I see phones. They see

Phones. We see phones. UC phone

Configuration.

 

When he was a young boy growing up in the wilds of eastern Washington, one of the authors had a dream: a dream to someday grow up and become a haiku writer. Audacious and presumptuous? Perhaps, especially in the conservative, somewhat-primitive part of the world in which he lived. (For many years, his hometown didn't even have a Pizza Hut!) To make matters even worse, he received little encouragement in pursuing this dream. For example, in junior high school his English class had to write a paper on "What I Hope to Accomplish With My Life." Our budding young author turned in the following essay:

 

"Someday I intend to write a haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets."

 

As you might have already guessed, this did not go over well with his conservative, somewhat-primitive junior high English teacher, Mr. Myer:

 

"A haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets?" he scribbled on the essay, which was returned stamped with a big red F. "Matsu Bashō was the 17th century's greatest haiku writer; he never wrote a haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets!  Yosa Buson, the master of the haikai, never wrote a haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets! What makes you think you can write a haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets when the immortal Masaoka Shiki never even thought about attempting such a feat?!? Get your head out of the clouds and pick a goal you can obtain, like writing an opera about New-CsSipResponseCodeTranslationRule."

 

Strong words, words that strung. Despite all that, however, our young hero would not be deterred, and today, some 87 years after he graduated from junior high, he's done the unimaginable: he's written a haiku about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets. Take that, Mr. Myer. Take that.

 

Needless to say, that story isn't even close to being true. (Well, except for the part about Pizza Hut taking forever before opening a franchise in Kennewick, WA.) However, the lesson embedded in that story is true; we just can't figure out what that lesson actually is. Therefore, we'll spend the rest of today's article talking about the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets (Get-CsUCPhoneConfiguration, New-CsUCPhoneConfiguration, Remove-CsUCPhoneConfiguration, and Set-CsUCPhoneConfiguration). These cmdlets really are useful, so useful that someone should write a haiku about them.

 

By which we mean someone who actually knows how to write haikus.

 

As the name implies, the CsUCPhoneConfiguration phones allow you to manage UC (unified communications) phones: phones running Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition. What's there to manage with UC phones, you ask? Aren't phones just phones?

 

Well, yes and no. It's true that, in the past, organizations haven't done much to manage phones; that was due in large part to the fact that there wasn't much you could actually do in the way of phone management. Old-fashioned PSTN phones pretty much are just phones; for example, anyone who walks into your office or cubicle can just pick up your phone and use it.  That's not necessarily true for UC phones, however.  For example, with a UC phone, you can set things up so that the phone automatically locks after a specified period of inactivity; to use the phone you'll then have to log on with a valid user account and password. That helps prevent people from sneaking into your office and making unauthorized calls on your phone.

 

Cool, huh? Except, of course, for one thing: how do you actually set up something like that?

 

Well, one easy way is to use the Set-CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlet. For example, this command configures the global UC phone settings to lock phones after 30 minutes of inactivity:

 

Set-CsUCPhoneConfiguration -Identity global –EnforcePhoneLock $True –PhoneLockoutTime 00:30:00

 

That's all you have to do. In addition to enabling and disabling phone locking, the CsUCPhoneConfiguration cmdlets also let you do such things as specify the SIP security mode for your UC phones and configure how often the phone synchs with your Microsoft Outlook Calendar. On top of that, UC phone settings can be configured at the site scope as well as the global scope; that enables you to provide different capabilities to different groups of users.

 

Very cool.

 

And to think Mr. Myer once sniffed, "Mark my word: no company will ever be able to write a Windows PowerShell cmdlet that can set the Voice8021p priority for a unified communications phone." Well, take that, Mr. Myer. Take that.