When the pandemic started, we thought it was temporary, so employees were using their personal cell phones to keep in touch with clients and co-workers. But as it became more long-term, many companies realized they needed the features of the company phone system. Companies who were already using VoIP systems could tell their employees to take their desk phone home, plug it into the Internet and they got all the features of being in the office.

What Is a Softphone?

This past week, I got to explore an option of a VoIP phone system known as a “softphone”. A softphone is software that allows users to make calls via the computer or a smartphone. It has all the features of a desk phone without taking up space on your desk or keeping you tied to a desk. It allows you to take your work phone wherever you go while allowing your employees more flexibility in the way they communicate with each other and with clients.

What is a soft phone

How Does a Softphone Work?

The best softphone software is used to mimic the functionality of a desk phone using your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. The software is compatible with all operating system software. It uses something called Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as part of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The SIP is used to dial numbers, see if someone is available, conference in 2nd caller, and other features associated with typical phone systems. VoIP allows voice to be converted to send it over the internet. This software will even allow video calling, messaging, and presence features, using technology called Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

What are the Benefits of Using a Softphone?

There are a lot of advantages to using high-quality softphones. The Presence Feature is popular because now you can know when team members are online, offline, busy, or in a meeting.  If they are in a call, messaging can still be used to see if they are able to answer a quick question without interrupting their call. The computer app allows call transfers by drag and drop. Softphone app improves communication and connectedness for team members and clients by allowing team members to receive calls wherever they are working be it the office, at home, or while traveling. Calls can be routed to your desktop or smartphone as directed.  All contact information is shared by team members so there are no looking through multiple databases to find the needed information. Team member personal cell numbers stay private as all calls are routed through the softphone system once they install the related app on their cell phones.

Softphone features

Softphone Features for Efficient Team Communication and Collaboration

Additionally, teammates can set their status to away and calls will be routed to voicemail or to another team member’s phone depending on how the system is set up. If a team member is on vacation or ill, their calls can be “captured” and rerouted to another available team member to prevent clients from becoming dissatisfied due to leaving multiple voice mail messages. Voicemails can be pushed as emails or notifications to smartphones, and transcriptions of audio files allow you to check messages without having to leave meetings to see if calls were important. All messaging is centralized so it makes finding, searching, and collaborating easier, and ends the need to search through multiple messaging systems. Video calling through a softphone is possible without connecting through various services.

As more industries require compliance, the softphones make that easy. It is managed by one cloud-based server allowing tracking and team management from a single dashboard. All calls can be automatically logged when placed, along with the duration, numbers called, and enhanced statistics thus ending labor-intensive manual data inputs usually required by team members.

Choosing Providers, System Requirements, and Setup Ease

Softphone require a service provider. There are several options, but the one we recommend here at Techno Advantage is called Grandstream.  Additionally, a strong bandwidth or internet connection is needed. Finally, a microphone, speakers, headset, or smartphone is needed. Making changes to a softphone system is easier than traditional desktop phones, as no new lines need to be installed or extensions provided, and the new line is automatically added to all existing contacts. All changes can be made via the cloud server with the right login credentials, and no technical team is needed.

Conclusion

A softphone system is definitely a great way to boost your business’s productivity. By incorporating the benefits of a traditional desk phone with the tools of a modern workplace softphone provides a solution that provides flexibility in how you communicate with clients and coworkers. Decreasing reliance on a technical team to make changes to your phone system, and the ability to make those changes from anywhere is a definite plus. Take your business communication with a softphone system.

 

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