The AudioCodes 450HD is the newest/latest phone in the 400HD series of IP Phones. It is a full color, touch screen, executive model desk phone. I am privileged to participate in some internal AudioCodes beta programs and have a full set of the AudioCodes phones: the 405, 420, 440 and 450 now. I have access to early release firmware for review and feedback. I wanted to talk specifically about some new things I’ve been given clearance to discuss.
This past Monday I received the 18.104.22.168.278 firmware release for the 450HD. Here are a few highlights from this release:
- Additional multi-language support (more details in the forthcoming released documentation)
- Further BToE support including: video call redirect, and — my personal favorite — full two-way switching between devices. The two-way switching can go from the Skype soft client, the 450HD phone and back. This switch back has always been troublesome with BToE and it finally works seamlessly!
- Integrating Skype Favorites with the contacts button on the phone
- Visual voicemail – see it before you call it
- Additional calendar features including 2-day view (today and tomorrow)
- The Meet Now functionality exists and works with the 450HD phones so you can create an ad-hoc Meet Now Skype Conference
- And Office 365/Skype Online support, which is useful for me since my firstname.lastname@example.org Skype account is homed in our Skype Online tenant (everyone else at Mirazon as of today is still on-premises via our Hybrid Skype setup).
Enough with the words. Let’s look at some of that. First of all, let’s levelset. This shows you the firmware version:
Excellent. Now, here’s that Meet Now functionality. Front and center as a soft-button on the main display:
And you can see I’m logged on. It knows it’s Daryl Hunter and that I’m at extension 566. Again, for clarity: I’m using Skype Online so this phone is fully registered to Office 365. Let’s look at Visual Voicemail. Click the Voicemail button.
Great! Now what do you see?
If I had voicemail, I could read it. Instead, you see I have 0 read and 0 unread messages. Then I also have a clear soft button I could use to CALL voicemail from here. Let’s move onto the next interesting topic, Skype Favorites. Click the Contacts button:
My Favorites are displayed. See?
You can clearly see they are my Favorites in the heading at the top. And you can see the presence of my contacts – including any federated contacts – for example Diana, my awesome AudioCodes Account Manager!
Next topic? Visual Presence Indicator (top right button).
See that button? It’s green. It’s because my Skype Presence is Available. Let’s change that.
Now it’s Yellow, because I’m away. This is 100 percent integrated into my Skype client presence. I was confused at first because it was always red. I assumed this was the typical message waiting indicator, but I didn’t have any voicemail! It wasn’t until my presence actually went Available/green that I saw the light change. That’s such a rarity because I’m almost ALWAYS busy presence. (Maybe I’m a presence liar?)
Last topic for today – Calendar/Meeting notifications. Any Calendar invites/notifications also pop-up and notify your Audiocodes 450HD phone.
Easy, right? Well check this next one out …
Notice that Join button? That’s because this is a Skype call. Native Skype Join functionality built into the phone. From an Exchange Online calendar (Office 365). From a phone natively logged into Skype Online (Office 365).
I could go on and on with other features that I enjoy but these are some of the main ones that really stuck out to me.
We get previews into awesome products like this because we are an AudioCodes Gold partner. We know their products inside and out and they are our go-to solutions for Skype for Business deployments.