Over the years, CPI has come across a number of scenarios where the discussion of CIC and Managed Phones has come up and what that functionality can do for a CIC administrator. In this blog, I’d like to take a closer look at just what a Managed Phone is and the benefits it can offer.

What is a Managed IP Phone in CIC?

If you want to reduce initial IP phone configuration time and ongoing maintenance, then let the IC provisioning subsystem work for you! This is the system that manages configuration for supported IP phones in Interaction Administrator, updates manufacturer-specific firmware, and manages resetting phones as needed. You have the ability to manage the IC features available on each phone, and have access to templates to create new managed IP phones and the SIP stations associated with each. Additionally, you have registration groups for organizing phones according to the sources of registration data. You can also create multiple new managed IP phones from CSV files and even schedule after-hours reboots.

What IP Phones can be a Managed Phone in CIC?

CIC 2015 R1 and later supports Polycom phones, Interaction SIP Station I & II phones, Interaction SIP Soft Phone, and AudioCodes phones as managed IP phones. Below is a shortlist for quick reference (as always, be sure to check http://testlab.inin.com/ for the latest supported phone models and firmware):

  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 335
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 450
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 550
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 560
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 650 with Operator Expansion Module
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 670 with Operator Expansion Module
  • Polycom SoundPoint® IP 5000/6000/7000 Conference Phones
  • Polycom VVX Series
  • Interaction SIP Station I & II
  • Interaction SIP Soft Phone
  • AudioCodes 420 HD

It’s worth noting that “non-managed” phones are also supported in CIC 2015 R1 or later but you will not gain any of the advantages that managed phones offer.

What do I need to automate provisioning for Managed IP Phones?

IC provisioning of managed IP phones connects the managed IP phones and downloads their configurations from the IC Server. The goal for IC managed IP phone provisioning is to “automate” it as much as possible so that no user participation is needed. Here are the two items you’ll need to automate provisioning:

  1. Use a DHCP server (and DNS server for a Switchover pair) to configure the Managed IP Phone network and also set two types of DNS records so that the phones will automatically switch to the active IC Server when a Switchover event occurs.
  2. Provide the MAC Address (Polycom, Interaction SIP Station I & II, and AudioCodes) or the Full Computer Name (SIP Soft Phone) for each managed IP phone. For a new install, you can use a CSV list that can be imported to Interaction Administrator. When a managed IP phone contacts the provisioning subsystem to request configuration, the provisioning subsystem will match the phone’s MAC address or computer name with an existing managed IP phone configuration, and it will serve the configuration to the device without any additional steps.

I hope this helped you better understand Managed IP Phones and their benefits. If you have any questions or would like additional information about Managed IP Phones or the Interactive Intelligence platform, feel free to reach out to us!