The Polycom internal directory does not get populated by Switchvox. I can go to the Switchvox application (Menu->Applications->Apps), but that interface is painful on a 331. Maybe the microbrowser works better on other (better) Polycom phones, but it's basically worthless for my setup. Is there any way to get the Polycom's phone directory to load from Switchvox?
We've been reselling and utilizing Switchvox and Polycoms for four+ years and yes, the IP 331's directory application is, well, unfortunately very difficult to use. The 650/670's is better, but still not great. This doesn't really answer your question, but the built-in directory application on the Digium phones is STELLAR and well worth the price (plus no feature pack cost!).
So, with all that said, most of the customer's that we've sold the Polycom IP series phones to, we recommend and heavily push use of the Web User Portal because the Switchboard's built-in directory is really easy to use. Plus, the added benefits of getting user's comfy with the Web User Panel and the Switchboard does come in handy.
These phones come with a pop-on key to change 'Line 2' to 'Messages', and that's exactly what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the phone feature packs don't allow this to be configured and the Polycom web interface only allows you to set up the line 2 key as a secondary SIP account. I can manually add an internal directory entry for Voicemail (4899 in my case), and that automatically gets assigned (since it's the first speeddial) to the Line 2 key. PERFECT! ...except, there are two problems with this.
The way that I would accomplish this for Polycom's is as follows.
Option 1: From the admin / manage extensions tab - you can "Log in as User" for each extension and add a "Phonebook Entry" for your voicemail extension for each user. If the user creates their own phonebook entries, the could in theory bump the voicemail 'buttons' spot - but Lin e2 will always take Phonebook Entry one's.
Lastly, having been a partner of Digium's for 4+ years, their tech support has slipped a bit recently. They used to be stellar and they still are pretty good for most tasks, but I would agree with your assessment that their overall "attitude and aptitude" these days leaves quite a bit to be desired. That being said, Digium places a very high premium onto their resellers/partners to take care of the "minutia" and with Silver support - the partner is supposed to run with most of the diagnostic and day-to-day issues. We've been told multiple times by higher ups at Digium that customer support is a high priority for them and that they are working very hard to correct the issues at hand.
Knowing the company quite well, I believe this. That being said, since they've just released both (a) major revisions to their software (in the form of 5.x and then 5.5.x software releases) AND new hardware/phones, I think it will be a while until the "dust settles". The new Digium phones are really great and the upgrades to the back end of the system are great too. I think once all of their newbies get up to speed and they shake some of their implementation blues out, we'll see Digium's support line reign supreme again.