Teams Phone firmware updates need to be part of your deployment and operating plans. If you look in Teams Admin Center you can find a list of your phone devices:
You can select different groups of device by usage (user, common area/shared device, and conference room tabs), and there’s also a filter available.
You can see from these screens if the phone firmware is up to date. If you click on an individual phone, you can see the firmware and other updatable components:
Here’s what these five items are:
Teams Admin Agent is the Teams management agent on the phone
Firmware is the, well, firmware on the device. Android, in this case.
Company Portal App is the bits that handle modern authentication and security, and enrollment in M365/Azure
OEM Agent App is the phone vendors management app
Teams App is, well, Teams!
If we click on the “See available updates” link, we see this:
We can see that automatic updates for this phone are deferred by 30 days, and we also have an option to deploy the update “now-ish”, or to flip the Schedule slider and pick a date and time.
I said “now-ish” because while that will kickoff the update process, it’s a background process and the phone will wait until it’s idle to restart. If you need an immediate update, you may need to download firmware from the vendor and upload/apply it via the HTTPS interface on the phone.
For ongoing updates, there are three options that you can configure. Immediate, within 30 days, and within 90 days. Most organizations will be fine with the 30 day option, this should provide enough time for any bugs to be found by others and rectified.
If you are worried about changes to user experience, updating your procedures and documents, or bugs that might only apply in a use case specific to your organization, you can setup a couple of devices on the immediate upgrade path. These users need to be aware that they’re on this path, and to be sure to report any issues immediately no matter how minor they seem. You should not pick critical phones or an entire group of similar users for this function. A bug or change that affects your entire accounts payable department might be frustrating, one that takes out your entire reception, helpdesk, or sales group would be unacceptable. Be sure to account for different phone makes and models, as well as use cases. Receptionists will use a phone differently than a lunch room phone would be used.
The phones on the 30-day plan won’t all update at exactly the same time, however if having them all update close to each other is a risk that you don’t want, you can split your phone fleet and have some on the 30 day plan and some on the 90 day plan.