It’s been a while since I paid any attention to OnSIP. Since they are my primary ITSP this very fact is probably “a good thing.” It means that we haven’t had any issues. However, they have been making a few changes in their service. These changes bear closer examination.
As someone who administers a small fleet of Polycom phones scattered around the US and UK I’m all too familiar with the intricacies of their central provisioning methodology. It’s not especially difficult, but it can be difficult to justify setting up a provisioning server for just a few phones, as you typically find in a home office.
Many of the VUC regulars have experience in this area so the details of provisioning have been the topic of VUC discussions a couple of times.
Michael Stanford of WiRevolution recently posted a nice series he calls The HD Voice Cookbook. It’s essentially a guide to provisioning Polycom phones, in has case a Soundpoint IP650 he installed in his own quest for wideband capability in his home office. It’s a good reference for anyone facing this task for ths first time.
A short while ago VUCs Randulo tweeted that he had recently updated the firmware on his Polycom phones. He said that he did this using a local provisioning server setup temporarily just for the task. If you’re using a hosted IP-PBX then you may not have a suitable server running 24/7/365.
If you don’t run a provisioning server all the time then booting the phones can take a lot longer. On boot-up the phones simply fail to contact the provisioning server and eventually boot using their existing internal settings. But this means waiting through a series of time-outs, which is the principle source of delay.
As of firmware v1.19 beta (and onward) you can upload the contact directory to the snom m3 cordless SIP/DECT phones using the web GUI. The process requires a comma delimited text file (.csv) where each field is enclosed in quotes. For example;
Today I took a few minutes to load the beta of v1.19 into my snom m3 SIP/DECT system. Happily, the phone loaded the firmware without issue and seems to be running well. I found the menu setting where it provides for uploading the contact list from a csv file. However, not knowing exactly what that csv file should look like I’ve sent an email to Tim at snom for guidance. This certainly looks promising.
Another thing that I see in snom’s wiki is that the phone has comprehensive support for provisioning from a central file server over http or tftp. Further, the configuration files can be encrypted for enhanced security. This is a very nice move. It takes the m3 into the same realm as SIP phones from enterprise vendors.