What are Softphones and Why Does Your Business Need Them?

Softphones have leapt forth in terms of usability and functionality over the last few years, and today are regarded by many as the future of business telecommunications. If you haven’t come across them yet we’re positive you will soon, as more and more companies of all sizes opt to move away from clunky desktop phone systems.

Once a luxury only the largest enterprises could afford, softphones are swiftly becoming the standard across Australia. But what are they, how do they work and what advantages do they bring? Let’s find out. Soon you’ll have an idea of whether the time is right for your company to cut the cord and switch to a softphone system!

What is a Softphone?

A softphone is basically a piece of software that allows for voice communication over the internet. The software can be used on a range of appliances, from smartphones to desktops and tablets. In this way, softphones not only replace desk phones, but as you’ll find out below, they offer an attractive range of features to enhance your communications experience.

Requiring little more than a device and an internet connection to keep team members connected, softphones give you the power to make clear calls locally and internationally for next to nothing. The collaboration opportunities are endless, fueling their rise in tandem with the ‘work from home’ movement.

How Do Softphones Work?

The software a softphone uses simulates how the standard phone on your desk would work. It uses VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology to send voice and data packets in the same way emails send information across the internet.

Even though it’s used over the internet, your softphone can be linked to an actual telephone number. This means the software is accessible to anybody calling from a landline or mobile phone, and you can still send and receive SMS and MMS messages. You can even transfer your existing business numbers to the software, making for a seamless transition process to better technology.

Standout Softphone Features

As well as the basic functionality of the hard phone sitting on your desk, the advanced tech of a softphone allows for some exciting features. These include:

Presence of Team Members: This function improves your communication decision-making, showing you when team members are online, available, busy, out to lunch, on a call and so on. You’ll be able to figure out the right means of contacting somebody, and when you can expect a reply.

Hybrid Work: As long as you’ve got an internet connection, your softphone along with its range of communication/collaboration features will work. Your team can work and stay in touch, independent of their geographic location.

Integration: As it’s software-based, your softphone can integrate with other programs such as your CRM. This places masses of essential data, such as contact details, at your fingertips.

Centralized Communication: Softphones are integral in centralizing business communications, bringing email, messaging, voice, video and even calendar entries into one easy-to-use platform.

Enhanced Voicemail: Voicemail has drastically improved when compared with a desk phone. Audio files can be sent through to your email or as a notification to your phone. Transcriptions of the voicemail will help you decide how urgently you need to respond, which is handy if you’re in a meeting.

Encryption: Advanced security and encryption technology keeps your voice calls and data safe. The cloud-based software is updated constantly, ensuring you have the most current protection available on your softphone.

Easy Conference Calls: You can easily set up and manage conference calls with team members through your softphone. You’ll enjoy clear video and audio and robust security with no complicated dial-in process.

Shared Contact Lists: Need a contact and your colleague has it in their contact list? There’s an easy solution, thanks to your softphone! Your colleague simply shares their contact list. Your company can also have a contact list for you to subscribe to, giving you access to all the important contact details you’ll need.

Call Forwarding and Transferring Made Easy: Call forwarding or transferring can be done with little more than a tap of the screen or a ‘drag and drop’.

The Advantages of Softphones

Smartphones are easy to set up and use, which together with the above features makes them a compelling choice for businesses of all sizes. They’re reliable and affordable, ensuring greater privacy and security for your team and your business.

The leading advantage though, for us, is the improvements in efficiency and productivity they bring to the table. Dependable communications are a massive bedrock for a business that wants to grow and progress, and softphones help provide that. Team members aren’t held back by legacy phone systems and their limited features, instead they can communicate and collaborate between themselves and with customers with ease.

Choosing the Right Softphone System

The right softphone system for your business is out there – but finding it may be daunting. There’s an overwhelming array of providers and features to choose from, and you want to choose the right one to help maximize your team’s productivity.

If you’re looking for guidance in making the smart choice, get in touch with Smile IT. We offer tailored softphone, VoIP and telecom solutions, and our team is on hand to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to chatting about ‘all things softphone’!

peter drummond

When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!