More businesses than ever are using VoIP now, with many businesses using IP handsets. However, IP handsets can be expensive depending on how you acquire them, and they’re not ideal for workforces that move around a lot. That’s where softphones come in.
A softphone is a piece of software you can install on an internet-enabled device, such as a laptop, PC, tablet, or mobile phone. This software has full IP hosted service functionality without the need for any extra hardware.
Despite the unique benefits of desktop softphones, I’ve noticed they are underutilised by businesses. This could be due to lack of awareness or concerns about reliability. Whatever the reason, I’m going to explain 5 big benefits of using softphones that may highlight why your business should be using them.
The 5 big benefits of softphones are:
- Unparalleled Flexibility
- Extremely Cost-Effective
- Enhanced Collaboration
- No Additional Hardware Needed
- Easily Scalable
I’m going to explain all the above benefits in greater detail below, with some great examples of why these benefits are so awesome. Keep reading to discover the ins and outs of these softphone benefits.
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Unparalleled Flexibility of Softphones
A softphone can be used anywhere, on any internet-enabled device with a microphone and a speaker. This offers unparalleled flexibility and means that you can work no matter where you are, while still handling calls professionally and effectively.
Data and research shows that more people are working remotely than ever before. More workplaces are offering remote working, resulting in a greater demand for flexible solutions that boost productivity when working away from the office.
The flexibility of a softphone isn’t only a benefit to individuals that work remotely. If you’re up and around the office and want to ensure you don’t miss a call, having a softphone on your mobile phone means you never will. Similarly, if you’re leaving the office to go for a bite to eat, you can still remain in contact with colleagues and customers easily.
A telephone system is a major business asset, no matter where your team are working. When you have people working outside of the office, it’s important they have the functionality of the telephone system available to them. With a softphone, you and your team will have unparalleled flexibility to work wherever you want to.
Softphones are Extremely Cost-Effective
A VoIP telephone system is cheaper than a traditional telephone system. However, purchasing handsets and setting them up can be costly, depending on how many you need. Softphones are extremely cost-effective and provide a way to move over to a VoIP telephone system without having to spend a lot.
Owning and using software such as a softphone is cheaper than owning and using hardware. Not only is hardware costly, but it can become damaged. What happens when it becomes damaged? You end up having to purchase more. With software, you never have to worry about damage and replacements. If you encounter any issues, you simply reinstall the software and the problem is gone 99% of the time.
When you purchase handsets, you may need a technician to install and configure them for you. This likely requires an onsite visit, which is just another expense that can be avoided. While softphones also require configuration, your provider can configure your softphone remotely. Depending on the softphone that you use, you might even be able to do it yourself! This is just another example of how softphones are a cost-effective option.
Enhanced Collaboration of Softphones
Softphones can boost the way that your team communicates and collaborates. Desktop softphones typically have messaging and video functionality. This allows your team to easily work together, even when they aren’t in the same office. Most desk phones don’t have messaging or video features, which can hamper collaboration.
Think about your own experiences and how much easier it is to work on a project when you can see a colleague and actually work face to face with them. You don’t get that option with standard desk phones, which can lead to worse results. With video functionality, your team can see each other and see what each other are seeing, enhancing communication and the ability to work together.
Softphones bring a lot of collaboration-boosting features together under one roof. A softphone usually has text, voice, and video functionality in addition to all the functionality available with a VoIP telephone system. This means your team doesn’t have to use a host of applications to work together effectively. They just need the one softphone application, which contains everything that they need to work together well.
No Additional Hardware Required with Softphones
As I took the opportunity to briefly mention before, you don’t need any additional hardware to begin using softphones. All you need in terms of hardware is internet-enabled devices. Presumably, you already own the internet-enabled devices that you need. That means you have all the hardware that you need to begin using a softphone.
Hardware can be costly and requires setting up, which isn’t needed with a softphone. You simply have to download an application onto your device, install it, and sign in with your login details. All the configuration is handled by your telephone system provider, so you can start using the softphone immediately after downloading and installing. There’s no waiting around for an engineer to install costly hardware for you. You’re up and running quickly.
Depending on the number of users your telephone system has, acquiring and installing hardware can be very costly and take a very long time. With softphones, you use your existing infrastructure without having to add anything physical to it. You will have the full functionality of a telephone system using only a piece of software, and none of the troubles associated with installing a new telephone system.
Softphones are Easily Scalable
A growing business needs solutions that will grow alongside it; solutions that won’t need replacing a few months or years down the line. That’s what you get when using a VoIP telephone system combined with softphones; solutions that will grow with your business and easily scale as your requirements grow.
Adding a new user to a VoIP telephone system is something that can be done in a matter of hours. Adding new lines is a simple as logging into your system and making a few easy adjustments. There’s no need for any additional hardware or installation to set up a new user.
If you are using softphones, setting a user up on the telephone system is as simple as setting up a user via your system and installing the necessary software on their devices. The configuration is usually very easy and can be completed by your provider if you’re unable to do it yourself.
As your business grows, you might want to move to a new office. In previous times, this would have meant massive expense. You would have needed to bring all your telephone system hardware with you and have it reinstalled at your new premises. When you’re using softphones, there are none of these troubles. You move your internet-enabled devices with you, and when they’re plugged in at the new office, your telephone system functions exactly as it did before. It’s a hassle-free process. That’s how you know you have a telephone system truly designed to scale with you.