Provisioning is similar to a pre-programming process. Telecom companies will generally provision phones in advance of installation. This enables a fast turn around for system installation as the system is already programmed. As phones are an essential service, downtime should be limited.
In telecommunication, provisioning involves the process of preparing and equipping a network to allow it to provide new services to its users. In National Security/Emergency Preparedness telecommunications services, "provisioning" equates to "initiation" and includes altering the state of an existing priority service or capability.
The concept of network provisioning or service mediation, mostly used in the telecommunication industry, refers to the provisioning of the customer's services to the network elements, which are various equipment connected in that network communication system. Generally in telephony provisioning this is accomplished with network management database table mappings. It requires the existence of networking equipment and depends on network planning and design.
In a modern signal infrastructure employing information technology (IT) at all levels, there is no possible distinction between telecommunications services and "higher level" infrastructure. Accordingly, provisioning configures any required systems, provides users with access to data and technology resources, and refers to all enterprise-level information-resource management involved.
- Give users access to data repositories or grant authorization to systems, network applications and databases based on a unique user identity.
- Appropriate for their use hardware resources, such as computers, mobile phones and pagers.
As its core, the provisioning process monitors access rights and privileges to ensure the security of an enterprise's resources and user privacy. As a secondary responsibility, it ensures compliance and minimizes the vulnerability of systems to penetration and abuse. As a tertiary responsibility, it tries to reduce the amount of custom configuration using boot image control and other methods that radically reduce the number of different configurations involved.
Discussion of provisioning often appears in the context of virtualization, orchestration, utility computing, cloud computing, and open-configuration concepts and projects. For instance, the OASIS Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC) defines an XML-based framework for exchanging user, resource, and service-provisioning information - SPML (Service Provisioning Markup Language) for "managing the provisioning and allocation of identity information and system resources within and between organizations".
Once provisioning has taken place, the process of SysOpping ensures the maintenance of services to the expected standards. Provisioning thus refers only to the setup or startup part of the service operation, and SysOpping to the ongoing support.