Provisioning is a process that configures a SIP phone to work with an IP PBX system. It provides the user with all associated telephony services and allows the server to recognize the user's phone.
There are two kinds of provisioning methods – Manual and Automatic.
With manual provisioning the IT administrator has to configure phones one by one from the phone's menus, the phone's web interface, or a combination of the two. It requires him to note each phone's MAC address and register it with the server. The process can be very time consuming when dealing with a large amount of phones.
Automatic provisioning is a software application (usually incorporated into the phone's web interface) that lets the administrator input just a few required settings and does the rest automatically, including collecting and registering the required MAC addresses of phones from the local network.
Not only automatic provisioning is more convenient but, on most models, it also allows bulk provisioning of multiple phones, making for a tremendous saving in deployment time and effort.
Manual provisioning still has its usefulness at times when the local network has some restrictions or when a phone has to be setup for an office in an external location.
From an administrator's perspective the importance of provisioning process entails setting up the provider's server address (Telebroad in our case).
From the user's perspective the importance of the process is that his phone get set up with his extension, configured to the phone's memory. That means that the user can freely move the phone and connect it to any IP port in the office.
For more information please follow these articles for details about provisioning Telebroad's major supported phone brands – Poly and Yealink. We are no longer supporting Cisco phones, but you can still find provisioning information here.