Polycom VVX 600 vs CX 600 on Lync 2010

A few months ago, Polycom released Lync firmware for their VVX series of phones. Check out the different models here

 vvx600Polycom VVX600

They differ to the CX series in several ways – the CXs here are specifically built for Lync while the VVX is a bit more generic and will work with other phone systems. This might sound bad, but it does give Polycom a bit more flexibility in the functions they can offer.

Taken from here is a comparison of the CX 600 and VVX 600 phones at the bottom of this post.

Before I go any further, it’s worth pointing out that Jeff Schertz is the pro at this stuff, and a lot of the information was sourced at his blog so you’ll see several links there.

This post will also assume you’re fairly familiar with the Polycom CX series (particularly the CX600) as most people with Lync have these, or at least know about them.

There are a few key benefits of looking at the VVX series:

Firstly, there’s no USB tethering requirement to the PC for advanced functionality. You do have to install a small piece of software called the BToE connector. I’d highly recommend installing this, as you’ll get a lot more functionality out of your phone the same way a CX would via USB Tether.

Another benefit is the webcam addon that plugs into the top of the phone. You can do video chats through just the phone, which a lot of people expected out of the CX series but wasn’t possible. This gets closer to matching some of the extra functionality out of Cisco’s phone range.

The phone has a built in basic web browser, as well as the ability to remotely manage the device via a browser too. The CX series has neither of these so from a managability and usability view, the VVX is very tempting.

Oh and of course, the VVX has touch screen! It’s quite responsive, so no complaints about that.

The negatives or considerations of the VVX series that I’ve noticed so far are:

No dedicated light for presence. I’ve gotten used to this on the CX series, a nice glowing green/yellow/red indicator to remind you of your own presence. There is a small indicator on the screen showing your current presence, but it’s not very obvious.

You’ll also need to set up Lync to have the firmware for your phones to be ready to use. Jeff Schertz has great instructions here on how to do this – yes it’s a fairly detailed article but worth going through all of it.

You can’t just type in names to do a lookup like the CX series which I miss. It’s possible to do via the directory with a few extra presses, so the flow of doing name lookups is no-where near as smooth.

The actual layout of the menu buttons isn’t as nice as I’d like, but then neither is the CX. I don’t think you could place a VVX phone in front of someone who’s used to a CX phone and expect them to just ‘get it’.

Tips:
Read everything on Jeff Schertz’s Blog http://blog.schertz.name/category/lync/.
The default admin password for these phones is ‘456’.
The management page for your phone is just http://IPOfPhone
Hold 1,4,9 for a factory reset.
Hold 1,8,3 for a restart, or 1,0,3 for a full reboot.
Userguide available from Polycom here

I’ve only started with basic testing and there are a lot of things to learn about the VVX series as there’s not too much in common with CX, but it is worth investigating with the large amount of benefits that come with it.

 

Comparison:

 

Polycom VVX600

 

Polycom CX600

Manufacturer: Polycom VVX600 Polycom CX600
Price Range: $250 – $350 $250 – $350
Supports Version: Lync 2010, Lync 2013 Lync 2010, Lync 2013, Lync Online
Qualify Date: March 2013 February 2013
Firmware Version Tested: Lync 2013 – Polycom firmware version 4.1.2.25646 Lync Phone Edition 2013
Recommended Use: Full featured desk phone Full featured desk phone
Audio Quality: Wideband Wideband
Speakerphone: Yes Yes
Headset Support: RJ-9 port wired/wireless, USB port and EHS RJ9 port
Display: 4.3-inch Color LCD 3.5 inch QVGA Color LCD
Power: PoE (AC sold separately) PoE (AC sold separately)
Ethernet Ports: 2 port 10/100/1000 2-port 10/100/1000
Wall Mountable: Yes Yes
UC Presence Indicator: No Yes
Message Waiting Indicator: Yes Yes
View Contacts and Corporate Directory Users Presence: Yes Yes
Easy Configuration with PIN Authentication: No Yes
CODEC Supported: G.711 (A-law and u-law), G.729AB, G.722, G.722.1, G.722.1C, iLBC RT Audio, G.711, G.722.1
LLDP: Yes Yes
Browser: Yes
Add Multiple People to an Existing Call: No Yes
Boss / Admin: No No
Branch Resiliency: Yes Yes
Call Park: No Yes
E911 Support: Yes Yes
Invite Address Book Contacts to Call: Yes Yes
Malicious Call Trace: No Yes
Merge Existing Calls: Yes Yes
Music on Hold: No No
Private Incoming Line: Yes Yes
Search Global Address List: Yes No
Search Lync Contacts: No No
Uninterrupted Call Transfer to Mobile Phone: Yes Yes
Assign Contact Presence to Button: Yes
Integrated Video, Sharing Applications, Whiteboard, etc.: No No
One click to join conference call: No No
Search Outlook Contacts: No
View Outlook Calendar: Yes
Lync Server Managed Updates: Yes Yes
Lync Server Integrated Manageability: Yes Yes
Single Identity (Active Directory): Yes Yes

4 thoughts on “Polycom VVX 600 vs CX 600 on Lync 2010

    1. Jeff, thanks for commenting! I’ve left it aside as I see this being a bit of a troublesome changeover as some new features are great, but it’s such a different experience from the CX series.

      It also looks a bit ‘plain’ and for a while I wasn’t sure if I had the right firmware loaded. Is it still a work in progress in some ways?

  1. I was very excited about some of the VVX features, like Boss/Admin, as well as a quicker response to ring, but am frustrated that BTOE is not supported on Windows 8.1. This is something of a showstopper for us.

    1. That’s a bit surprising. I must admit I haven’t gone any further with VVX because there will be too much of a staff training issue, and although there’s some great features it doesn’t look as nice as the CX series. On top of that, Polycom never got back to me about pricing about swapping all the CX to VVX. CXs will do for the moment!

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