VoIP Softphone 101

A common offering now through VoIP solution providers is access to a softphone. But what is this? Is it a special piece of hardware? How does it work? Read on for some answers to these questions as well as common benefits of softphone adoption.

So first of all, a VoIP softphone is not an actual piece of hardware but is a software program that allows you to make and receive phone calls through the internet on any hardware/device that can run the software. So, your computer, tablet, or smartphone can be used in place of your desk phone. Using current VoIP technology and SIP standards, “softphones” use your business extension, but do not rely on a dedicated piece of hardware to do so. Skype, iChat, and GoogleTalk are some of the more popular services, but there are many different ones available for you to choose from.

Common features of VoIP softphones that traditional phones offer include:

  • Call forwarding
  • Call conferencing
  • Hold capabilities
  • Call transferring
  • Voicemail
  • Greeting capabilities
  • Text, IM, and video capabilities
  • Echo cancellation to improve sound quality
  • Contact list/address book

Unlike traditional desk phones, VoIP softphones offer the business user a multitude of benefits including:

  • Geographical Flexibility – VoIP technology and softphones are not dependent on location. As long as there is internet access, anywhere- anytime rules apply. This tool benefits telecommuters, remote workers, multilocation business owners and others by allowing them to make calls, transfer inbound calls to other associates, check missed call and listen to voicemails.
  • Chat & Messaging – with the need to collaborate, softphones can facilitate the sharing of content and ideas via chat and instant messaging (capability should be confirmed with the provider).
  • CRM Integration – softphone can seamlessly integrate with third-party CRMs providing real-time access to contact information as well as caller id.
  • Upgradable Software – software is easily, and efficiently upgradable as new updates are rolled out. There is no need to purchase costly equipment with this future-proof software.
  • Employee Presence – softphones allow for real-time presence driving efficiency, improved communication, and enhanced caller experience.

To review how your business can tap into the benefits of VoIP and softphones, consult with an expert. An agnostic technology agent or consultant can ask the right questions to determine what you need and how VoIP fits into what you’re trying to accomplish. In addition to assisting you with procurement, they can also handle ongoing care.

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About Simplicity

Simplicity VoIP, based in Richmond, VA, provides hosted PBX, VoIP and business telephone solutions nationally to small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses for a comprehensive unified communications experience. Two distinct Class 5 geo-redundant VoIP platforms are offered in addition to fax-to-email, phones and equipment, and managed services. Named as Richmond’s 11th fastest growing company by Richmond BizSense, Simplicity VoIP’s key to success is its on-site service, installation and training supported 24/7/365 by a world-class client services team.