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Instant Deployment of VoIP Phones (No Waiting!)
Posted on: 2018-09-04 | Categories: VoIP Services
Consumers and businesses alike have switched to VoIP in droves. For the vast majority of users, the initial attraction was the price. The technology enabled providers to offer extremely low prices for long-distance calls and made local calls free. From an enterprise perspective, any calls between employees within the organization were free irrespective of location. This feature alone would result in substantial cost savings each month. It’s not surprising that VoIP systems are well on their way to replacing older PBX tools completely. But that’s not all. The deployment of VoIP phones is different as well!
VoIP technology helps businesses save another precious resource – time. For many organizations, more efficient processes are worth their weight in gold. Setting up and deploying VoIP systems within an enterprise context is much faster than legacy hardware. If a small and medium business wants to opt for hosted VoIP services, they can be up and running within a few hours! As long as you have a high-speed Internet connection and robust network infrastructure, getting started with VoIP takes no time at all.
Playing the Waiting Game with Phones
Although deploying VoIP services is pretty quick, deploying the actual phones within an enterprise used to take a long time. That’s because engineers had to manually provision each device one at a time. You had to navigate to the phones IP address through the web interface and configure the settings. A technician or administrator would have to provision each device through a long process and even devices from the same manufacturer could have different provisioning requirements. It was common for a small business to take two or three days just to provision all the phones within the office.
Not only did this make initial VoIP deployment longer but it also added to the complexity of the system as a whole. Every time you wanted to move a phone, add a new device or remove an existing one from the network, you had to repeat the whole process once again. And this doesn’t even account for the time lost due to errors in the provisioning process, mistakes in data entry, forgotten passwords etc. the complicated provisioning process also made it difficult to isolate and diagnose device problems.
Instant Deployment with Automatic Provisioning
Thankfully, device manufacturers have responded to the challenges posed by manual provisioning of phones. Today’s SIP phones have come a long way since the early days of VoIP deployment. Today, an organization can deploy hundreds of phones in a handful of hours thanks to a feature called automatic provisioning. Auto provisioning automates the process of manual configuration, eliminating the need for technicians going around to each desk.
Auto provisioning streamlines the process of deploying phones. You no longer need technicians or entire teams to provision phones on a per device basis. Your employees don’t have to wait until it’s their turn. With automatic provisioning, most SIP compatible phones essentially become plug-and-play. An administrator can provision all phones within the office remotely as long as they use a secure Internet connection. The service provider doesn’t have to send someone over to your office to configure VoIP phones.
How Does Instant Deployment Work?
As the name suggests, auto provisioning eliminates the need for manual data entry and physical contact with the device. As long as you know the MAC address of a phone, you can set it up remotely. Once a phone is plugged into the network, it automatically searches for the provisioning server. After the initial contact is made, the device can download the correct configuration settings by itself.
Auto provisioning can be customized to groups of devices as well. This means you can change settings for particular devices within the group, update passwords, and make other changes through the web interface. This feature comes in handy when you want to switch providers as well. You don’t have to manually reconfigure every device on your network. You can simply update the provisioning server and point the phones to the new location.
Not all VoIP phones come with the auto provisioning feature, although the industry is slowly getting there. You need compatible hardware and your service providers should also enable the feature at their end. Note that all models from the same company may not support auto provision. If you’re not sure about which phones to purchase, you can always ask your vendor about particular models that are compatible with their service.
Automatic provisioning saves time for both service providers and their clients. You don’t have to wait until an administrator or engineer can provision the hundreds of phones in your office. For a vendor that deploys multiple a week, auto provisioning can save hundreds of hours when onboarding so many phones at once. This feature is yet another example of the innovation that has characterized the VoIP industry since it first arrived on the scene. So why wait? Get started with VoIP instantly!