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.


  1. I opted for one of these a simpler solution (use in a warehouse\kitchen);

    But be warned its incredibly loud !

  2. Algo has a UCMA app you can run as a service called Algo Alerter Lync Gateway. I've used this a few times to setup buzzers and alert lights. This eliminates the need for fxs gateway. -Chad

    1. So with this UCMA and one of the Algo 18xx boxes I get an amplified ring at a Lync desk phone location?

    2. My technique is not UCMA... But yes it will get you an amplified ring for a Lync based IP device