits to both methods, but ideally I would like a choice.

Now... If you are like I am, you want to know what exactly constitutes a simple rule vs complex rule. Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly. All I can share with you is a somewhat vague answer that I got back.
The algorithm has quite a bit of complexity – in simple terms, the route that has simpler “prefix” will be preferred over more complex ones. The “prefix” is a combination of characters, character escapes, alterations and substitutions (as defined in regular expressions).
So if anyone has more detail on this algorithm, I'd like to have it. But in the mean time it doesn't really matter because the permanent fix is to have similarly complex rules in the same Voice Usage and then make sure you test to verify the route order is being followed as desired.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Active Noise Cancelling Smackdown: Plantronics Blackwire C725 vs Jabra Evolve 80

So I recently obtained two different Active Noise Cancelling headsets that are Lync/Skype for Business optimized devices. I've been using both the Jabra Evolve 80 (E80) and the Plantronics Blackwire C725 (C725) quite a bit and one thing I've noticed is that even though they are both Active Noise Cancelling, they are Apples and Oranges when you go to compare them. So I thought it would be interesting to highlight their Pros and Cons and really help those that want to find the right headset for their situation.

It is important to note that both of these headsets were given to me directly by each vendor and my assumption is that they hoped I would review them. There was no guidance as to how that was done from either vendor. These views can be considered my own opinion.

Let's start off with a opening statement of each product from each vendors own marketing material...

Plantronics Blackwire C725

The Blackwire 725 USB Headset is great for keeping you focused in noisy office environments. Featuring Active Noise Canceling technology, a nose-cancelling mic, and hi-fi stereo performance, the Blackwire 725 minimizes external noises while ensuring that PC-based calls and multimedia come through crystal clear. With the Blackwire 725, distractions go down and productivity goes up.

Jabra Evolve 80

Jabra Evolve series is a professional range of head-sets designed to improve concentration and conversations. Premium noise cancellation technology gives you peace to work in a noisy environment, open office, effectively creating a concentration zone around you so you can stay focused.

Round 1: Fit and Comfort

Right away you will notice the biggest difference between the two. The C725 is an ON THE EAR muff, where the E80 is an OVER THE EAR muff. Using both for very long calls I've noticed a few things.

E80 Fit and Comfort Negatives
  • Can start to become itchy where the muffs touch your skin
  • People have complained that it is too tight on their head (squeezing their noggin)
  • The mic is ONLY on the right
  • They are pretty bulky

C725 Fit and Comfort Negatives
  • None that I can think of

E80 Fit and Comfort Positives
  • Muffs have lots of padding
  • Band against head is padded

C725 Fit and Comfort Positives
  • Very comfortable with lots of adjustments
  • Mic can be on either side of head
  • Not bulky
  • Band against head is padded
  • Muffs are padded well

Route 2: Sound Quality

This one I realize is fairly subjective. So this is one that you'll definitely have to take with a grain of salt. But it really comes down to what do you do with your headset. Do you like to listen to music AND use it for Lync? or is this strictly a business headset only used for communication? Depending on how you answer those two questions, I could probably guess which one you would choose.

C725 Sound Quality Negatives
  • Great sound quality, but for music won't blow you mind.
  • Ear muffs allow for extra noise to creep in

E80 Sound Quality Negatives
  • Certain voices can seem deeper than normal
  • Needed to adjust side tone audio out of the box (hear yourself)

C725 Sound Quality Positives
  • I think I could literally hear a pin drop on a conference call
  • Voices sound very natural
  • Sidetone audio was perfect out of the box (hear yourself)

E80 Sound Quality Positives
  • Very rich bass
  • Music is phenomenal

Round 3: Noise Cancellation

You would think that two products that highlight Active Noise Cancellation as a major feature would actually be very similar. But I'm here to tell you that they are very different.

E80 Noise Cancellation Negatives
  • Noise Cancellation is only for the person wearing... ambient noises can be heard on Mic!
  • Needs battery charged to work

C725 Noise Cancelling Negatives
  • Ambient Noise can come in around ear muffs
  • Doesn't work unless you are in a call or using audio from PC
  • Can't be used with smart phone or other audio device (iPod)

E80 Noise Cancellation Positives
  • Amazingly effective at cutting out ambient noise
  • Can be used with smart phone (if battery is charged)
  • Has "Listen in" button on side to let you hear ambient noise... 

C725 Noise Cancellation Positives
  • Amazingly effective at cutting out ambient noise on the MIC
  • Pretty good at cutting out ambient noise on the muffs
  • Don't need to worry about charging a battery


The point of this blog post was not to find a winner, but to point out that these two headsets meet very different needs.

If you are in the office (especially cubes or call center) and on the phone all day long, then the C725 would probably be the better choice.

If you travel a lot and need a headset that you can use on the road and on the plane, then the E80 is probably a better choice.

Quite honestly, I plan to use both of these headsets depending on what I'm doing. Who knows... maybe Plantronics or Jabra will create a Active Noise Cancelling headset to rule them all.


E80 Extras you need to know
  • Listen In button is nice, but not obvious (push the jabra on the side with the mic)
  • When microphone is in the up position it is automatically muted
  • You will want to adjust sidetone audio, because otherwise you may not hear yourself at all
  • Headset can disconnect from call controls and be used with smart phone
  • Extra audio adjustments in the Jabra app on the PC.
  • You will stand out in a crowd when you use these
C725 Extras you need to know
  • The microphone boom can be used on left or right side of head
  • The headset automatically answers a call when you put it on

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lync/Skype for Business Loud Ringer

Loud Ringers for Lync/Skype for Business is one of those problems you think can't be solved. But I stumbled upon a technique awhile ago that can be used to solve this problem. This technique though, uses pieces of the product in ways they were not originally intended. But I will say that I have been doing this since Lync Server 2010 and I hope with writing this blog that more people will use this technique and maybe it will get a better method for implementation by the product group.

So enough dancing around the topic.

In order to execute this technique we need the following:
  • Analog based Loud Ringer (Algo 1825 for example)
  • Gateway with Analog FXS ports
  • Create a Lync/Skype for Business Analog Device
  • Device that can do Pin Authentication for a Common Area Phone
  • Lync/Skype for Business user that has SimRing capability
Step 1
First step is to setup the FXS port and Gateway so that a dedicated number can ring that port. I prefer to use non-DID numbers for this application, but it just has to be a unique number in the Lync Dial Plan. Later we actually use this number when defining the Lync/Skype for Business analog device LineURI. Because there are so many Gateways with FXS out there, I'm not going to get into specifics in this area. But I generally route the extension portion of the number to the port. For example if +13005551000;ext=9572 is the intended LineURI, only the 9572 portion would be configured for routing to the port on the Gateway. 

Not getting the hint? 

I manipulate the number either in the trunk configuration of Lync/Skype for Business (my preference) or the gateway to just be the extension.

Oh you you are one of those people who don't like to use ;ext= ? Then you'll have to figure out the Pin Auth on your own later.

Step 2
Next we add the Gateway with the FXS port to the Lync/Skype for Business Topology. Nothing special here, but make sure it is communicating on the correct port/protocol.
Once the Topology has been published and replication has occurred, you will need to create an analog device in Lync/Skype for Business. 

Here is an example of the command: 

New-CsAnalogDevice -LineURI "tel:+13005551000;ext=9572" -DisplayName "Someone's Loud Ringer" -RegistrarPool <same pool as Loud Ringer user> -AnalogFax $False -Gateway <IP or FQDN of Gateway just added> -OU <your favorite OU>

Here is the technet for reference.

Pssst don't forget to do an Address Book Update... you'll need it soon and might as well have it working while we do this other stuff

Update-CsAddressBook on the pool that has the user with the need for the Loud Ringer.

Step 3
Once AD Replication happens we need to set a client pin for this analog device. Say wha?! Yes... just stick with me here... 

Here is an example of the command:

Set-CsClientPin -Identity "Someone's Loud Ringer" -Pin <any pin you choose>

Here is the technet for reference

Step 4
Login to the Analog Device like a Common Area Phone using Pin Authentication. For example the extension is 9572 and the pin is well... whatever you set it to. It doesn't matter if this device stays logged in or not, we just needed to log it in once as a Common Area Phone.

This would be a great time to call the Analog Device from lync and make sure the Loud Ringer is actually working. That way we aren't troubleshooting the physical install too... later on.

Step 5
Set the SimRing for the user that needs the Loud Ringer. This can be going to their PC or getting their username and password, or using SEFAUTIL. The bottom line is you want to set the SimRing for the Analog Device above which should. 

If you don't see it as a contact you can add, you might have forgot to update the address book on the server, or maybe you need to log out and back in to force an update.

Step 6
Call the user who needed the Loud Ringer and hear their praises and celebrate that you solved that problem for them that has been hanging around for a year or two. Or if it doesn't work... dig out your Lync Debugging Tools and Wireshark. I know you'll figure it out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Unofficial Microsoft Ignite Party and Contest/Giveaway List

Last year I had a huge blog post on everything about attending the Lync Conference. Since I'm not from Chicago, or haven't spent any time there other than the airport, I left that to the experts like John Cook. So this year I'm focusing a Microsoft Ignite party and contest list for the benefit of all...

You'll see a serious bent toward Lync/Skype related activities because that is the area I'll be focused on and have the most connections to... but regardless of what discipline your event is focused on you can leave feedback or reach me on twitter if you want to have your event or contest listed. I'll also try to update this while at the conference as well in case there are any last minute things I come across. So check back often.



There is an MCT day on Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 12:30 to 9:30 pm for MCTs and MCT Alumni will be full of informative round tables, presentations and will culminate with a party in the evening. Registration to Ignite is not required to attend, but you do have to hold or have held an MCT certification. via @vladcatrinescu


TheKrewe is having a Meet N Greet event on Sunday May 3rd from 7:00 to 10:00pm. They currently are SOLD OUT but claim they will be releasing more tickets closer to Ignite. Need to follow their Twitter and Facebook feeds to get that information the quickest. The event is at Kaiser Tiger: Home of the Bomber. via @tiberGreg

Office 365 Network Mixer is on Sunday from 7 to 10pm. Let us give you a warm welcome to Ignite! Gather with the Office community for an evening of great company, tasty appetizers and live jazz by the Chris Greene Quartet as we all get ready for a big week ahead. First 150 people to arrive receive a goody bag and we’ll be raffling off great prizes. See you there!

One of the official Microsoft Events will be Ignite After Hours will be held each night from 8:00pm to 11:00pm through Wednesday according to the Agenda at select Hotels. Haven't seen an official list of which hotels, but will post once I see it.


Official Microsoft Ignite Welcome Reception by Microsoft in the expo hall.  6:15pm - 8:15pm

Event Zero/The UC Architects have a Unified Communications professionals party again this year (sponsored by UC Architects last year). Last year it was like the who's who of the Lync #ucoms world and we could all just mingle and chat. No loud music... no flashing lights... plenty of drinks.... and fun party games. It was by far my favorite party. The party will be held Monday the 4th of May, starting at 9:00PM (after the Microsoft welcome reception). Word is Ken Lasko will be MC this year. I think this might be the entire reason they hired him...

SPR Consulting is hosting a complimentary evening of appetizers, cocktails, and big thinkers starting at 7pm on Monday. Will be held on the 99th floor of Willis Tower where you’ll get an opportunity to network with like-minds, gain insight from our partners at their “ask the expert” cocktail tables, and take in wonderful views of the city. Each guest will receive a pass to stand 1,353 feet in the air on The Ledge. via @vladcatrinescu

Worlds Largest SharePint:  And the legendary SharePint tradition will continue at Ignite with what no doubt will be the biggest SharePint ever. Virgin Hotel Chicago Manor Room 7:00 P.M  (If you're a SharePoint person, do not miss this one) via @vladcatrinescu

Ignite Rocks is the reborn Jam Sessions from TechEd. All Ignite attendees are invited and if you’re a musician or a singer or just enjoy good music performed by your fellow attendees, stop by the House of Blues starting at 9 PM Monday night.

RightPoint is doing an Ignite Kick-Off and revealing an exciting new product and doing it at Shake Shack. The event is Monday May 4th from 8:00pm to 11:00pm and they say it is All you can eat and drink burgers, fries, frozen custard, beer and wine.

One of the official Microsoft Events will be Ignite After Hours will be held each night from 8:00pm to 11:00pm through Wednesday according to the Agenda at select Hotels. Haven't seen an official list of which hotels, but will post once I see it.


An Epic Partner Party to Celebrate Skype for Business is Tuesday, May 5th from 6:30pm to 11pm. They claim... Epic Food... Epic drinks... Epic views... Epic cigar rolling... All included. It is at Epic Restaurant which looks amazing. Need an invite for this party so go talk to your favorite person at AVST, Nectar, Plantronics, Polycom, ScanSource or TATA Communications

Petri.com/Thurrott.com is doing their 2nd Annual Happy Hour. The first get together was at Microsoft TechEd 2014. The Happy Hour will be held at Kroll's South Loop on Tuesday, May 5th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. If you RSVP AND you are one of the first 300 they have a Petri.com and Thurrott collectible beer stein for you.

scheduledMaintenance party by eNow had the coolest venue last year at the GhostBar in Las Vegas. I had some great conversations with people that I don't necessarily run into in my normal circle of friends. Being we have multiple disciplines of products going to this Ignite event... I expect this will be one that will have lots of new people for you to get to know. The party this year is at Vertigo Sky Lounge - 2 West Erie St and is on Tuesday May 5th. Get your request in early... and it doesn't hurt to impress @SchdMaintenance

Microsoft Learning is doing an MCP Party on Tuesday from 7-10PM at The Museum of Science and Industry. There is no details on any registration (details in April), but at some point I imagine you'll need to prove you are an MCP, which is not hard to obtain.

AvePoint is throwing a RED party at the Chicago Union Station. This one is geared toward SharePoint attendees they have things you need to do to get VIP access otherwise you might have to beg for a ticket at their booth. From the pictures on the page this party looks pretty epic.

Metalogix Best of Breed Party at the House of Blues on Tuesday at 9pm! Best of Breed Awards honor the efforts of individuals or teams who have significantly increased the value of SharePoint, Office 365 and hybrid solutions in their organization, advancing collaboration, productivity, and security through best practices and innovation. Get the details here.

Several vendors and organizations (AudioCodesJabraIntelepeerLync Users GroupPexip, and ScanSource so far) are co-sponsoring a party at The Field Museum Tuesday evening. This party will be by invitation only and you will need to talk with your favorite person at one of the sponsoring vendors or wait for the "Request an Invitation and RSVP" link when it is available and posted here. Last year this was the "Vintage Vegas Nights" party and was a very popular event. When so many vendors and organizations pool their money you know a good time will be had by all.

One of the official Microsoft Events will be Ignite After Hours will be held each night from 8:00pm to 11:00pm through Wednesday according to the Agenda at select Hotels. Haven't seen an official list of which hotels, but will post once I see it.


Protiviti & Nintex is doing a Microsoft Ignite Happy Hour on Wednesday, May 6th from 6:30-8:30 pm at The Godfrey Hotel. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on 4th Floor Rooftop overlooking the Chicago Loop and network with other SharePoint users and SharePoint MVPs. via @vladcatrinescu

Bootlegger's Bash party by Thycotic has my interest piqued sufficiently. I am a sucker for good jazz (played bari sax in High School) and they plan to have specially crafted vintage cocktails. Sounds like a great place to mingle and meet new people to me. The party is on May 6th  from 7pm to 11pm at 19 East 21st Street.

The 8th Annual UC Roundtable at Microsoft Ignite has been announced. Can't say it is a "Party", but get enough of the #ucoms crowd in a room together and things are never boring. Billed as a free-flowing discussion about issues, questions, and experiences related to Exchange, Office 365, and Lync (Skype for Business) Server. Pretty much anyone that works with the above technologies is welcome to RSVP. The Roundtable is from 6pm to 10pm on Wednesday at Tavern at the Park.

One of the official Microsoft Events will be Ignite After Hours will be held each night from 8:00pm to 11:00pm through Wednesday according to the Agenda at select Hotels. Haven't seen an official list of which hotels, but will post once I see it.


Microsoft Ignite Celebration is on Thursday May 7th and everyone is already invited. Microsoft always puts together a top notch party for its attendees... last years Lync Conference party was at Hakkassan in Las Vegas... some pictures are on a my conference report. If you have someone joining you that isn't an attendee you can purchase a companion pass just for the party.

Contests and Giveaways

The Basics

In general, you should make sure you bring a decent amount of business cards. The large majority of contests and giveaways will collect those as a way to enter. It's also highly likely we will see some contests via twitter. So signing up and getting your account established before the conference is a good idea. It is also a great way to keep tabs on what is happening at Microsoft Ignite. You can search hashtag #MSIgnite to see the majority of what is going on. If you want to follow me, you can find me here: @ucomsgeek  I will be doing a lot of tweeting during the event and the #ucoms #skype4b crowd I hang out with is never boring

The Contests and Giveaways

Come by the Office Theater on the Expo floor at #MSIgnite 5/7 at 10am to see #TheUCArchitects record an episode. You could win a Surface!

Win a free Busylight at the Busylight Booth 417!

Microsoft Ignite IT Hero Sweepstakes. Nokia Lumia 830 phone for you and your "IT hero".

@Gradient says if you follow them for a prize... Winner announced on May 8th.

Bring your business cards to the Event Zero/The UC Architects party for chances to win gear

Vision Solutions is giving away a "Double-Take scarf" for anyone who attends their Microsoft Ignite presentation in booth 232

GSX is giving away a Microsoft Band. To enter the contest fill out the form on this page. You can also follow @GSX_Solutions to see some comics featuring #RobotUser every week up until the conference.

conceptSearching is giving away a free conference pass to Ignite. All you have to do is take a survey on how you use SharePoint, Office365, or OneDrive for Business and any challenges. Contest ends March 31st...

Looks like The UC Architects are going to have another giveaway this year. In the past there has been A LOT of prizes in this giveaway. I'll update with more information as I find it. But typically you just need to get your business card to a guy wearing a UC Architects t-shirt. While you are waiting for ignite... go listen to some of their podcasts. They are awesome for anyone that works with Lync, Exchange, O365 or practically anything else connected to the Microsoft universe.

Australians... here is your chance to go to Microsoft Ignite. Fancy joining the world’s brightest minds at Microsoft’s Ignite conference to talk cloud infrastructure, management, productivity, big data, coding and more? Sign up to the Microsoft Virtual Academy today and you could be in with a chance to win a trip there. This phenomenal prize includes return flights, accommodation, a full conference pass plus spending money.

The Lync Users Group is giving away a trip to the Microsoft Ignite Conference to an attendee of one of our winter 2015 events.  To enter, just attend one of our January or February 2015 events and complete your survey.  We will draw the winner from our nationwide events on or before March 2nd with immediate contact for the winner.  The winner will receive a full conference pass, airfare, hotel and a visa gift card to cover expenses courtesy of the Lync Users Group and our sponsors.

SolarWinds will be at Microsoft Ignite this year (May 4th - 8th) with buttons, stickers, and awesome giveaways in tow.  In addition, they are giving away 1 extra full conference pass worth $2,200.  You have to submit a compelling story of how SolarWinds has made your life easier and it has to be received by March 4th.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What to do when you can only hear yourself think while using Jabra Evolve 80

So I recently started using a Jabra Evolve 80, which is quite a phenomenal piece of hardware. It sounds great and is easy to use. I also found myself listening to music more and I've almost completely stopped yelling at my kids to stop having so much fun (just kidding) while I'm working, thanks to the active noise cancellation technology.


There was one complaint I had... When I used it as a headset my voice was muted... like when you talk with fingers in your ears. You only hear the vibrations through your jawbone... which is usable... but definitely not ideal. With one ear headsets, you have an open ear so you can still hear yourself talk and it is more natural.

Well today's blog post is the result of @mitchsteiner and I having a conversation about the Evolve 80 and he was complaining that his voice was too LOUD. I thought to myself... how can that be... I hear nothing and it is too loud for him... there must be a way to adjust this. So as Mitch and I talked he called it sidetone and that is what I started my search for.

After searching for awhile on Jabra's website I came across the ability to adjust the "sidetone" audio, which kudos to Mitch for actually calling it what it was and proof that if you have traditional voice skills they never die.

So here it is in all its glory...

How to adjust sidetone for your Jabra Evolve 80

1. Open the Windows control panel and access the Sound control panel applet.

2. Select "Playback" tab and then right-click the Jabra EVOLVE LINK MS device and choose "Properties"

3. Once the Headset Earphone Properties have displayed, Choose the "Levels" tab.

4. On the "Levels" tab you will see an item for "Sidetone". Mine was set to -18 dB and I needed a slight adjustment to -15 dB. In order to set the level you will need to get on a phone call with a buddy and talk while you adjust and click "OK" (sorry no "Apply"). To hear the change you might have to change to much louder than -15dB and then bring it down to your liking.

5. Enjoy and show your friends.

I would like to make special note that this is a USB ONLY function. If you plug the headset straight into a mobile device this Sidetone function is not there.