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Automatic Provisioning in VoIP

Updated on July 26, 2011

Setting up VoIP Phones

VoIP phones are more like computers than regular phones. Sure, they have the same physical characteristics as PSTN lines, but they also sport an operating system, ethernet ports and their insides are very different too. Just like your computer can act like a "soft phone" by installing software and plugging in a microphone, phones with advanced features are becoming more and more computer like and are blurring the artificial distinction between a softphone and a real phone.

Like all computers, a VoIP phone has to be configured to work properly with your VoIP service. In addition, it also needs maintenance like software upgrades, and security configurations. This can be daunting for some consumers since there are several technical details which might be necessary for properly setting up the phone.

Businesses like things simple. They appreciate the ability to plug and play. Meaning you just need to connect a phone to the network and it's ready to go. No messy configurations and updates. In order to ease the transition from regular PSTN lines to VoIP, many manufacturers have tied up with ITSPs to implement what we call "automatic provisioning."

VoIP Automatic Provisioning
VoIP Automatic Provisioning

Automatic Provisioning

Automatic provisioning means that the phone has inbuilt commands to connect to the servers of the manufacturer and automatically obtain all the necessary information and software to connect to make VoIP calls using the particular service with which they have a tie up. This makes it very convenient for a company to utilize the VoIP services of an ITSP when the new phones are shipped.

When connected to the network, the VoIP phone will contact what is called a "boot server" which will outfit the phone with important security upgrades and the latest versions of the operating system without any intervention necessary from those who purchased the phone. This makes setting up these phones easy. Sometimes, the VoIP deal is concluded by the head office and all the branches need to get on board for which they're sent these phones to get them going. With automatic provisioning, the branches can simply receive the phones, plug them and get them up and running in no time.

This also serves to decrease the natural resistance of employees to a new system. Affordable business VoIP systems not only have better features such as flexible HD voice services, but can also help employees be more productive.

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