May 01, 2022
With more and more people working from home, propelled by the pandemic, and predicted to stay as an evolved way of working life, businesses are kitting out with cost-effective and smart technology to enhance efficiencies. Cue the softphone.
If you’ve stumbled across softphones in your search to streamline your business, you may be having flashbacks to Skype or the likes. While you’re on the right track, softphone technology has come a very long way in the past decades, and especially in more recent years.
In this blog we set out to answer some frequently asked questions about softphones, as well as outline the benefits and how we support softphone technology for SME clients to seamlessly enhance business efficiencies and the customer experience.
Simply stated, a softphone is software or a software application that runs on a device—like a mobile phone—that enables that device to make and receive calls as though it’s a desk phone.
Even though softphones have been around for 10+ years they have only become reliable and more commonplace recently. Historically, softphones have been used more in call centres but are now being used by all sorts of businesses that need flexibility.
In comparing to Skype, although pioneering at the time (Skype is nearly 20 years old!), Skype is considered old technology, generally used by people calling friends and family overseas. Although Messenger, WhatsApp and Facetime is used for the same purpose it doesn’t compare to VoIP systems and softphones designed for modern business needs, which require complex call flows for multiple people, out of hours messages, voicemail and much more.
There are many reasons businesses are embracing softphone technology at an increasing rate. The main benefits include:
In addition to these business benefits, practically, a softphone replaces the need for an employee to physically pick up their desk phone and take it with them when working from home. Being bulky and awkward, carting a desk phone home as a way of life is far from ideal, efficient or enjoyable. With softphones on your PC (or Mac) and/or mobile device (iPhone or Android) the desk phone functionality can go wherever you go, but without the clunkiness.
With our assistance, softphone technology is downloaded from the web (for the PC/Mac) or from iTunes/Play Store for mobiles. We provide customers with a username and password to then connect to their phone system, exactly as if it’s a traditional desk phone. Most of our clients use Bluetooth headphones with their softphones which makes it easier to use.
The same way that a VoIP desk phone works—they’re all internet-based devices that connect to our ‘cloud-PBX’ or phone system via the internet with a unique username and password.
Softphones on mobiles used to cut out when a mobile call was received at the same time, but this is not the case with our softphone service. What this means is that the user can be on a softphone call and if they have another incoming mobile call, the user can handle both at the same time by putting one on hold—the same as you would do with two simultaneous mobile phone calls.
Like out-of-office for emails, users control their own extension on their softphone so they can put themselves into ‘Do Not Disturb’ if they want to or forward those calls to a colleague. If they are on a call on the softphone or in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, colleagues in the office or on other softphones will be able to see this and not try to call them.
You can record a softphone call in the same way as you would record a call from an office phone. There’s also video capability—although a softphone’s video functionality isn’t regarded as a replacement for Zoom or Teams. Softphones also have chat, conference calls and faxing ability.
The primary reason a business may resist adopting softphone technology, or any type of new technology, is because it involves change. So depending on a business’ culture, some organisations will welcome this technology more readily than others. Although there’s really no downside in adopting new technology that helps make your business run better! This is the reason why so many of our clients are embracing softphones in their business.
The main driver behind the widespread adoption of softphones in Australia today is the NBN. As bandwidth is becoming more readily available, it means that VoIP is more stable and more reliable. The software that runs behind the scenes is continually being developed and improved, similar to how mobile phone technology has improved over the years.
What this all means is that a business phone system no longer needs to be limited to the office. Business owners and staff can work from anywhere and provide a better and more flexible service to clients. Here’s how.
Low cost and easy set-up: In terms of our offering, it’s $10 per softphone per month or $15 for a combined softphone that includes both mobile and PC. Why businesses love our solution is that there’s no contract and it’s quick and easy to install with minimal time and effort required from users. We send users a QR code to download the mobile app and a link to download the PC/Mac apps. After inputting a username and password, users are up and running in 5 minutes. So easy!
Minimal data usage: There’s also no base level mobile phone or data requirement. Softphones use a tiny amount of data on a mobile plan—even heavy users use less than 0.5GB per month. Technically, once you’re set up (which is what we do), using a softphone is as easy as using a regular mobile service.
Strong support: Another reason our customers stay with us is that our support is better than any other Australian telco. We have remote access to the system (or software) and can troubleshoot any issues remotely within a few minutes. No call centres and no waiting!
Superior product: Our offering is also superior to competitors’ products for SMEs. We purchased the software from the US and built our own hosted (or Cloud) PBX (phone system) platform in Amazon’s cloud infrastructure in Sydney. Virtually all other telcos of our size are outsourcing to a third-party telco. We did this for 5 years and our functionality and ability to support is much more advanced than what was previously possible.
This is how Central Telecoms helps clients every day through sophisticated but easy-to-use technology, readily available for local businesses on the Central Coast and Newcastle. As the leading VoIP and softphone provider in these regions, Central Telecoms make it easy for businesses to benefit from softphone technology. There’s nobody in the market that does it better than us! Get in touch and have a chat. We keep it simple.
To find out more about our softphones solutions for your business, call our friendly team on 1300 677 406 or make contact today. We’re open Monday to Friday 8am to 5.30pm. Central Telecoms is an award-winning, hands-on telco provider servicing more than 1600+ regional Australian business and residential customers since 2016. We’re experts in delivering NBN solutions, superior phone, VoIP and internet systems offering 100% onshore real-people support.
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