Communication methods and the technology behind them have constantly been evolving. The latest iteration of VoIP softphone allows users to leverage the faster speeds for carrying voice signals. In addition, it will enable people to make or receive calls without being bound by the geographical location. Under a softphone system, you get a familiar-looking interface to a regular phone and is bundled with VoIP phone service.
This article shall look into the basics of a softphone and why it is vital for every business.
What is a SoftPhone?
Functionality-wise, the softphone can be considered the traditional phone’s digital counterpart, enhanced with VoIP features. It is a software-based phone that allows you to make phone calls over an internet connection without needing designated physical hardware such as a dialer phone or dedicated telephone line. You can install it on desktops and mobile handheld devices. The software also displays additional information about the caller’s identity, contact information, client history, and more.
Let’s look into the features in detail.
Key Features of a Softphone
- Drag and drop call transfers
- Remote call forwarding & Voicemail to email
- Incoming call and voicemail notifications on their smartphone
- Calls and conferences (Audio & Video)
- Instant and call bridging
- Presence (shows employee availability)
- Real-time chat messaging
- Video calls and screen sharing
- Easy Call recording
- Call Management (forwarding, waiting, mute, hold)
- Do Not Disturb
- Caller ID
- Intelligent call routing
- CRM integration
- Drag and drop call transfer
Installation of Softphone Software
Since a softphone is simply software on your device, installation is surprisingly simple. However, it requires specific pre-requisites for operating smoothly. The entire softphone can be divided into three basic components:
- Correct Hardware
- The softphone software
- Internet connection (DSL or Cable enabled)
There are two primary pieces of equipment you need for softphone operation
- A desktop computer or Internet-enabled handheld device
- A VoIP headset (or access to a microphone and speaker combination on your device)
While a mobile device has a dedicated microphone and speaker, a VoIP headset eliminates the ambient sound and picks up the voice signals well. Moreover, an over-the-head VoIP headset is more comfortable for extended calling sessions and ensures proper posture during a video or conference call.
The Softphone Software
Once the hardware is finalized, you need to install the software that acts as the user interface for the softphone. Installation is as simple as running an executable file for the PC dialer or installing from the Android Store or Apple Store for handheld devices. Setting up your account is as simple as following a step-by-step process displayed onscreen and implementing your phone settings. After the initial set-up, the app is ready to make calls in a matter of minutes.
Both parties require a working internet connection to make a VoIP-based call. Depending on the call type, the internet bandwidth requirement changes. All you need is a reliable internet connection with enough bandwidth to ensure you don’t experience dropped or disjointed calls.
How it Works
A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) server initiates real-time Voice over IP sessions. It converts analog voice impulses into digital signals across an Internet connection. These systems don’t require an on-premise PBX and can instead rely on a cloud-based PBX. However, softphones can only connect to another device if both the caller and the receiver share at least one codec and use the same Voice over IP Protocols.
Why consider using a Softphone?
Shared contact lists
No more do you need to maintain a contact list and manually update it. Instead, multiple users can access a shared company contact list or share contacts between coworkers. This is a tremendously useful feature as it allows users can simply search for a client’s phone number that their colleague may have.
Accountability and Presence
Softphone systems can show the status of your team. Any internet downtime can be detected from the online/offline status of a team. When they are busy or in a meeting, the status changes, and you can make the correct communication decision. Presence can severely boost productivity and improve internal communications.
Instant messaging Support
A softphone allows file sharing and instant messaging (IM) capabilities. Using the message thread feature, it becomes easy to find, search and collaborate. This completely eliminates the need for browsing different communication channels such as emails, IM, SMS, social media chats to find a specific client detail. Instead, you’ll have all your work messages and communication in one place.
VoIP isn’t limited to only voice-over IP. People can use a softphone’s video call features if they have enough bandwidth. Video calls provide you the freedom to interact with your team and engage with them in the most appropriate medium at any time. You may check their availability and then initiate a video conference using the same service using the Instant Message function. This improves the efficiency of your team’s communication.
You can carry your communication with you everywhere you go using softphones. Calls may be made using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Your team is not chained to your desk, waiting for a crucial phone call. You can also keep track of communication from wherever you are and answer colleagues immediately through text or video calls – no matter where you are. Moreover, the call can be transferred to any associate in just one click.
Voicemails are an excellent upgrade on softphones since they allow you to get an audio file through email or as a push notification on your mobile phone. In addition, you may receive a transcript of the audio file’s contents. So, if you’re at a meeting, you can quickly scan the message to see if it’s essential and worth interrupting or if it’s something you’d like to follow up on later.
Easy Installation and Modularity
Adding a new phone line no longer necessitates purchasing new gear, calling customer service to install it, and programming a new extension into all of your current phones. Instead, a new phone line may be added with a few mouse clicks on a web interface. You can configure a cloud server system with the appropriate login credentials from anywhere. You may add or remove lines and change information from anywhere, with no need for technical staff.
Benefits of a Softphone
- The UI is simple to use and straightforward.
- Compatibility with existing hardware (No need for a dedicated phone line)
- Compatibility across numerous devices and browsers
- The low-cost tier-based pricing system
- Geographical flexibility
- Client information is kept in one central area.
- simple to upgrade Software
- Integration of CRM software
- Advanced features for team participation
- The setup process is quick and effortless
- Increased confidentiality of phone numbers (no need to provide a physical number)
- More efficient customer service
- Make video calls from a compatible device
Softphones are an excellent alternative for enterprises that want scalable, flexible communications that can be used from any location. Softphones offer all of the functions of traditional telephones, plus additional services like video conferencing, chat, and SMS.
Suppose you want all of the benefits of a traditional desk phone with the added ease of portability and integrations. In that case, VSPL’s softphone solution development services can design integrated softphone apps that are just what you need.