There is a long ongoing debate over the advantages of using deskphones with VoIP phone systems. As with most technology debates, there are pros and cons on both sides. Companies choose VoIP to reduce their overall phone bills, upgrade their communication features, and enhance client communication. While the practical functionality of both deskphones and softphones are similar and maybe even identical in some cases, there are a few differences (beyond the obvious!) that differentiate them from one another.The question is: which of the two is better?
It’s really more a question of which is better for your use case, because it depends on the needs and expectations of the user.
For instance, a business user is used to a phone on the desk. It’s there and easy to use. There is no training required since it behaves like the “old” phone. It’s incredibly easy to use, especially for those already familiar with traditional phone systems. Tech-savvy users will find softphones easy, but there is usually some onboarding or training involved.
Additionally, with a good deskphone, especially with executive models, you get a whole array of features that enable you to personalise your phone, create shortcuts, and increase your efficiency. Generally, softphones have far fewer additional features. Group meetings over the phone are everyday occurrences in the majority of small offices, and you always want these to run as smoothly as possible. Most desk-phones are built to support these types of engagements, where multiple people are gathered around the same desk. Softphones, on the other hand, can sometimes make this task quite difficult for inexperienced users.
Another good reason for investing in deskphones is its dependability. It’s always there and ready to go. As long as your internet is working, you won’t run into many issues. Softphones, in contrast, rely on your device for operation. If your PC won’t turn on, has a virus, or is just performing badly, then receiving and making calls becomes impossible. Keeping your phone separate from your PC by using a deskphone represents a safer option. For any call you need to make, it’s there, and it’s ready.
Plus, call quality is often much better on a deskphone. With HD audio available on both IP deskphones and IP headsets, overall sound quality often depends on price. But if you are comparing just a basic headset versus a basic deskphone, the sound quality offered by the deskphone is the clear winner.The most important thing to remember: deskphones aren’t going anywhere – at least not yet.
With Sangoma, you can take advantage of Unified Communications (UC) with deskphone and softphone options designed for our UC platforms. Enjoy easy communications anywhere, anytime with Sangoma UC systems.
Happy Calling with Sangoma IP phones!
The post Why Businesses Still Use Desk Phones Over Softphones appeared first on Sangoma.
At the end of last month, I published an article on Toolbox that highlighted the four essentials of a UC Systems. Outside, of course, of just making a phone call, I believe they are:
- Mobility. And the mobility features should be free.
- Presence Ability.
- Video Collaboration.
- Contact Center Feature Integration.
Why do I pick these features? It’s because the “office” has now became not just a place you go (or used to go), it’s more of just where you decide to do your work that day, be it a home office, an AirBnB in some nice location, your parents house, the couch, the deck, the …. It’s just where you decided to work that day. And to do that, these four features are required.
Globally, the most trending business communication technology today is still the IP phone system. With VoIP services, your phone calls travel over the internet as data, just like emails. This type of service can dramatically lower your telecommunications costs while increasing your productivity.
The following are some of the benefits of opting for an IP telephony system:Flexible & Scalable
Adding more phone lines or extensions often requires expensive hardware modules. In some cases, you need an entirely new phone system. Not so with an IP PBX. A standard computer can easily handle a large number of phone lines and extensions – just add more phones to your network to expand! Also, IP phone systems are very flexible, allowing easy remote collaboration from any device and from anywhere.Better Customer Service & Productivity
With an IP PBX, you can deliver better customer service and better productivity. Since the system is now computer-based, you can integrate phone functions with business applications. For example, outbound calls can be placed directly from Outlook or a business’s customer database, removing the need for the user to type in the phone number. Plus, the system can bring up the customer record of a caller automatically when you receive their call.Cost Effective
Making international phone calls through digital or analog phones is expensive. With IP phones, however, you do not have to worry about the per-minute price of calls because your phone service is accessed via your broadband connection, enabling you to make international calls as often as you’d like. Also, with this system, calling between branches becomes more convenient— and free! Most VoIP phone systems come with a rich feature set, including IVR, auto attendant, voice mail, ring groups, and advanced reporting. Unified Communications features are included, to support presence, video and audio conferences, and free calls via the data network. These options are often very expensive in proprietary systems.Remote Working
Hot-desking, the process of being able to easily move offices/desks based on the task at hand, has become very popular. Unfortunately, traditional PBXs require extensions to be re-patched to the new location. With an IP PBX, the user simply takes his phone to his new desk – no patching required! Users can roam too – if an employee has to work from home, they can simply fire up their softphone from either their computer or mobile device. This enables them to make and answer calls from their extension, just as they would in the office. Calls can also be forwarded anywhere in the world!Worldwide Access
More employers are discovering the benefits of having their staff work from home. This has come with the benefits of smaller office spaces, decreased utilities costs, etc., for businesses. VoIP allows employees to securely utilize the voice, fax, and data services of your office from anywhere. VoIP technology has become extremely portable, allowing users to connect from home offices and abroad.Ease of Installation, Configuration, Maintenance
One of our favorite benefits of VoIP is that IP phones are incredibly easy to install—even for those who are less technically savvy. There is no need to have expert technicians running phone wiring throughout your office. Instead, IP phones are virtually plug-and-play. Hosted VoIP software also makes it incredibly simple to add new users, and a web portal makes moving, adding, or changing your systems configuration much easier.Easy Integration with Other Business Systems
Your business likely utilizes various other systems and technologies to enhance your operational efficiencies. VoIP easily integrates with a wide variety of existing business systems. That means you’ll realize all of the benefits of VoIP without requiring modification of your existing applications or IT infrastructure. For example, outbound calls can be placed via Outlook or other business systems, and customer records can even be viewed during inbound calls from customers.Built-in Backup Plan
Without virtual phone systems in place, your company runs the risk of losing telephone service due to outages and other unexpected incidents. The costs associated with losing phone service could be immense depending on the hours business is down and the cost of potential repairs. On the other hand, VoIP allows you to reduce the impact of disasters on your business by quickly redirecting calls in response to an outage according to preset routing plans.Increased Security
Phone system security is a big deal, especially for businesses. VoIP can mitigate security threats by leveraging features like encryption and improved identity management. Hosted VoIP providers work around the clock to protect their networks. Plus, IP phone systems integrate easily with session border controllers, which more intelligently protects your voice network.Supports Multitasking
Along with traditional phone calls, VoIP allows you to send documents, images, and video— all while simultaneously engaging in a conversation. So, you can seamlessly hold more integrated meetings with clients or staff from other corners of the globe.
Buying a Unified Communication business phone system can be confusing. There are many options, many pricing models and many features. And in many cases, what’s right for an SMB is not right for a large enterprise, and vice versa. What is right for me? One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is should I install a system on-premise, or be serviced via a cloud.
If you talk to different people, you’ll get many different answers. And that’s because whether you go to cloud or prem will be dependent on your unique requirements. What is good for the business next door may not work for you. And if you talk to different vendors, you’ll get different answers as well, most likely extremely skewed to whatever they offer (because most don’t offer the same product in premise or cloud form), or which part of the company the particular sales person is getting paid from. So you might even get different answers from different sales people from the same company! Super confusing.
So what are you to do? One of best things to do is to start with a vendor that offers both on-premise and cloud. And one that offers the same product for both. Many companies offer premise and cloud, but because of various M&A they have done, the cloud product is very different from the prem product. What are the top 5 reasons you should choose a vendor like this?
One – The vendor (or reseller of the vendor) can act as a true trusted advisor.
If the vendor (or reseller) offers the same product both premise and cloud, all the vendor (or reseller) cares about is making the sale. Not a cloud sale. Or not a premise sale. Just a sale to you, that fits what is best for you. A true trusted advisor can help you understand and navigate through your unique needs.Two – A product with the same look and feel will have future benefits.
If the company is growing and you want to put remote offices on the cloud, then all employees will have the same tools and look and feel for their UC system. It also gives you as the end user flexibility should you want to change to/from cloud or prem for some reason.Three – As you go through the process, you’ll be dealing with the same sales people.
In many cases, companies have different sales teams because they represent different products or different divisions. You’ll want to maintain talking to the same sales team so you get consistent answers you can understand.Four – You won’t have to worry about channel conflict causing you confusion.
Many vendors with large on-premise installed bases are essentially instructing their sales people or channel to sell cloud. They can’t possibly act as trusted advisors in that case. And in some cases, the channels are entirely different. You may get calls from two different resellers – one selling a vendor’s cloud product and another selling a vendor’s on-prem product.Five – Maybe you haven’t decided which is best for you.
This could be about cloud vs. on prem, but also could be about remote work capability, CRM integration, video calls, contact center features, etc. You need to talk it through. Which brings us back to the Trusted Advisor role as described in number 1.
Sangoma offers both on-premise and cloud solutions for both PBXact and Switchvox UC products.
The post Cloud and On-Premise: Why Businesses and End Users Need their UC Vendor to Offer Both appeared first on Sangoma.
Sangoma is a “one-stop shop” vendor, meaning that Sangoma offers everything you need for your UC solution. From the phone system with contact center features to faxing solutions that are still (surprisingly) very much in demand, Sangoma has a product for you. Certain combinations of those UC solutions really stand out, and perhaps one of the most popular combinations is Switchvox, our all features included UC phone system, and SIPStation, our award-winning SIP trunking services.
Let’s make one thing clear: Switchvox by itself is already a stand-out winner. All features included (seriously, everything), an easy-to-use interface, and flexible deployment options –
all at a price that can’t be beat. Switchvox is built on Asterisk, the world’s most widely-used open source communication software, by the company who supports and maintains the Asterisk project. So, when a customer decides to deploy Switchvox in an on-premise environment and they’re looking for the phone service to pair with it, SIPStation SIP trunking joins the spotlight.
A SIP trunk is essentially phone service that “rides” over your internet connection. The revolutionary aspect about that delivery method is that, dollar for dollar, SIP trunking is cheaper than traditional analog or PRI service because you pay only for the channels you need. SIP trunking allows you to consolidate your technical infrastructure while taking advantage of your ISP (internet service provider) that is already there, making it a future-proof decision for your company’s communications.
Business continuity is never an issue with Remote Call Forwarding which automatically directs calls to mobile phones or other locations in the event of a phone service outage.
SIPStation is Sangoma’s award-winning SIP trunking service that is supported by the same team that will support your Switchvox system. Instead of calling three different companies, you have one point of contact for support and service. And, as an added perk, SIPStation can be set up and configured directly from the Switchvox interface.
The combination of both Switchvox (either on-premise or virtual) with SIPStation is a winning combination for several reasons.
- SIPStation can be set up right in the Switchvox admin portal.
- Using SIPStation means you also get SMS, expanding the way you communicate with your staff.
- Switchvox has all features included with a path to migrate from on-premise or virtual to the Cloud. If your phone service is also with SIPStation, that only increases your flexibility.
- Fax over the internet (FoIP) is also an option with FAXStation. You can keep your fax machine or consolidate to the Cloud – whatever is best for your company.
Most importantly, everything is being delivered through one vendor. While you are saving on your telephony bill with lower rates for local and long distance and simplifying your communications into a single data connection, Sangoma is here to provide end-to-end connectivity.
Contact us now to see how you can reduce your telephony costs while maximizing your UC phone system with SIPStation + Switchvox.
We are all using SIP Trunking today, either to receive service or deliver it to customers, but are you actually taking full advantage of this technology?
For a while now we have been treating SIP Trunking service similar to traditional phone line services, where it’s only available in a bundled set of features, at a flat rate cost. In this way, SIP Trunking has been doing well, saving customers up to 50% of their traditional phone service; offering additional revenue opportunities; delivering efficiency and productivity through dozens of features and more. But did you know we are only tapping into a small percentage of the benefits of SIP trunking?You – The Large Enterprise
Let’s say you are a large distributed enterprise business receiving service from local SIP trunking providers for each of your locations. This means that You:
- Have to maintain multiple regional locations that could have differing service features and settings
- Are paying a flat monthly service fee regardless if your business has low call volume a given month, so you’re paying for what you are not using.
- Are spending a lot of time dealing with billing and calculations of local tariffs
- Managing services with multiple points of contacts from each local vendor
- Have to contact local providers for adds, moves and changes to services
Did you know that all of the above challenges are solved by switching to a wholesale SIP trunking provider? A Wholesale provider touches many carrier networks and is able to aggregate features from other SIP trunking providers and deliver them to you a la carte. So you can pick and choose the specific features your business needs, without paying for anything more, and package them together to deliver a unified solution across your locations. For example, only pay for E911 and SMS services on the numbers that you need those services on. Also, wholesale providers charge you by the minute! With most retail SIP providers, you’re paying for phone lines while your business is closed; Wholesale SIP trunking has you paying for what you use.You – The ITSP, MSP or VAR
Access to a wholesale SIP trunking provider lets you support your existing retail SIP trunking customers and sell phone numbers and other VoIP services not available within your network reach, adding new revenue streams. Or if you are just getting started, offer new retail SIP trunking service and choose and bundle which features you want to offer your new customers. For example, add SMS to your customers’ main lines or offer ancillary services like conference bridges, call forwarding, fax to email, and more.
If you are still trying to understand retail vs wholesale SIP trunking click here for a quick comparison table.
If you are interested in wholesale SIP trunking, check out SIPDepot. It is a turnkey service, which means minimal fuss and hassle, whether you are using the service for your own business, or selling it to your customers. With SIPDepot take advantage of :
- Single Point of Contact
- SIPDepot is responsible for delivering you the diverse set of services from across regions and eliminates the labyrinth of contacts and procedures required to perform moves, adds and changes with individual localized providers.
- Cloud-Based Management Portal
- Manage services and place orders on your own terms, such as phone number provisioning, rather than having to contact the provider’s technical support staff for changes.
- Simple Billing
- Receive just a single invoice for all the diverse set of services being delivered from across regions, making it really easy to accurately bill your business or customers. Also leverage SIPDepot’s hosted billing platform to handle number porting, billing, tax calculations, reporting and compliance, so that you can focus more time on growing your business.
Learn more about SIPDepot and its features such as SMS and E911 Monitoring.
If you want a more indepth look into wholesale SIP trunking, read our Frost and Sullivan white paper .
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