A main concern amongst business owners concerning remote workers is being able to control and centralize communication conduits. Although a worker in the office can be plugged right into the company phone system, how does this translate to those who work from home — either full or part time?
In a spirit of addressing these concerns, there is a viable option worth considering. When thinking about how to equip a remote worker with the tools they will need to remain productive and be collaborative team players, a softphone solution on a VoIP system is a sensible and cost-effective idea.
In other words, a softphone is a phone that functions through software on a computer, using either the conventional phone line or Voice over Internet Protocol to transmit the conversation between the involved parties. Softphones, unlike many exclusively VoIP-based phones, do not require a physical device, and instead reside on any computing solution with an Internet connection. They often include a digitally-based number pad as a part of the program.
Therefore, it makes more sense to utilize softphones when equipping your remote worker for ongoing connectivity.
The Sum of Its Parts
A softphone consists of the following parts:
- An interface, or platform for communication between the user and the computer or device. It offers the user a dial pad to dial numbers, and in some cases, a keyboard or keyboard to enter names for new contacts and searches. The interface also includes control buttons to manage calls and presence. It works with audio input and output of the device to play sounds and capture audio during calls.
- An engine for processing calls, with modules in a communication API that allow calls to be placed and received in a particular protocol.
- A set of codecs that allow voice data to be encoded between analog (as we hear it and as we speak naturally) and digital formats. Codecs also compress the data so that they can easily be transferred over the Internet.
- A contact list, which is a list of numbers and names that makes it easy for the user to keep track of numbers and manage correspondents.
Softphones as Innovative Business Enabler
Consider that, for the economical business owner, before implementing any technology-based decision, the financing of new equipment must be seriously considered. With a sound VoIP solution, you can use traditional handsets like you have been used to, but you can also send and receive calls from any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
Softphones are advantageous when it comes to mobility, as workers can simply install the client to an existing mobile device and utilize an Internet connection to place or take calls. Another attractive feature of the softphone is their price (or lack thereof, rather). Without the need for any specialized equipment, a softphone client can be easily downloaded and set to your device. Depending on your plan, there may be extra costs per user, or costs per device, or none (or minimal costs). Having your IT provider lay all of this out for you before you make the investment is a wise idea.
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Remote workers need a quick and easy solution that’s accessible anywhere, anytime, and a softphone mobile subscription seems to be the best fit. But, that is entirely dependent on the client’s unique requirements, IT infrastructure, and business objectives.
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For assistance and advice while setting up your communication solutions, reach out to One Source Imaging Solutions, a proven leader in mobile technology solutions, at (800) 875- , or by email at 8843ITsolutions@osisit.com for more information.