Configuring and Managing IP Phones and Endpoints
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Configuring and Managing IP Phones and Endpoints

Configuring & Managing IP Phones

On this topic

Configuring & Managing IP Phones

Introduction

Phone Provisioning

What is Phone Provisioning?

How does Phone Provisioning work?

Provisioning using Plug and Play

Provisioning the URL via Option DHCP 66

Provisioning the Phone by Entering the URL in the Web Interface

Provisioning Fanvil, Htek, snom and Yealink IP Phones using Plug and Play

Provisioning Cisco, Polycom & Remote Phones ( DHCP & Manual)

Step 1 – Enter the IP Phone MAC Address

Step 2 – Configure the Phone to Retrieve the Configuration File

Managing Your IP Phones

Changing Settings and Re-Provisioning the Phones

Updating the Firmware on Your Phones

Remote Extensions

See Also

Introduction

Once 3CX Phone System is installed, you can configure your IP phones and assign an extension to each phone. In order to do this, you must provision the IP phones. Although phones can be configured one by one manually using their web interface, this is impractical as it leads to many errors and deployment time is increased drastically. Furthermore, ongoing management of the IP phones is almost impossible. Supported IP phones can be provisioned automatically, providing ease of deployment AND ongoing management.

Phone Provisioning

What is Phone Provisioning?

Phone provisioning is the process of automatically configuring the IP phone for use with an IP PBX. Once you provision a phone, the phone will automatically configure itself correctly and you will be able to manage the phones centrally and remotely and without having to login to the phones’ web interface  one by one. Phone provisioning greatly eases day to day management of IP phones. It makes it easy to change extension passwords, BLF lights and so on because you can do it centrally for all phones from the 3CX Management Console and then push the changes to the phone.

How does Phone Provisioning work?

The process of provisioning a phone with 3CX Phone System is easy:

  1. To provision a phone, you will need to ensure it can retrieve its configuration from 3CX Phone System using the Provisioning URL. The provisioning URL is a resolvable FQDN with a customized parameter at the end, unique to your 3CX Phone System installation for security purposes.
  2. The provisioning URL can be entered into the phone in any of the following 3 ways:
  • Automatically using Plug n Play,
  • OR Using DHCP option 66,
  • OR by entering it in the phones web interface.
  1. After you do this, the phone will automatically restart.
  2. The phone will retrieve the configuration settings and will be completely manageable from within the 3CX Management Console.

Spend the extra half an hour to provision the phones and save countless hours going forward!

Provisioning using Plug and Play

In this method:

  1. Plug the phone into the network.
  2. The phone will send a multicast message across the LAN.
  3. This will be picked up by 3CX Phone System providing it is on the same LAN.
  4. The phone will appear in the “Phones” page. Now you can assign an existing extension to the phone or create a new extension.
  5. The phone will be sent a provisioning URL.
  6. The IP phone will restart and be manageable from within the 3CX Management Console.

Requirements: For this method the requirements are that the IP phone must be a preferred phone, as the IP phone vendor must have implemented the Plug and Play functionality. For a list of preferred phones refer to our Supported Phones page. Also, the IP phone must be located on the same LAN as a multicast message will not traverse firewalls.

Provisioning the URL via Option DHCP 66

In this method:

  1. Note down the MAC address of the phone. This is usually written on the back of the phone. You can also use a bar code scanner to read it from the label.
  2. Create or edit an extension and enter this MAC address into the “Extensions” > “Phone Provisioning” tab.
  3. Obtain the provisioning URL for 3CX Phone System. It is displayed in the Quick Start page, and in the “Settings” > “Phone Provisioning” page. It consists of the FQDN of your 3CX Phone System machine and an additional string for security purposes. Click on the link to make sure it resolves!
  4. Now configure the provisioning URL in your DHCP server using option 66. See an example how to do this for the Microsoft Windows DHCP Server
  5. The phone will now retrieve the URL from the DHCP server at startup.

For larger numbers of phones this is the recommended method as changes to FQDN or webserver ports can be done at DHCP level and all phones can take the new configuration after reboot.

Provisioning the Phone by Entering the URL in the Web Interface

In this method:

  1. Note down the MAC address of the phone. This is usually written on the back of the phone. You can also use a bar code scanner to read it from the label.
  2. Create or edit an extension and enter this MAC address into the Phone Provisioning tab.
  3. Obtain the provisioning URL for your 3CX Phone System. It is displayed in the Quick start page, and in the “Extension” > “Phone Provisioning” page. It consists of the FQDN of your 3CX Phone System machine and an additional string for security purposes. Click on the link to make sure it resolves.
  4. Now login to the phone’s Web Interface and enter the provisioning URL. This is a one-time operation provided your FQDN or HTTPS port does not change.

This method is recommended for a smaller number of phones, for remote networks, and if your DHCP server does not support option 66.

Provisioning Fanvil, Htek, snom and Yealink IP Phones using Plug and Play

To auto provision phones using Plug and Play:

  1. Connect the IP phone to the LAN. Ensure that the phone is on the same LAN (Multicast Domain) as 3CX Phone System.
  2. The phone will show up in the Phones” node in the 3CX Management Console as a new phone.
  3. Right-click on the phone’s entry and assign it to an existing extension or create a new one.
  4. You will then be taken to the extension’s provisioning tab where you can specify other configuration settings on the phone.
  5. The phone will be sent a link to the configuration file with the settings you specified. The phone will then restart, apply the settings and connect to 3CX Phone System. Some phones will ask for confirmation before restarting.

Provisioning Cisco, Polycom & Remote Phones ( DHCP & Manual)

Cisco and Polycom phones do not support plug and play and must be provisioned as described below. Remote phones can not be configured via Plug and Play as they will not receive the multicast message. In this case you must also use the method below.

Step 1 – Enter the IP Phone MAC Address

  1. From the Extensions” node in the 3CX Management Console, select the extension you want to provision, click Edit Extension” > then switch to the “Phone Provisioning” tab.
  2. Enter the MAC address of the phone (which can be found at the bottom of the phone) in the MAC address field.
  3. Select the appropriate phone model from the drop down menu of the Model list.
  4. Phone Web Page Password – This is auto generated by 3CX Phone System and is applied to your phone upon provisioning. If you want to log into your IP phone’s Web Interface then use the value in the “Password field” on the Web Interface login screen (Username is not changed in the Phone’s Web Interface, it remains as its default value -admin- even after provisioning). You may leave the Web Page Password as is or specify your own.
  5. Confirm the IP address which the phone should connect to (in case your phone system server has multiple network interfaces).
  6. In the “Select Provisioning Method” drop-down menu, select the appropriate provisioning method for the location of the phones. For phones located on the LAN, select “Local Lan (In the Office)”. If this is a remote phone, select either “Remote Extension (STUN)” or 3CX Session Border Controller depending on whether you are using the 3CX SBC or not. Learn more here.
  7. The codecs and codec priority will be automatically configured depending on the phone model selected.
  8. If your phone has BLF lights, you can automatically configure what information the BLF lights should display. Match a BLF button with an extension, so that this button will show the status of that extension. The number of available BLF buttons varies per phone.
  9. You can also link a shared parking place to a BLF button. This allows users to easily park or unpark calls by pressing the assigned BLF button. Speed dials and custom speed dials are also supported.
  10. Click “OK” to save. The provisioning files will now be created in the provisioning directory. Each time you make a change to the extension, these files will be re-created.

Step 2 – Configure the Phone to Retrieve the Configuration File

Now you need to instruct the phone to download its configuration from the provisioning directory on the 3CX Phone System server:

  1. Determine how to enter the Phone Provisioning URL in your phone. In some cases the URL must be modified somewhat. Follow the IP phone configuration guides in the Supported IP Phones page.
  2. Decide whether you will use option 66 and DHCP or whether you will configure the URL manually via the phones web interface.
  3. If using Option 66 in your DHCP Server, configure your DHCP server to provide the provisioning URL at startup. More information follow our guide on How to Auto-Provision IP Phones with the DHCP “Option 66
  4. If via the Phone’s Web Interface, follow the steps in the configuration guide for your phone.

Managing Your IP Phones

3CX Phone System provides an easy way to monitor and manage your phones throughout your network. The “Phones” node in the 3CX Management Console allows you to:

  • View all phones in the network.
  • Quickly view the IP and Mac address of each phone.
  • Check the firmware version that the phone is running.
  • Remotely reboot one or all of the phones.
  • Re-provision the phones (after you have made a change you can reboot the phones as changes take effect immediately).
  • Launch the admin interface of the phone.
  • Monitor security of extension password and PIN. Weak extension passwords and PINs are the most common cause of security breaches.

Changing Settings and Re-Provisioning the Phones

Changes made to the phone configuration from the General” tab of the “Extensions” node or within the Phone Provisioning” section of the “Settings” node, will take effect within 24 hours. You can re-provision the phones to force them to pick up the new configuration immediately. 

If you need to re-provision the phones, for example after you have made configuration changes:

  1. Select the Phones” node in the 3CX Management Console.
  2. Select the phones that you wish to re-provision.
  3. Click “Reprovision phones”.
  4. Select the phones again and select “Reboot” to restart the phones and activate the new provisioning information.

Updating the Firmware on Your Phones

It is possible to update the firmware of your Cisco, Fanvil, Htek, snom, and Yealink IP phones throughout your network from the 3CX Management Console. Each of the firmwares has been interop tested by 3CX. It is recommended that you upgrade firmware using this method and not by downloading the firmware directly from the vendor’s websites. To upgrade your IP phones to the latest 3CX tested firmware:

  1. From the Phones” node, select the IP phones which you wish to upgrade the firmware on and click the “Upgrade Firmware” button.
  2. Select the model and firmware of the phone from the upgrade list and click “Upgrade”. The firmware will be uploaded and the phone rebooted. Note this feature requires a valid maintenance agreement.

Remote Extensions

A powerful benefit of 3CX Phone System is its ability to support remote extensions, i.e. employees using their extension from home or on the go. This gives tremendous flexibility to employees and delivers true mobility, because employees working from home or away can still be seamlessly integrated with the head office phone system. They can be members of call queues and use 3CXPhone to see the presence of other users. There are two ways to configure a remote extension:

Deploying the 3CX SBC is preferable. See our guide on Provisioning a Remote Extension for a more detailed explanation of the subject.

See Also

You might also be interested in:


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  1. I have enter the incorrect FQDN the above states that we should follow … settings > network > FQDN tab

    I don’t have those options in the Virtual PBX

    How can I change this globally for the 3cx installation

    September 27, 2015 at 7:03 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Sabata,Thanks for the question. The only way to change the FQDN is to backup, uninstall then re-install with the correct setting, configure using the configuration wizard and restore the backup.

      September 28, 2015 at 11:45 am
    • Yes, I have done just that

      Thank you none the less

      September 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      Hi Sabata, My apologies, I should have made this clearer. To change the FDQN you will have to backup all your instances, then remove the instances from the 3CX Phone System Virtual PBX server using the Virtual PBX Cloud Manager tool. Within this tool, once all instances have been removed, you will now have the option to change your FQDN. Once done restore your instances in the same order as they installed in to begin with.

      September 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm
  2. Hello
    im download the 3cx phone in my ios mobile or in my laptop. but im not get the welcome mail or administration setting so can you send me direct link of administration setting so i can create the extension

    June 25, 2016 at 5:56 pm Reply
    • After you create an extension, go to the phones page and click on Send Welcome email. You need to get email functionality working.. You need it for other things. Also you cannot configure an extension manually because there will be many errors – its harder. Use welcome email. You need to connect to the management console (PBX side) and send it yourself to your mail client on your ios device. Then tap the attachment and it will work.

      June 28, 2016 at 6:41 am
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