Auto Provisioning: What is it and how does it work?

Before you can make a call with your new phone, your device needs to be activated with the phone company. That process of setting up active service is known as provisioning. 

Provisioning might not be a huge deal if you're setting up a single line.  However, things get complicated fast when you start getting into setting up a phone system for an entire organization. 

With auto provisioning from Telzio, what once took hours now takes clicks. 

Telzio actually makes it easy to deploy an entire enterprise-grade phone system, without any IT support or technical know-how. Setup and management of your account happens inside your web browser, just like any other subscription-based service. 

This article goes into auto provisioning and how it impacts management of business phone systems.

What we'll cover: 

  • What is auto provisioning? 
  • How does auto provisioning work? 
  • Benefits of auto provisioning 
  • FAQs about auto provisioning
  • IP phone setup guides

What is auto provisioning? 

Auto provisioning enables users to activate phone service through a web interface without having to enter any configuration settings. The phone service provider automatically deploys the required settings to register the phone. The process of setting up office phones is simplified to one-click provisioning and makes deployment and ongoing management of phones fast and convenient. 


How does auto provisioning work? 

With auto provisioning from Telzio, you can remotely set up phones across multiple locations in bulk, and manage them via an intuitive cloud phone services platform

You enter the MAC address of the device, and Telzio automatically completes the SIP settings and registration.

All the user has to do is plug in the phone to start calling. 

From the Telzio Dashboard, administrators can assign users to devices and manage other settings, including: 

  • SIP transport,
  • SIP port,
  • softkeys,
  • line keys,
  • BLF, and
  • MWI.

Auto Provisioning on the Telzio Dashboard

(We define these settings below.)


Benefits of Auto Provisioning

For a business, auto provisioning equates to significant cost savings and increased flexibility

Traditional PBX systems still require a technician to come out and set up the infrastructure. For a company with more than 100 users and/or multiple locations, deploying and managing devices becomes a load of work. 

Auto provisioning eliminates deployment and management headaches, and enables administrators to configure and manage all devices remotely.  

What's more, Telzio enables you to group devices and apply universal settings, making it even easier to provision phones in bulk. 

The core selling point of an auto provisioned service is, well, it's automated

When you sign up for service, you don't need to wait for someone to come set up your desk phone. Plus, making changes to your system is as easy as changing your password on Netflix. 

All you need to get started is a computer and internet access, and just like that, you're in. 


Related: Beginner's Guide to Understanding IP Phones


FAQs about Auto Provisioning IP Phones

Here are answers to some FAQs about auto provisioning, and some of the key terms. 

How does auto provisioning benefit users? 

If a user changes their password, the phone will remain logged in. If an administrator wants to update a softkey on a user’s device, it can be done remotely through the UI. Auto provisioning reduces time spent on managing and troubleshooting devices. 

What are softkeys? 

Softkeys are the programmable buttons found along the display screen of IP phones, which provide users with quick access to functions like BLF, Transfer, Speed Dial, Page, and Intercom. 

What is a line key? 

A line key is a programmable button found on an IP phone that is typically configured to be used with an extension or direct phone line for incoming and outgoing calls. 

What is BLF? 

BLF, or busy lamp fields, are programmable buttons on IP phones that indicate whether other users are busy, typically with a flashing red light indicator. 

What is MWI? 

MWI (Message Waiting Indicator), or voicemail indicator, displays a blinking red light on your phone when there’s a new voicemail. 

Softkeys, line keys, BLF, and MWI are all settings that can be quickly modified via the Telzio Dashboard. 

What is a MAC address? 

A MAC address, or media access control address, is a unique identifier that every IP phone has, typically containing a string of numbers and letters. In addition to the username, all you need is the MAC address to register an IP phone with Telzio. 

What is SIP transport? 

SIP Transport is the method used for signaling between your IP phones and Telzio’s auto provisioning servers. The three SIP Transport methods are: 

  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), 
  • UDP (User Datagram Protocol), and 
  • TLS (Transport Layer Security). 

While UDP typically works for most networks, Telzio enables you to easily change the SIP Transport to work with your network architecture.

What is SIP port? 

SIP Port is the port used for signaling between your IP phones and Telzio’s servers. The two available ports for SIP are 5060 and 6050. 

Port 5060 is the standard for SIP, which all IP phones use by default. 

With Telzio’s auto provisioning software, you can easily switch to port 6050, if port 5060 is being blocked by the network’s firewall.


Related: Why the Desk Phone is Alive and Well


IP Phones & Setup Guides 

You can bring your own devices (BYOD) to use with Telzio, or you can order them from us ready-for-calling. When you purchase the phones from Telzio, everything is already preconfigured with your phone numbers and you can start calling right when you plug in the phone. 

With existing IP phones, all you need is the MAC address (located on the back of the phone), and Telzio automates the rest of the configuration profile. 

In addition, Telzio provides simple, step-by-step guides on how to set up IP phones from Yealink, Grandstream, Cisco, and Polycom.

Yealink Auto Provisioning 

Telzio supports auto provisioning for Yealink IP phones. Shop for the best IP phones from Yealink on the Telzio shop, and receive your phones pre-configured and ready for calling when they arrive at your door. 

Yealink Auto Provisioning Guide 

Grandstream Auto Provisioning 

Telzio supports automated configuration for Grandstream IP phones. Bring your existing Grandstream phones to use with Telzio, or order them new and ready-for-calling directly from us. 

Grandstream Auto Provisioning Guide

Cisco Auto Provisioning 

Telzio provides automated configuration for Cisco IP phones, also known as zero touch provisioning. Bring your existing Cisco phones to use with Telzio, or order them new and pre-configured directly from us. 

What is zero touch provisioning? 
Zero touch provisioning (ZTP) is the automated configuration of IP phones with a VoIP system. Also known as auto provisioning, zero touch provisioning is the term used by Cisco, Juniper Networks, and other equipment providers. 

Polycom Auto Provisioning 

Telzio supports automated configuration for Polycom IP phones. You can use your existing Polycom phones with Telzio, or order them new and pre-configured directly from us. 

Email sales@telzio.com for a custom quote on new IP phones. 


Related: What is the best VoIP phone for a small business?


Conclusion

If you’ve had doubts about upgrading your current phone system because of the costs and hassles of migration, auto provisioning is a meaningful reason to reconsider. 

Schedule a demo to learn more.

Thomas is part of the marketing team at Telzio and develops thought leadership content in the areas of cloud computing and unified communications. With an education in electrical engineering and background in software development, Thomas has a strong technical understanding pertaining to cloud networking technologies, trends, and practices.