My question here is related to how a new phone/device makes it into EPM.
As an example, we have long had many Cisco phones support, but nothing new has been added for a long time.
Grandstream being another where we had a lot of phones supported, but there are newer models which have yet to show up.
Now I understand that part of our cost of having EPM licenses goes towards the enormous part of setting up and testing the templates for each of the devices from the different supported brands, but I haven’t seen what I consider popular phone models get updated in EPM.
I also know that FreePBX want us to renew these licenses annually to continue to get support, but I feel like we’re not getting new devices added regularly.
If someone can elaborate on what should be expected that would be great!
In the meantime I’m debating getting a client GRP series phones from Grandstream because they aren’t technically supported, and I’m guessing it’s closed off if I tried to figure out how to add it in and tweak the templates for the device.
Unless Sangoma is going to get serious about talking to manufacturers, EPM is going to be nothing but a cesspool of dead old gear.
If not, this needs rethought. Adding models under “Brand-Unsupported use at your own risk” or something is needed. Even the more supported brands, such as Yealink, have models that never made it in because of the long time between “talks with the manufacturer” and all that.
What would be the alternative? I don’t use EPM and I consider myself very familiar with the config files of multiple manufacturers, but if I were Sangoma I wouldn’t just start adding templates and phones into the module without signing off with the manufacturer. Then they would be responsible for fixing it (more than they are now) when there are, inevitably, issues.
They would likely have to make it not a commercial module, which of course they won’t do.
I will probably get boo’ed for being a Sangoma shill. That said, this is their forum, so…
Those phones look just like the Sangoma S series. Why not consider the phones that are made specifically for FreePBX/PBXact and definitely work with EPM–without having to also pay for EPM (it provisions Sangoma phones for free). They also have integrated apps that you can’t get with GS phones.
If you want 3rd party phones that are well supported by EPM, and cheap, my pick would be Yealink.
Adding use at your own risk does not mean it cannot be commercial, because it is only adding a few bits of code for most to generate a basic file. Manufactures do not normally make huge changes to the base of their devices.
I gave one.
I only use EPM on systems I am handing off to a customer if they decide that is what they want after I describe their options. For systems I manage directly, I use a git repo and hand code it all from a few basic templates made as new models are purchased.
Mark it in big red letters. if someone opens a ticket, it is a billable ticket. simple as that. I hope they have support credit.
If we are saying as someone mentioned, that Sangoma has to reach out to the manufacturer, I can see where that doesn’t work. Yes it would make it easier for everyone to say go to FreePBX, no brainer easy config for the devices and they support device X, this puts more people on FreePBX, sells more EPM and maybe other modules and increases user base. ( not a bad concept ).
If the manufacture has to reach out, what are their cost if any?
Is it just send some phones and write a nice letter saying “please add our device”?
I just want to understand the process and see the commitment and requirement from any side.
Again, every time I setup a PBX, I buy EPM, but it doesn’t have up to date devices on some of the major brands that its already supporting for older devices.
Should that not be getting updated by someone? if not then who is responsible.
We have existing relationships with many manufacturers, but we don’t spend our days monitoring new product offerings and cold calling manufacturers for details. We do reach out periodically and find out if they are interested in pursuing certification for anything new. We also encourage manufacturers to contact us if they are interested in certification, they can contact me or @mwhite to kick off the process. There is obviously a financial and hardware cost involved and it generally only partially offsets dev and support cycles.
Some manufactures refuse to participate, or do so half-heartedly such that that we’re left waiting calendar years for a commitment, which is one reason you’ll see advice here in the forum to say ‘contact the manufacturer’ when requesting new device certifications.
Thanks for the response!
This is understandable.
Can you share the fee amount you charge for the manufacturer?
I know lets say Microsoft and other manufacturers in the past can have some pretty high numbers, so it may be $10K/20K to add a device and I can see where that would discourage these manufacturers.
This probably doesn’t make sense to disclose and may even vary based on the manufacturer.
Not without violating the license agreement. Also any efforts made would likely be wiped out on module update
A little inside baseball:
The endpoint manager as designed takes a bit of effort to maintain. Jason Parker use to do this as one of his primary roles. After recent staffing shifts I don’t know who is doing it now. To add and test any given device requires a non-trivial amount of engineering time. It also requires someone who knows that code because it isn’t super straight forward.
In any case with new adventures we put a lot of focus in to learning from the past. A perk of building things from the ground up is you get to ask where you fell on your face in the past. A primary focus for said task was to make adding devices easy enough that it didn’t require a heap of engineering time or necessarily an engineer at all. For an endpoint management solution to be useful it sort of needs to be easily maintained or find a lot of cash to maintain it.
The disclose aspect makes sense, just trying to see if it’s a number that a manufacturer would consider unreasonable like lets say $10K per device.
Having a general idea helps me to consider calling our Sales rep at lets say GrandStream and pushing some buttons, which may or may not make a difference.
In respect to the violation, not looking to do that.
I was involved a little when I had a big project back in the OSS days, and paid to get the SPA504/514/525 added. That was when Andrew wasn’t a FreePBX team member… ( wow that was a long time ago ).
Just trying to accomplish 2 things.
Set an expectation that when I renew a license for each of my clients PBX’s that there will actually be value.
See how I can get newer common phones added.
For reference someone mentioned use Sangoma phones and don’t buy EPM and I have used S705’s but wasn’t pleased with how they worked compared to others. Although there were a few nice features.