Should You Use VoIP Softphones for Business?

employee taking a call without a physical phone

by Ion Mae

When shopping around for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones for business operations, companies usually narrow down their options to two choices: desk phones or softphones. Desk phones are physical phones connected to the internet with the use of VoIP technology. Softphones, meanwhile, are software programs or applications that let users make and receive VoIP calls on their computers or mobile devices.

Despite the ubiquity and familiar feel of desk phones, many businesses have chosen to abandon these physical handsets in favor of softphones because they’re affordable, flexible, and scalable.

If you’re tempted to ditch your desk phones and switch to softphones (or are considering a combination of these two systems in your office), below are some reasons why making the move makes sense.

Enjoy more flexibility

Whether you’ve embraced hot desking in the office or have employees who telecommute and/or travel frequently, it is highly advantageous for your staff to have a phone solution that allows them to stay connected wherever they go. Using softphones is an excellent option because they are virtually wire-free and can be carried with you at all times. Since softphones can be installed on a computer, laptop, or smartphone, employees can access all of the useful features of their work phone regardless of their location. And because there are no wires, it could also mean less clutter for your office.

Little to no cost

A standard desk phone costs at least $40, and that only includes the hardware. Costs for the installation and maintenance are excluded from this number, especially if your service provider doesn’t offer a plug-and-play service. With softphones, you can spare your company from such expenses because you can simply download the program or app to your computer or mobile device for as little as $5 a license. In fact, some softphone applications offered by VoIP providers are even free of charge. Softphones are definitely a game-changer, especially if you’re looking to trim costs in the office.

Access advanced features

Aside from traditional calling features (such as voicemail, call hold, and call transfers), many softphone programs also provide access to an advanced set of features. The Vonage VoIP softphone, for instance, lets users send and receive text messages, view colleagues’ call presence, chat with co-workers with group messaging or video conferencing, and more. These are some of the capabilities not offered by standard desk phones. Each softphone, however, comes with their own set of features, so be careful when shopping around to find the right solution.

So does your business need softphones?

Regardless of whether you’re abandoning your traditional desk phones to go completely wire-free, or using softphones as a supplement to your smartphone or desk phone, a softphone is a great option for businesses who seek more flexibility, savings, and access to advanced phone features. If these are things you’d like your business to take advantage of, then investing in softphones is definitely a wise choice.


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