These instructions apply to the 501 models, but I believe they would adapt well to other Polycom models.
I also don’t go into pushing out configurations from XML files on a TFTP server, but it may be the way to go if you’re doing more than one phone.
Also this process can be used to downgrade software if needed as multiple versions can be stored in the same location and a menu will be presented to allow the desired version to be installed.
All currently available versions of the Polycom UCS can be located in the official software release matrix online as well as on the product support page for any model SIP phone.
In the instructions below, TFTP is only really used to push out the firmware updates.
About the Polycom 501 If you’re reading this to see how good certain phones are with Asterisk, let me tell you that the Polycom 501 has excellent features, but is a pain to configure and very tempermental.
Fortunately, there seems to be an easy fix for it (see below).
The Polycom SIP phones support a few different methods for software updates, most commonly utilizing a central FTP provisioning server so that all devices will check a single distribution point for configuration changes and new firmware images.
The previous article mentioned above contains links with more details on enterprise deployment and management practices.
The Polycom 501’s do have more and easier-to-get-to functionality than the GXP-2000’s, and have a more professional look and feel (and a great speakerphone), but the most notable downsides of the 501 are its awful, obtuse and slow configuration interfaces.
The relevant options for Asterisk configuration are buried fairly deep on the console, and the big problem with the web interface is that it takes at least an extra minute to become available even AFTER the phone is up and running.
To create a custom software distribution a software package must first be downloaded, the firmware files extracted, and then a configuration file created and modified.