Quick Tip: Polycom VVX Phones & SLA

So if you have been following my blog you know that I’m a huge fan of Shared Line Appearance (SLA) that was added to Skype for Business and later brought back to Lync 2013.  We use it so much, that almost every Response Group deployed is gone.  In some cases, we use RGS simply for time of day routing and then send it to an SLA, but regardless never using the actual RGS queuing process.

However, today we ran into a very odd issue.  We had a client whose phones would not answer an SLA call when you lifted the handset.  You had to physically push the button (on the VVX 3xx and 4xx) or jump through some serious hoops on the VVX 5xx and 6xx devices to answer the call.  The phone would pretend that you wanted to make a new call.

After looking at server logs and all sorts of random things we went back to the phones.

For some reason (someone from Polycom will need to explain why) the phones come defaulted to SLA Ring Type of “Silent Ring”.  Now we remind clients all the time to make sure they set that (or use a provisioning server and set it) but sometimes phones get missed, or in our case, we did a factory reset to try to solve another issue.

If on the phones, you go to Settings | Basic | Ring Type | SLA Ring Type you will see this:


Here is the kicker, if you have this set to Silent Ring, when you lift the receiver the SLA call will not be answered, and you have to click the button.  If you have it set to anything other than Silent Ring then when you lift the handset, an SLA will be answered just like any other call on the planet.

Again, I don’t know if this is a design decision from Polycom, a mandate from Microsoft, but regardless it’s not intuitive and certainly wasn’t what we expected.

We tested this in all flavors of 5.4.3 and 5.4.4 software and it was there.  Maybe when 5.5.1 comes out with official SfB support I’ll update this if anything changes.  Or again, maybe people really wanted this feature, but haven’t figured out why yet.

5 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Polycom VVX Phones & SLA

  • August 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    It’s not just for SLA call. Delegates calls have the same behavior.
    I have asked to Polycom and they said “it’s by design”…For me it’s an error and we should have a settings for that “answer on silent ring yes/no”

    • August 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Yeah, I opened a ticket for it and then it got closed immediately. So I couldn’t even get a bad “it’s by design” answer. 🙁

  • August 28, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Hey Richard, I’ll pick this up and look into it.

  • August 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Richard, this might be similar? We found an issue due to misconfiguration. The caller was configured as Boss on the phones where we were noticing an issue.

    In this scenario, the phone is detecting that the call is from Boss and plays the configured ring tone for that Boss.

    When we did a reset to factory and run the scenario, we see that the call was using Silent Ring as expected, but when we configure the caller as a Boss (though this is not the case with SLA), we see a different ring tone being played.
    The previous configuration is not cleared which was causing the issue. If the phone was with valid configuration we wouldn’t have seen this issue.

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