Devices in Lync Server


Topic Last Modified: 2012-08-28

This topic covers what device means in a Lync Server environment, the types of phones this release supports, and the key device-related tools.

Definition of a Device

In Lync Server, device can refer to any unified communications (UC) device, including headsets and webcams, but the primary UC device we discuss here is the phone. Phones running Lync Phone Edition allow users to interact with Lync Server communication and collaboration features. They provide basic and advanced phone features, including new voice features such as Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) and the Call Park application, in addition to voice connections to Lync and Live Meeting sessions. They can also access contacts, conversation history, and calendar information stored in Microsoft Exchange email. Lync Server supports IP, USB, and analog devices.


Enhanced 9-1-1 is currently supported only in the United States.

Types of UC Phones

Lync Server supports three types of phones:

  • Desk phones are handset IP, or USB devices that are designed to be used by employees at their desk. Desk phones are also known as information worker or knowledge worker phones.

  • Conferencing devices are hands-free IP or USB phones that are designed to be used in meeting rooms.

  • Common area phones are handset IP phones that are designed to be used in shared areas—such as lobbies, kitchens, factory floors, and shared workspaces—and that can be customized to provide different sets of Lync Server features.

For details about all three phone types, see Choosing New Devices.


Support for the IP conferencing device, and common area phones is new for this release. There is also a newly released IP desk phone. For details about all the new phones, see What's New for Devices.

Tools for Managing Devices

When you manage devices with Lync Server, your primary tools are the following:

  • Lync Server Control Panel, the new web-based user interface (UI) for Lync Server features. For devices, use Lync Server Control Panel to manage the Device Update Web service (that is, to deploy new versions of software to IP phones), and modify phone-related settings and policies.

  • Lync Server Management Shell, the command-line tools for Lync Server features. For devices, use the Lync Server Management Shell to prepare to deploy UC phones and to manage them.

  • IP Phone Inventory Report, for monitoring IP phones. Use this tool to monitor usage and to generate usage and inventory reports for the IP phones in your organization. For details, see IP Phone Inventory Report in the Operations documentation.