How to Make a Tandberg call the Polycom IP##extension Format

Dialing drives me crazy! I’ve said that before. I’ve noticed that it’s the Read Around the Planet test calls time of year when I get the most frustrated about it. So, it’s a breath of fresh air to figure out another piece of the dialing puzzle.

Here’s what I learned that is helping me so far.

I have a Tandberg MCU, and haven’t been able to get it to dial any Polycom IP## formats. But here’s what I learned that works:

Polycom Endpoints

If the IP## format is an endpoint that is behind the Polycom firewall traversal unit (used to be called V2IU and is now called a VBP: Video Border Proxy), then you can use this format:

  • alias@IP

Polycom Bridges: MGC / RMX

If the Polycom bridge is registered to a gatekeeper (i.e. CMA or an older gatekeeper), then you dial:

  • alias@ the IP of the gatekeeper (NOT the bridge!)

If the Polycom bridge isn’t installed with a gatekeeper, then you can only dial in and use the DTMF tones (if the MCU has the entry queue set to default).

What I Still Don’t Know

  • I’m still not sure if the Tandberg endpoints can do this. If anyone knows, please comment and enlighten us all!

Please comment

This dialing mess is something we all have to deal with. If you have additional information, please comment. Be sure to read the comments on this post also to get any updated new information.

About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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9 Responses to How to Make a Tandberg call the Polycom IP##extension Format

  1. Lori Colwill says:

    You can dial the alias@IP with a Tandberg endpoint. To get the @ with a remote, you press and hold # to activiate abc mode on the remote, then press 1. (Tandberg has actually added that to the newest remotes.) However, after adding the @ you then have to go back to the abc mode to add all the “dots” which makes dialing it with the remote VERY cumbersome. It is much easier to do with the web interface if you have access to that.

    In addition, you are not able to dial that format with TMS vs 12.2 or earlier. It strips the IP and leaves just the alias. I don’t know if they have fixed this in later releases or not.

    I was recently told by Shane Howard, aka Super Bridge Dude, how to dial an alias with a Codian bridge so I thought I would add that as well. You have to add the IP as a Gateway. Then in your conference you can add the alias and choose the correct Gateway. This so far has worked pretty well for me.

    Well I hope that helps some people. I share your frustration with all the different ways to dial.

  2. Janie says:

    So glad I am not at your end of the work… But I love the learning curve, with your help.

  3. Paul E. Garstki says:

    The ‘##’ and ‘@’ are TCS4 delimiters, which were originally designed for dialing extensions on ISDN (H.320) systems. They vary by manufacturer, and I’ve listed some below. As far as I know, Tandberg is the only one that uses the inverted format, ostensibly to keep it compatible with URL-style dialing.

    I’ve noticed that many support personnel don’t even know what TCS4 delimiters are, or that their systems support them.

    There is a further problem that not all gatekeepers parse these delimiters properly for outbound calls. We have an issue where our Radvision ECS (ver 7.0) recognizes the delimeters from HDX series POlycoms but not from VSX series.

    You are right: network-to-network dialing is a nightmare, and manufacturers are very slow to recognize it as an issue.

    Manufacturer = TCS4 Delimiter
    Polycom = ##
    LifeSize = ##
    Tandberg = @ (and invert) ; * on old systems
    Sony = #
    Codian = !

    (PS – I haven’t tested all of the above – just passing on info I gleaned somewhere…)

    • Paul E. Garstki says:

      A little correction to what I wrote above:

      It’s probably not exactly right to say that the GK isn’t parsing the dialing string correctly — when I look at the packets from some endpoints, it looks more like the endpoint isn’t parsing the string properly before sending it to the GK.

  4. Vince says:

    I know it’s an old thread but like the rest of us I have to deal with dialing issues every day…

    Paul, to clear the mystery, for endpoints not parsing correctly does it have to do with wether they are reg’d to a gk or not?

  5. Matt says:

    Hi everyone,

    QUESTION!! Anyone? Anyone?

    I have a conference coming up. I’m a basic video conference user..as in, it’s installed in our office and I dial the IP address and it usually just works.

    For the conference I have coming up, we are bringing our Tandberg system to the hotel to hookup and conference with 3 other sites.

    The 3 other sites will have either Tandberg systems or Polycom..we don’t know yet.

    My concerns:

    Hotel internet. They’ve assured us that we have our own dedicated line..but still a concern.

    Connecting to a Polycom system. How can I dial a polycom unit? I assumed it would be the same.

    Please give me some tips!

    • Janine Lim says:

      Test dialing to the other sites BEFORE you go to the hotel so you know how you’ll be dialing.

      Hotel internet is likely to be an issue. Not just the bandwidth, but working through the firewall. You should take a network person along with you to assist.

      Good luck!

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