What Is a Softphone? Reasons to Ditch Hard Phones Today

What Is a Softphone? Reasons to Ditch Hard Phones Today

Whether your work requires extensive travel across the globe or sitting long hours at your work desk, a VoIP phone system is an ideal solution to stay connected. VoIP phones, also known as ‘internet phones’ have been around for almost 20 years and the market is full of a variety of VoIP phones. They broadly fall under two categories: 

  • Hard phones
  • Softphones

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)  hard phones and softphones are communication systems that enable a user to make phone calls using the Internet. These modern generation phones enable businesses to save costs on phone bills, upgrade and enhance communication features, client communication, and simplify conference calls.

In terms of features and functionality, hard phones and softphones may appear similar, however, the difference in parameters such as cost, mobility, and the user interface is pretty significant. Simply put:

  • A hard phone is a physical device that looks like traditional desk phones but uses the internet in place of copper wires.
  • A softphone is a software application that can be installed on your laptop, smartphone, and tablet to make audio and video calls. Skype and Zoom are the most used softphone apps in the B2C space.

What is a ‘Softphone’?

A Softphone is basically a computer-based phone software program. It enables a user to call any telephone number or receive calls directly from the device (desktop, laptop, mobile) it is installed on.  Softphones eliminate the need for a hard phone or physical telephone device. It functions as an IP-PBX backed by VoIP technology and is equipped with features such as teleconferencing, call forwarding, recording etc. 

A VoIP softphone can be used as a desktop app, on your web browser, and downloaded on your mobile too. Softphones give their users the flexibility and freedom of mobility to stay connected from any location. All they need is good internet connectivity. VoIP Softphones are a perfect solution especially for your sales staff who are always on the move and certain profiles in middle and senior management who need to travel extensively across the globe.

Not just that, 2020-21 throws up a lot of challenges for everyone. VoIP Softphones ensured that most call centers and customer care centers continued seamless operations. Trends and predictions suggest that ‘Hybrid and remote work models’ are here to stay beyond the pandemic. Now, that’s some serious food for thought to re-think your business communication model.

 Today communication is beyond basic telephony and conferencing, softphones provide businesses with advanced features from receiving and making calls to unified communications and everything that lies in between. A business can also customize and white-label VoIP softphones for better brand visibility and reach. A few key features that have made softphones hot-selling in the modern business landscape are:

  • High-definition (HD) audio and video capabilities ensure a crystal clear call experience whether audio or video.
  • Instant messaging and presence.
  • Collaboration tools such as screen sharing, file sharing, call recording, etc. to enhance productivity and mobility.
  • Centrally managed platform or cloud VoIP provisioning module enabling users to carry out day-to-day operations from a single interface. This also avoids chaos and mismanagement which can be a common occurrence in the case of multiple locations.

As employees and organizations continue to prioritize mobility above everything, hard phones do not make much sense in the modern scheme of things. Besides, there are a whole lot of other factors which make VoIP softphones a more smart choice for your business.  Let’s find out!

Reasons to ditch hard phones and shift to softphones today!

  • Cost-effective communication tool: As a business switching over to softphones means saving loads of money in many areas. It requires no infrastructure or hardware, calls are placed using the internet which means be it a video or audio call, national or international call all you pay is internet usage charges, adding new lines again requires no additional hardware installation, so all in all you save money on a lot of recurring expenses which need to be done in case of hard phones. 
  • Cuts desk clutter and gives mobility: A typical workstation/desk has your laptop, charger, desk phone with all its wiring, your own mobile device, a calendar, bottle of water, some personal mementos, achievement certificates, and a whole lot of paraphilia. What really spoils a work desk set up and creates clutter is a wired phone, it really is an eye-sore with all the wire situation. Softphones give the flexibility to carry your phone in your laptop to the conference room, cafeteria, or even outside the office. Employees do not have to be tied to their desktop phones waiting for an important call. Softphones help them connect with each other and customers across multiple devices. The interactive voice response (IVR) and phone auto-attendants feature increase employee availability while providing geographical flexibility.
  • CRM integration and customer engagement: Modern-day softphone apps can be easily integrated with your existing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software enabling collaboration across teams as the entire company structure is now unified. Another advantage is the in-built chat feature that most softphones come with. Chat is an effective tool to interact and engage with both existing and prospective customers. These are advantages that a hard phone lacks, are you still thinking about a switch. Let me tell you more.
  • Perfect for ‘remote’ and ‘hybrid’ work models: 2020 taught us many important lessons, the most important takeaway for businesses was a new kind of work culture. Lockdown forced us to restrict ourselves within our homes and even before we realized our homes became our office too. Businesses soon realized that with the right tools and technology like a softphone, remote work or work from the home model was not only possible but a more productive way of work too. Both employees and organizations gained in this setup, employee productivity increased, companies saved millions on infrastructure and office set up costs. People in years got to spend more time with their family and loved ones, they were able to achieve better work-life balance. Softphones ensured businesses continued as usual minus the infra cost, installation hassles, etc. With a hard phone, none of this could have been possible.
  • Secure communication without committing a dedicated line: Hard phones have to be installed and configured using dedicated network lines. Softphones on the other hand do not require a physical handset, telephone line, or wiring. A softphone app can be downloaded directly from your VoIP provider’s website or the relevant source to the desired hardware platform such as mobile, desktop, or laptop. Tragofone is one such softphone loaded with features for the B2B space. A simple installation and automated configuration of the audio and video interface. Besides, your softphone operates on your private network connection and is encrypted and secure. 

Softphones are the future. It has changed the way we communicate in a professional environment and has afforded businesses continuity, flexibility, economy, and profitability even in the face of a global pandemic. I strongly feel that hard phones are fast becoming obsolete, the time is now for businesses to make the switch to softphones. What’s more, the new-age softphone apps are compatible with popular platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and MacOS. No matter which platform your employees use, there is a compatible app to suit everyone’s needs. So, what are you waiting for? Make the switch to softphones for your business communications today!

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