Softphone Basics: What You Need to Know
In recent years, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has taken over business phone systems. The ease of using VoIP, in addition to its lower monthly costs, makes it an attractive benefit for business owners looking to cut overhead costs.
One variation of VoIP is the VoIP softphone: a computer-integrated phone system that allows you to work remotely and still take calls as if you were in the office. Let’s take a look at the top benefits of using a softphone, as well as a few of its drawbacks.
A VoIP softphone removes the physical phone element from your phone system. In this case, the phone is built into your laptop or computer with an application called the softphone. So essentially, you can answer your phone on the computer application instead of through a physical phone.
This type of integration leads directly to the next benefit: reliability of connectivity. In this case, if you or your team members travel frequently, you never need to worry about missing calls to your desk phone (because your “desk phone” travels with you!).
Similarly, if you have team members who work remotely (or you allow employees to work from home), you can have peace of mind knowing that they will always be connected to their phones. While softphones were made to be answered through your computer’s speakers or a headset, some remote employees may prefer hooking up their softphone to a physical phone. In this case, when they get a call, an actual phone will ring. This gives the user greater flexibility, allowing them to answer calls on either their computer or an actual phone.
Drawbacks to Softphones
The biggest drawback to using a softphone is similar to that of using a VoIP phone: it only functions as well or as reliably as your Internet connection. If your service lags or even goes offline, so will your softphone. This can be especially frustrating for team members who travel frequently, making their phone service unreliable.
Similarly, your softphone’s functionality depends on your computer. If your computer reboots, your phone access will go offline as well. Thankfully, for both of these issues, there is the option to reroute any softphone calls to your cell phone; but if this happens frequently, it can be frustrating from a personal and business perspective.
Softphone technology is still growing today. That said, it may not be the best solution for your business—but it’s a technology that we’re embracing for the future.
Datastream Communications is a voice and phone system provider located in Eldersburg, Maryland. We’re a leader in business voice options for small to large businesses and focus on being flexible, reliable, and providing future-proof technology and tools. Above all else, Datastream Communications’ philosophy is to provide the best quality and service to its customers.
Contact us today to see if softphone technology is right for your business.