Softphones Shouldn't Be A Hard Sell: 6 Benefits of Softphones in your Business.
Posted on: December 5, 2017
When it comes to the merger of mainstream products to new technology, Softphones continue to be a fringe option to many businesses. Whether it’s a concern about reliability or a fear of having to deal with computers, Softphones, or Soft Clients, have been slow in making headway into the business sector up til now. But are these fears and concerns justified? Should moving to a Soft phone really be a Hard decision?
First of all, let’s define a Softphone. At its simplest, a Softphone is a software program or application that enables voice communication using data networks. So your office computer can also be your office phone without the addition of any old school phone lines. Your laptop that you use at the coffee shop in the mornings can also be used to make calls to setup client visits for the day. Your personal Smartphone can now double as your office phone, while still keeping your business and personal numbers separate. Employees don’t need to have multiple devices on their desks anymore and dialing numbers can be easy as mouse clicks.
The “Smart Phone” revelation showed the consumer markets how great it was to have a single device that could perform both voice and computer like functions that you could carry around in your pocket. But most business environments still require the horsepower and processing of standard computer workstations. When business workstation are now using 2-3 monitors and running more and bigger applications, it’s hard to ever think that we are ever going to be happy running Excel spreadsheets on a smartphone. But that doesn’t mean that the integration isn’t available, it just means that it’s happening in the opposite direction. Where consumers benefit from having computer functions on their phones, businesses can benefit from have phone functionality on their computers; hence the rise of the Softphone.
The Business Softphone gives the user the increase in productivity, ease of use, and financial efficiency that are needed in a competitive environment.
- Softphones allow the ease of passing information without having to “swivel chair”. How many of your post-it-notes on your desk are phone numbers that you copy down off the computer screen only to turn and press those same numbers back into your phone? How about if your incoming calls would auto open SalesForce so that prospect’s information is already at your finger tips? With both voice and data operating within the same environment, the ability to pass information back and forth can be copy & paste at worse, up to fully automatic.
- Ease of Use. We are a mouse and keyboard generation. We are more comfortable “dragging and dropping” and “double-clicking” and “Alt+ ing” nowadays than ever before, so why not migrate that to our calling? What is more natural in transferring a call, pressing 2-3 keys on your phone, or just doing a drag & drop of the call to the person you want to get the call using your mouse? When working on the month end report and need to ask Bob a question, why take your eyes off the screen, when you can just click on Bob’s name to call and keep on going.
- Efficiency of resources. Leveraging your already owned computer hardware to migrate to a new phone system means no need to buy new phones, or new wiring, or new hardware to maintain. It also frees up space on your desk and eliminated wires and plugs and power cords. Plus it can also be mobile and with you wherever you go. Imagine setting your laptop up in a hotel room and you instantly have all the tools of your office available to you. Or adding an employee just means buying them a PC and they can be up and running as fast as it takes to install a program. Or a new salesman just needs to add an app on their existing smartphone and they are ready to take calls. Your business line is ready wherever you need it to be without the need for additional space or equipment.
- Cost of ownership is lower. Software is just less expensive to own and operate than hardware. There’s no buttons to stick, or screens to break, or lights to burn out, and replacing is as easy as reloading the software.
- It’s Future Proof. Hardware ages out and eventually ends up in the dumpster. Software means a new functionality or feature is just a new patch or upgrade away. And because software is license based, upgrading your computer doesn’t result in new software purchases, just reload and go.
- It’s not all or nothing; it’s mix and match. With Hosted PBX solutions, Softphone integration into your business can be a mixture of Softphone, Hardphones, and even analog Slimline Walmart phones. Nobody wants to have to hang a computer in a breakroom, or outside in a garage or shop, just so someone can answer or make a call. Softphones are just a tool and Hosted PBX solutions can deliver that service across a variety of platforms to meet the need to that particular area and user. Maybe that’s a hard phone or a softphone. The decision is yours, so mix and match to meet your needs.
While the Pros for Softphones are impressive, and the installation and operation are as easy as any software install, there are two main Cons to consider. The first is quality which is going to be dependent on your network and network connections. If the WIFI in the office is weak and spotty, then so can your voice calls. If your bandwidth is maxed out, then your voice will be choppy. There has to be a solid network for Softphones to work. The second Con applies not to just your Softphone, but to any data connection you use, and that’s security, primarily when used in open unsecured areas. Whether sending an email or making a voice call across an open unsecured network, you have risks of that information being seen. Whether that risk is high or low or how secretive the information may be, it is something to consider when using restaurants, airports, hotel, or other open bandwidth locations. The key solution to both these cons is the experience of your network people. If you feel this is an area that your business could use more expertise, then using an outside firm to help manage your network can be a great option. Our Pinnacle IT Managed Services can leverage their knowledge base to help address any network issues.
Also while Softphone clients can be customized to a particular user’s needs, there can also be certain softphone clients that are designed to work for certain positions. At Pinnacle Telecom we offer not only Softphones for the everyday users, but we have Softphones specifically designed for the high volume receptionist to allow even better utilization for the person that “Answers & Transfers” all day long.
You can check out more available from Pinnacle Telecom by clicking on the links below.
Hosted PBX - Find out how your phone system can grow as you do.
Voice Operator Console – Tool designed specifically for high volume “Front Desk Operator” users.
Accession Softphone – The everyday softphone client that can meet your every day needs!
PIT Crew– Pinnacle IT Managed Services so you spend time on your business, not your network.
Contact us for more information on how Pinnacle Telecom can help with your business needs.