As more and more professionals spend their workdays in the home instead of in a typical office setting, the usefulness and popularity of softphones has skyrocketed. The phones, which rely on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, emphasize presence rather than distant engagement, as they allow everyone to join in from their work computers without disrupting the flow with cumbersome cell phone calls. If you’re looking to advance your company’s effective use of remote work and technology, take a look at some of the main things you need to know about using a business softphone.
What They Are
A softphone, or software phone, allows you to make and receive calls through your computer or mobile device without using your cell service. It essentially offers the ability to use a work line without having a physical work phone at your disposal. It allows you to keep work and play separate, so that your personal phone does not become so inundated by business duties that your professional and personal lives become inseparable.
How They Work
Softphones rely on apps that can be accessed on either your computer or mobile device in lieu of using a traditional phone line. They do, however, still require a certain bandwidth in order to remain fully functional and provide you with uninterrupted service. For this reason, you should explore softphone providers before committing to one specific service.
Who Needs Them?
The push for more remote work opportunities has increased and will continue to increase. This means that the demand for softphones is also increasing, since remote workers usually do not have access to a physical business phone. Though users can access the app and both make and receive calls from their personal devices, most softphone users rely on headsets to free up their hands and make it easier to work seamlessly. Businesses with international employees or employees who travel for business frequently can also benefit from softphone integration.
What Types Are Available
In the past, softphones have relied on on-site servers or phone lines, but advances in cloud technology now enable softphone providers to offer service no matter where you are or which device you’re using. This will sync your work — including records of all your calls, should you opt to record them — across all of your devices. You can, however, still opt for an on-site phone system if you fear internet service interruptions and prefer the reliability of a landline.
What They Cost
Since softphones rely on software rather than hardware, adopting a softphone system means you’ll avoid the often exorbitant price of hardware or other physical necessities. This also means you aren’t responsible for repairs or upgrades, as softphone services will usually cover that for you. The actual price and available features vary from system to system, but most businesses can expect to pay less than they would for a traditional landline service, especially if the business has numerous international employees or frequently conducts international business. Some systems are even offered completely free of charge.
How They Enhance Security
Your final consideration when determining whether a softphone is right for your business is to consider your security risks and needs. While some are wary of softphones’ inherent risks, particularly if used through cloud service, the reality is that softphones often provide more security than their physical counterparts. Despite the risk of being hacked, major softphone companies employ people to focus solely on maintaining security, ensuring more expert and individualized help controlling your data’s confidentiality.
If you think your business can benefit from the implementation of softphones, investigate different types and available systems before committing to one in particular. Regardless, incorporating a reliable phone system can alleviate some of the technological stress that threatens to overwhelm even the most patient employees, ensuring that your business can run smoothly with as few technical difficulties as possible.