Looking for Advice on Endpoint Management with Polycom Phones

We are in the process of implementing FreePBX Distro using FreePBX with about 60 Polycom Soundpoint IP 335 phones. All phones are local on a single domain network. The Polycom instruction provide the ‘how to’ on provisioning with a generic FTP server and that’s what we did. More specifically we set up a small Ubuntu server to do that job and it does it well. Everything is going great so far and we’ve got everything set up the way we want.

Having said all that and being new to FreePBX I only now found out that there is an endpoint package already built in to FreePBX Distro (both a free version and a full paid version from what I understand) and was wondering what the advantages of switching to either of those packages for provisioning would be. Is there a major difference between the free package and the paid end point management package? What is your experience with these packages?

Thanks for the feedback and advice!

The free end point manager is not a crippled version of the paid end point manager. They only share a name related to their intended task.

My philosophy is if it works “KEEP YOUR STICKY FINGERS OFF”.

Where this is good is if you don’t plan on having any changes… ever…
Where this may not work is if you need to make a small change to all the phones. You could do a sed on the files or use some other automated method to update em. The end point managers give you a nice interface to manage everything rather than a bunch of files in a folder.

At a very minimum you can run the FTP server on the same box as FreePBX.

For me the choice of the Commercial End Point manager is an easy one. Since the Open Source version is not part of the core FreePBX project there is no guarantee that it will be compatible with future versions of FreePBX. The commercial EPM is a safe business bet. The commercial EPM also has more phone models and a team that tests phone firmware.

The cost is also insignificant. In my opinion Sysadmin Pro and the EPM are must have purchases for any deployment. It also helps the company the sponsors the project.