What is Seamless Provisioning?

Nikhil Punathil
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Learn about Esper mobile device management software for Android and iOS

Seamless Provisioning is a way to bake the provisioning process directly into your Android build so it happens automatically at first boot. If you use a custom AOSP operating system on your enterprise devices, Seamless Provisioning is a truly hands-off way to provision those devices. 

How does Seamless Provisioning work?

With Seamless Provisioning, Esper works with whoever builds the OS — whether that’s you or the device manufacturer — to integrate the Seamless Provisioning Repository into the OS (this is natively supported in Esper Foundation for Android). Additionally, we make sure that the Esper agent running on the device receives the appropriate permissions required to function automatically on boot. Esper is Android version agnostic, so as long as you are on Android 6.0+, you can implement Seamless Provisioning. 

Once you have an image built with Esper Seamless Provisioning enabled, all you need to do is flash it onto your device like a regular stock OS image. You’ll note the serial numbers of these devices so you can add them to the appropriate Blueprint in the Esper console, then they’re ready to be shipped to the deployment location.

A gif of seamless provisioning with Esper
Seamless Provisioning with Esper

Once the device boots for the first time, it immediately loads (and updates) the Esper agent, connects to the preconfigured Wi-Fi access point (this is added when compiling) and communicates with our cloud to load the appropriate Blueprint that its serial number is associated with. It then provisions using that Blueprint and within a couple minutes the device is ready for use. You can see the entire process, from boot to fully set up, happen in the GIF above.

It doesn’t stop with provisioning, either

While seamlessly provisioning devices is nice, integrating this feature into your AOSP devices has benefits that extend past the first boot: 

  • Access to features that require elevated privileges, such as remote control, mobile data toggle, configuring APNs as well as configuring any other setting within the OS remotely using our Custom Configuration API is available using Seamless Provisioning. 
  • Seamless Secure Remote ADB: while all devices can use our Secure Remote ADB feature, with Seamless Provisioning, you no longer have to connect the device to a computer using USB in order to set it up for remote ADB access. This makes the process truly seamless and accessible for remote debugging with access controlled via the Esper Console. 
  • The ability to factory reset and reconfigure devices deployed in the field remotely. Since the Esper agent is embedded within the OS of the device, triggering a factory reset from the Esper Console would no longer leave the device inaccessible or prevent it from being repurposed for unauthorized use. With Seamless Provisioning, you can switch a device’s blueprint to provision it to a completely new configuration and purpose.

Have questions about Seamless Provisioning or think it might be a good fit for your fleet? View the Seamless Provisioning documentation here or get in touch with us today. 

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Nikhil Punathil
Nikhil Punathil

Nikhil runs Esper's Foundation OS team, after having previously worked in the Android open source community. After spending time in various roles across Esper, from pre-sales to running the Innovation Lab R&D team, he now works on the future of Esper Foundation for Android - Esper's flagship AOSP based operating system, working on the product roadmap, feature designs, engineering excellence and quality automation for the Foundation product.

Nikhil Punathil
Learn about Esper mobile device management software for Android and iOS
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