Softphone provisioning EPM


With all the remote working, I am looking at a softphone solution to enable remote workers to take and make calls off the system. After a bit of work with certificates (lets encrypt and port forwarding but that’s a different post), I have got WebRTC working but its very basic in terms of the interface, requires the user to always open the webpage and doesn’t seem 100% stable in my testing so far.

So I am now looking at softphones. I have used Bria and x-lite a few years ago and also have been using Jitsi sucessfully for my own use occasionally when away from my desk phone but as far as I can see, all of these require manual provisioning. I would like to roll this out to maybe 50 or more staff (i have about 130 extensions on the system) and I don’t want to remote on to every one of those machines to enter the SIP server, extension number and secret etc.

I have the commercial EPM which works great for Yealink desk phones I use so I was hoping perhaps it supported provisioning on a soft phone brand but it appears not. Am I missing something? Anyone else provisioned a number of soft phone clients automatically before?

Before anyone suggests Zulu, I have considered that before but I can’t justify the cost as I don’t need half of the features it offers. We are using MS Teams for most of that and I won’t install it on mobiles as the system is only accessible via VPN.

I feel like the Web phone should do what I want but it just isn’t enough. Perhaps its so basic to force people towards Zulu instead which I can understand from a marketing viewpoint but its no good for my current requirements.

Look at Bria Teams

In addition to @PitzKey 's suggestion, there are lots of options:

  1. No VoIP phone. Forward calls to their mobile or landline. For outgoing, set up DISA. If they make many calls, they can use a ‘calling card’ app to automate DISA access.

  2. The phones they are used to – used Yealinks are $10 to $20 on eBay, depending on model. If the PC is connected via Ethernet, daisy-chain through the phone. If the PC is on Wi-Fi, set up ICS and connect its Ethernet jack to the phone. If the PC is Wi-Fi only and there is no Ethernet outlet nearby, a USB-to-Ethernet dongle, or choose another option.

  3. Any softphone or mobile app that has provisioning or backup/restore configuration function. Grandstream Wave may be a good choice if they need BLF keys.

Have them open a separate browser instance for it, so accidentally closing the one they are working in doesn’t close the webphone. They should only have to reopen it after a reboot, which might be needed every couple of weeks.

Thanks for your reply.

  1. I am already utilising forwarding the calls to their mobiles. The downside is that this costs us money for every incoming call and also ties up two trunks. I am rather nervous about using DISA due to the potential hacking potential there.
  2. Perhaps if WFH in the long term but this mainly for people who would usually be based in the office. Its a lot of potential issues for end users to be asked to setup that up.
  3. I wonder if I can script the configuration / backup to auto install then. I was hoping to use EPM but that seems like it isnt possible.

A separate browser might help but most use chrome for day to day work and the other alternative is edge which doesnt support webRTC. It also seems to time out daily. I have been using it and have to refresh the UCP page daily or the phone has disconnected.

I have prepared basic provisioning example for tSIP -, but the hard part might be actually deciding how to identify hosts/users. If you do not intend to update configuration periodically, then I’m not sure if provisioning would mean less work than e.g. sending zipped preconfigured portable softphone to user.

If you are using shared folders / mapped network drives then one solution might be preparing folders with ready to run / preconfigured softphone copy for each user. At least at my workplace we have “personal” and shared folders on mapped drive. With this kind of setup you are not even tied to particular softphone - you can even provide more than one softphone for each user to choose from.

Looks good but same thing as Zulu really. There is a lot of cross over functionality that I already have in Teams. In an ideal world, I would connect FreePBX to Skype / teams and just use that as the end point. But it doesn’t appear that is currently supported or even possible.

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