Configure Polycom VVX series phones to work with Lync Server 2013


Polycom has now made the VVX series phones as Lync Server Compatible. The latest firmware version 5.0.1 Supports more Lync features such as PIN Authentication and update the device using Lync Server device update platform like the rest of the CX series.

Polycom has introduced the new BToE (Better Together over Ethernet) application to support VVX series to integrate tightly with the Lync Client. The user experience of this is same as the CX Series tether via the USB cable but in this case, it use the Ethernet connection.

This article highlights the standard deployment process of a VVX Series phone and sign in to the device using Lync Enterprise Voice enabled account.

I’m using a VVX 500 phone for this. Then the device first plugged in to the PoE connection, It comes up with the generic ProfileIMG_0472

Get the device’s IP Address from the display menu. Unlike the CX series, VVX can be configured with both manual IP configuration and DHCP. Connect to the device’s main web page using IE. 

The standard Admin password for VVX Series is 456 and the user password is 123. Login as an Admin.

In Home page, it’ll show you what is the current Firmware configured and information such as the IP and the MAC ID.Capture1

If the current configured Firmware is not 5.0.xx, then go to “Utilities” and select “Software Upgrades”.To upgrade the Firmware, verify that the device has access to the Internet and “Check for Updates”Capture4

Once the Firmware is sorted, navigate in to “Simple Setup”. Set the correct time Zone and select the Base Profile as “Lync”. The device will restart upon confirmation.Capture3

Once the device comes up, navigate to the “Features” using the Menu and notice that two new options appeared. This would be “Microsoft Lync” and “BTOE”IMG_0473

In “Microsoft Lync” option, there will be two sign in methods. the “User Credentials” and “PIN Authentication”.IMG_0474

As usual, to use the PIN Authentication, the DHCP Options must be configured in DHCP server (Option 43 and 120). You can use any EV enabled account with the Extension and the PIN to sign in to the device like the CX series.IMG_0475

In “User Credentials”, you can use the Lync Sign In address and domain login credentials to sign in to the device. The on screen keyboard isIMG_0476

Now to play around with the BToE application. Download and install the Polycom BToE application from http://support.polycom.com/PolycomService/support/us/support/eula/ucs/UCagreement_BToE.html and install.BTOE2

Connect the PC’s Ethernet cable to the device’s PC port and run the BToE applicationBTOE

Verify that the BToE is enabled on devices using the menu. By default it’s enabled. If that’s the case, then it’ll show in the task bar as “BToE Activated” Capture7

Just like when you Tether a CX series using USB, a log in menu will come up to sign in to the device.Enter sign in credentials and sign in to the device. Capture6

The BToE status will now change from “Activated” to “Paired”. At this point, you can make calls from Lync Client and the device will dial the call out. Capture5

Notice that the green icon on top right side of the display indicating the paring status.IMG_0478

The sign in process is successfully completed and no alerts coming up. Still the Exchange integration need to be configured.IMG_0479

Unlike the CX Series, the VVX series does not automatically detect the EWS URL to connect to Exchange Server. this configuration has to be manually configured.

Go back to the admin page of the device and select “Settings”, In Settings, drop down the “Exchange Application” configuration. populate the Exchange Server URL with the EWS URL. This should be https://autodiscover.domain.com/ews/exchange.asmx.

Enable the “Exchange Calendar” and apply the configuration change. The device will restart upon confirmation.Capture9

A basic troubleshooting can be done on the device using “Diagnostics” Logs. It’s not much but can get an idea of what might be going on in there.Capture10

Overall, the VVX Series is way better and more feature rich compared to CX Series. But it has it’s own downfalls. One would be manual configuration of EWS which i feel will not be feasible in mass deployments.

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18 thoughts on “Configure Polycom VVX series phones to work with Lync Server 2013

  1. One other issue I have with the VVX series is that with the CX, you can type a few digits and the phone can work out possible letter combinations to search from the address book. with the VVX it a much longer process having to open the contact lists and then search. I am surprised this feature is not still there as it was really handy.

    • Thanks for the comment. And yes, that is a useful feature in CX that lacking in VVX. The reason for that is that the VVX is just a “qualified” device rather than an “optimized” device. The optimized devices supports RNL (Reverse Name Lookup) based on the numbers that getting dialed out and Qualified ones doesn’t have that capability.

  2. So, I actually DID end up getting this to work with Lync on-prem and Exchange Online. The trick is that your Email Address and UPN have to be the same. Often, if you have an AD UPN of employeeID@company.local – you can’t get certain things to work. However, as I am a Domain Admin, I have my UPN and exchange account with firstname.lastnight@sip/exchange_domain.com and dirsync has the passwords matching. So, as long as all that matches – looks like the VVX 500 will work with Exchange Online.

  3. I have a VVX in a Lync 2013 / O365 environment but following the above instructions doesn’t seem to work. Once you have changed the phone to a Lync phone I can’t access it via http / https to put in the Exchange information?

      • This is really strange – I’m running 5.2 on a VVX 600 and the latest firmware on a CX5500 (it looks like 5.2 though labelled differently). I can go into the phone(s) enable the web portal and http / https etc. The phone reboots, then immediately reboots again – the end result being the web portal ends up disabled (I assume the first reboot it is active, the second is disabling it again)!

      • It was a rogue tftp server setting in the DHCP (for provisioning SNOM’s), causing the phone to reboot and reset.

  4. We are getting ready to install a new Polycom system with VVX601 IP phones. Can we operate with Lync with a Lync license? Want to do a test demo ….

  5. Thamara,

    Our current setup is a off-prem hosted environment of SFB 2015 and all our mailboxes are hosted in Exchange online. Our current phones are CX700’s. We are deciding if to upgrade to the VVX solutions so we purchased one VVX 410. I loaded the most recent software update 5.4.3 and also BTOE 3.3. It pairs thru the SFB client successfully, but when to sign in, it gets stuck on Signing in and of course the web utility is disabled once its in Lync mode. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Karam,

      See if you have all required OPTIONS configured in DHCP and sip.domain.com A record exist in DNS, resolve in to Front End server. Also try using PIN auth instead of BToE and see if it goes anywhere. Also, you can enable the Web Tool by going in to Settings >Advance> Administration Settings. It’s in the bottom of the list. Once enable, check the logging on the device fro any clues of what may have causing the issue.

  6. Hello Thamara,

    Maybe this is a pretty basic question buy I will have to deploy 465 of these in the near future. How can I set ALL the devices to have the “Base profile” field configured?

    Thanks in advance

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