Polycom Group 500 integration with Lync Server 2013

So we got hands on a Polycom Group 500! This is a relative new RealPresence product from Polycom – although smaller than HDX 7000, it continues to maintain most of its features. In Group Series, Polycom dropped the support for ISDN and People On Content.

As of the writing of this article, the Polycom Group Series is going through the Lync qualifying process. The current qualified video devices are in the following URL :

Video solutions qualified for Lync
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/hh239758

Here are the steps to properly configure Polycom Group 500 – these steps also applicable to Group 300 and 700.

Step 1 – Configuring basic settings

As soon as we start Polycom Group 500 for the first time, we are prompted to do some basic configuration like IP address (DHCP or manual), System name, admin password and language.

We only need to make sure that the IP address is correct and the Group 500 can reach Lync Server. In our case, Polycom Group 500 will only be used has a Lync endpoint, but we also did some tests using H.323 to make sure that all was working fine.

Step 2 – Update Polycom Group 500 Software

To work with Lync Server 2013 the Group 500 must be, at least, running the 4.1.1 software version.

Polycom changed (when compared to HDX Series) how the devices are updated – we still need the upgrade Key, but now the device can update directly from Polycom Site (one must have internet connection to use this option) or configure a server in your network to store the necessary files.

Check the Polycom Support page for more details:

RealPresence® Group 500 – Downloads
http://support.polycom.com/PolycomService/support/us/support/video/group_series/group500.html

Step 3 – Activate RTV License Key

The question is, if Lync Client 2013 can use H.264 as video codec why do I need this Key?

To clear this we did some tests before activating the RTV License Key in the Group 500.

When we called  from Lync 2013 Client to Polycom Group 500 the “Video was not accepted” error message was showed.

PolycomGroup500-01

When the call was placed from Polycom Group 500, the error message we got was: “The network or remote equipment is unable to provide the requested service option for an unspecified reason. This might be a subscription problem.”

polycomgroup500-02

Another test we did was to start a video conference with “Meet Now” option and then add the Polycom Group 500. This time, the error message was “Room cannot be reached.”

PolycomGroup500-02

In the RTV License description, it states that it is for Lync Interop (2010 & 2013):

Group Series Lync Interop License. Enables MSFT Lync (2010&2013) & AV MCU interop. 

To activate the license go to Admin Settings -> General Settings -> Options and insert the Key – this Key Code is obtained after we activate the License in the Polycom support site (http://support.polycom.com). If the Key is valid we should get this:

polycomgroup500-03

Step 4 – Configuring Lync Server 2013

Using Polycom Group 500 web interface, open Admin Settings -> Network -> IP Network -> SIP and enter the following settings:

  • Enable SIP;
  • SIP Server Configuration: set this to Auto and it will use the DNS records for auto configuration of Registrar Server;
  • Sign-in Address: Sip Address of the user created for the Room;
  • User Name: we can use DomainUsername or Username only;
  • Password: enter and confirm the password;
  • Registrar Server Type: set this to Microsoft.

The result should be this:

polycomgroup500-06

Step 5 – Directory Server (Optional)

This step is optional because we don’t need it to place or receive calls, although it enables the search for Lync contacts on Polycom Group 500.

After Step 4, go to Admin Settings -> Servers -> Directory Servers, and then set Server Type to Microsoft and fill the domain name.

polycomgroup500-07

Note that when we choose Microsof as Server Type, the Domain User Name and User Name will be filled with the settings configured in Step 4.

Step 6 – Checking Status

Before placing calls, lets check if Polycom Group 500 is properly configured. To do this, go to Diagnostics -> System -> System Status and check for errors or warnings:

polycomgroup500-08

If it’s all green, then we can place/receive audio and video calls to/from Lync users.

22 thoughts on “Polycom Group 500 integration with Lync Server 2013

  1. This was very helpful for me. I was still getting the video error when trying to connect to the Polycom unit. I finally found a post on Polycom’s forum that said Lync 2013 has AES encryption set by default. I changed the security setting to AES “when available”, and that fixed it.

  2. Hi,
    I am testing 500 device and its version is 4.0.1-80438 but as per your article to integrate with Lync 2013 version should be 4.1.1. But in our device I am able to dial a Lync user and take video call as well this is a demo unit and vendor has enter the license so I guess that is the reason.
    But without having the correct software version is it possible to work like this. If I go to System Status Microsoft Server is not registered is this because of software version ?

    Appreciate your help to clear this

    Kanishka

    1. Hi,
      If you want Group 500 to connect to the Lync Server 2013 you need to update the version to 4.1.1 or above.
      Here is the release note:

      4.1.1 July 2013
      Provides enhanced security; includes SVC updates; adds compatibility for Microsoft Lync 2013; provides remote management of the Polycom Touch Control; supports Polycom Calendering for Microsoft Outlook.

      I recommend update to the latest available (4.1.4).

      David

  3. Hi,

    This doesn’t work for me, I am on a RealPresence Group 500 with 4.1.3.2 software version and can not get the device to register with Lync Online. Autodiscover is configured and ports are identical to what is used when running Lync On-Prem but it still fails to register. Any ideas?

      1. I think you might be correct, Polycom are going to call me back and confirm but it looks like I’ll need a Lync 2013 server on-prem to get these feature working.

  4. Also note that the ‘RTV License’ has been renamed to ‘:Lync Interoperability License’ as it contains much more than RTV support, including H.264/SVC (X-H264UC) and CCCP support for Lync 2013 peer and multiparty video conferences supporting multiple video participants.

    1. Thanks for the update.
      I’m am curious about the multiparty video conferences feature, as I believe for this you will also need to have the Multipoint Video Conference Licence.

  5. Thanks for the really helpful article! I’m stuck with one issue, I have a group series 500 and Lync 2013 on premise. I’ve set AES to ‘when available’ on the Group series but i still get ‘Not registered’ for the Directory Server (I’ve also tried setting AES to ‘off’ on the group series) I tested out the account I’m using to make sure it has appropriate permissions, if anyone has any ideas what I can try to get this working it would be appreciated

  6. Hi,
    I have followed the steps stated in this article with RTV licence installed to get a couple of Group Series 500 and 300 registered with Lync 2013 and inter-Lync calls are now possible.

    My issue here is that the video quality on lync calls both from polycom to polycom and to Lync Desktop clients is very poor.

    IP calls between same Polycom devices have excellent video quality,so I am quite confused why I am experiencing the packet loss/poor video on Lync even with same devices and over same network.

    Kindly help out here

      1. Thanks Dave,

        I actually read through that link earlier and tried it also.There was a minor increase in sharpness but the the packets loss still continued and it utilized alot of bandwidth on the network as well

      2. AK,
        If you figure this one out please let me know. I have been battling this issue for the last several months.
        I have engaged our network team, polycom, and Microsoft and no one can seem to isolate the issue except tell me what I already know. That is when we have a lync meeting where the polycom units are attendees quality is poor and the CDR reports Astronomical packet loss. We want to use Lync as that is our standard.
        Testing shows that if I do a polycom to polycom (IP to IP) call between two or more GS unit’s, quality is great.

  7. Can anyone tell me whether content sharing should work with the group series 500 and Lync? the above instructions worked well for me and i’m keen to start using Lync but, at the moment, when i either share content from the group series or from another participating device (laptop) the content is not displayed on the group series.

  8. I have the same issue as James – when i try to share eg. the desktop of a remote client i get the “Screen presenting is not supported by this contact”. Is this just not supported yet or am i doing something wrong?

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