What is a Softphone?

The office PC has become the centre for just about every office process, but one area that has often been out of its reach is telephony. While IP-based calling has been possible for many years, such as using Skype, the desk phone continues to be an office mainstay.

As computers have continued to grow in processing power and functionality, so too has IP-based telephony. This innovation has given rise to the softphone, an application that allows users to send and receive phone calls over the internet.

A multi-purpose desktop

A softphone program can run from your computer or smartphone, providing you with the same level of voice communication as a desk phone without the need for a dedicated handset. Most softphones may look and feel like a traditional phone, with a visible on-screen keyboard and call buttons, as well as voicemail functionality.

The benefit of a softphone is the lower cost compared to a regular handset, since there is no dedicated hardware required besides an existing office PC. For that same reason, deploying the softphone is quicker and less disruptive than a traditional telephony installation.

What a softphone does need is a headset to listen and respond to calls, as well as a fast and reliable Internet connection. The softphone’s reliance on the Internet means it is mobile and can be used from any location to send and receive calls, but the quality of the call will depend on how good the network connection is.

More than a phone

While softphones are making inroads into companies, the regular desk phone continues to be a popular and preferred choice. One of the reasons is that the desk phone of today is not same as the traditional phone you may be used to.

The advancement of VoIP technology has meant that phones no longer rely on aging copper lines. They now make use of the Internet to send and received calls, and have evolved into multi-function IP devices.

The familiarity of the IP phone and its expanded functionality has helped handsets to stay on office desks. However, a switch to an IP-based telephony system requires handsets to be deployed to all users and the installation can sometimes be disruptive to an office.

Telephony the way you want it

Companies often wonder which solution is right for their employees, but the choice comes down to the needs of the business. Both softphones and desk phones have their share of strengths and weaknesses, and in some cases companies have chosen to get both.

One of BTAS’ more popular services is moving companies from their costly analogue infrastructure to a cost effective digital one. By migrating a business to a digital phone environment, BTAS can help them save up to 30% of their telecommunications costs.

BTAS Snapshot provides a high-level management summary of the current status of the organisation’s communication environment and how a digital telephony setup can benefit the company. The on-site and remote discovery, analysis and measurement activities take on average three weeks, and are followed by a detailed report and stakeholder presentation.

BTAS Unicoms can be laid on top of the new and improved infrastructure. Various communication end-points, such as desk phones, conferencing, mobile devices and PCs, can be brought together into one seamless user experience, allowing an organisation to have easier, faster connection with customers, partners and suppliers.

Contact us to find out more about how the switch to a modern telephony setup can help your business today.