Softphones have become very popular across the world due to its cost-effectiveness, the multiple features offered by the software and the ability of the device to offer unified communications, including voice, video, instant messaging and fixed-mobile convergence.
The 6 Benefits of Using Softphones:
Cost of softphones
Softphones are inexpensive and many products are available free of charge. In addition, softphones allow expensive desk and SIP phones to be replaced, and the cost of maintaining this hardware is no longer a consideration. Any upgrades to the softphone are generally free-of-charge and are easily installed without requiring expensive technical assistance.
Save on calls
In general, VoIP-to-VoIP calls are completely free. International and long-distance rates are much lower when using a VoIP softphone versus traditional telephony, so those making regular or frequent calls out-of-state or country can effect significant cost savings. Also, traditional landlines require a high general operating fee in order to keep the service, making it even more desirable to replace this infrastructure with generic, Internet communications.
Features and Functionality
Softphones are packed with features often not available in traditional telephony, and their capabilities often exceed those of the most advanced desktop phones. A basic softphone often includes features such as multiple lines, voicemail, conferencing, call forwarding and transfer, auto answer, call ignore, an address book and video calling. The softphone is presented via an intuitive graphical interface with all the necessary functions being displayed front and center, smoothly integrating voice operations with the workflow processes.
Worker Flexibility and Telecommuters
VoIP is a location-independent technology and this allows softphone users to be completely mobile, as long as they have access to the Internet. Call-forwarding enables a softphone to automatically route calls made to a business number to any number of devices the user might be carrying, anywhere in the world. For those on the go, especially overseas travel, softphone services allow users to conveniently make calls from their smartphones and laptops, avoiding expensive roaming charges. In addition, a softphone is an optimum device for accessing an IP PBX, and the softphone will operate as a fully-functional extension of the PBX, both inside the office or on a global basis.
Support for Multiple Platforms
Many softphone vendors support multiple operating systems and hardware platforms for a single product. This means that users who select a specific softphone may access a familiar user interface and phone features on a Windows desktop in their office, an iPad at home and an Android smartphone while traveling.
Most softphone applications are downloaded directly from the vendor’s website or from a site relevant to the selected hardware platform, such as iTunes for an Apple smartphone. Installation is simple and, in general, the configuration of interfaces (such as audio and video) is automated. Because the softphone operates via the Internet, there are no telephone lines to connect, and no additional specialty wiring is required. Registration of the softphone to enable connection to the service provider is straightforward and usually requires only three settings: Username, Password, and Server.
VoIP is a prevalent communications technology, and this means that softphones will become more popular with both personal and business users. Softphones are inexpensive, easy-to-use, convenient and are very well suited to the mobile environment, and it is expected that these apps will soon capture most of the market dominated by traditional telephone devices.