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.
Sometimes its the little things that make life a lot easier. I just found that the latest beta of m0n0wall (v1.3b13) more properly supports the “Next Server” (aka Option 66) feature in the DHCP server. This is really handy for provisioning IP phones.