Skype for Business, USB and IP Phones

This article contains University-specific documentation about using USB or IP phone devices with Skype for Business. It also talks about how to install and use IP devices (VoIP phones) with the Skype for Business system.

When and why would you use a separate desk phone?

Once you have the Skype for Business client on your computer, your Windows or Mac computer can serve as your phone system. All you need is your computer's built-in sound devices or an attached headset. However, you may prefer to have a separate, physical, phone-shaped device on your desk.

Users of other operating systems, such as Unix/Linux, will require a separate device because Skype for Business doesn't yet offer a client for their computers' operating systems.

A Skype for Business desk phone will provide at least as much functionality as a traditional phone. In many cases, a Skype for Business desk phone will offer more functionality than a traditional phone, such as calendar and messaging integration. However, a computer running the Skype for Business client will usually offer even more functionality, including email and video conferencing capabilities.

Choosing a USB or IP Phone Device

A USB phone is a computer peripheral device that looks like a regular desk phone. It will have a dial pad, handset, caller display, and sometimes a speakerphone. USB phones provide good audio quality, ease of use, and integrate with the Skype for Business client well. A USB phone must be plugged in to a computer that is running the Skype for Business client in order to operate. USB phones work better with the Skype for Business client on Windows than MacOS. A very commonly used USB phone is the Polycom CX300.

An IP phone is a stand-alone device that does not require a computer or the Skype for Business client. Like a USB phone, an IP phone will have a dial pad, handset, caller display, and sometimes a speakerphone. An IP phone can operate with only an ethernet network connection. It is a good choice for places where there is no computer, where users don't sign in to the computer or don't have their own Skype for Business accounts, and where the local computer is not running a compatible operating system.

NOTE:  In order to make full use of Skype for Business at Illinois' various services, you must use a device certified for Skype for BusinessFor recommendations, see Skype for Business, Supported Devices and Equipment .

WARNING:  If you choose a device that is NOT on the Equipment for UC at Illinois list, it may violate campus policy. All campus-owned computing equipment bought after January 1, 2012 that will be used to make phone calls must be able to support 9-1-1 services as provided by the campus VoIP solution. 

Getting Started with your USB phone

Install the Skype for Business client on your computer. Start the client and login. At this point, you should be able to just plug the USB phone-device into your computer.

Getting started with your IP phone

An IP phone needs to be installed and configured by your departmental IT pros. See Skype for Business, IP Phone Installation and Login for IP phone setup and login instructions.

You'll need to log in to your phone so that the calls that people make to your name or number will ring through to that particular device on your desk.

After you've logged in

IP phones will remember that they belong to you, so you'll only need to log into them once, even if you unplug them.

Beyond this point, the features available to you depend on the particular model of phone you're using. Some offer touch screen interfaces, some offer traditional buttons. See the manufacturer's instructions for your particular phone to determine what your phone can do.

Keywords:IP phone, device, Lync, desk phone, phone, windows, mac, unix, linux, usb phone, skype for business, usb phone   Doc ID:49213
Owner:Lync M.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-03-18 14:49 CSTUpdated:2018-08-17 10:31 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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