Hard Phone Popularity Undermined by Softphone Functionality and Interoperability
Hosted PBX solutions can connect with and forward to a variety of contact objects, including smartphones, analogue phones, SIP devices and softphones. While some users prefer to work with only one device, most configure a collection to boost their availability. Yet despite this flexibility, a recent survey by Software Advice—a free comparison tool for VoIP solutions—reveals the majority of VoIP and hosted PBX users rely most on desktop phones. However, the data posit mobile devices may soon surpass traditional desk phones in usage.
Implied Willingness to Transition to Softphone and Mobile Solutions
Although desktop phones play a central role in many communication systems, this does not indicate preference. Nor does it mean users resist phoneless technologies like softphones and OTT apps. In fact, the survey results illustrate the opposite: more than half of users are just as comfortable with softphones as with hard phones. Furthermore, 20% feel more comfortable with softphones.
Note that participants came from multiple industries, such as IT, financial, health care and education. Employees also held both settled and nomadic careers, so their responses broadly reflect the attitudes of an average VoIP or hosted PBX user.
Softphones versus Hard Phones
When it comes down to it, both softphones and desktop phones have benefits and drawbacks. For this reason, business systems should involve both, offsetting the negatives and bolstering the positives for each. Doing so could also reduce the cost of equipping all employees with a hard phone.
The charts below illustrate the top advantages participants cited in the Software Advice survey. Mobility leads the pack for softphones (left/top image), while reliability tops the list for hard phones (right/bottom image). The ability to integrate softphone solutions with other productivity suites is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider for businesses moving towards Unified Communication (UC) infrastructure. Still, quality is a pain-point for landline users looking to migrate, so those resistant to the technology might require a more traditional device with which to interact.
For a full look at the survey, please visit Software Advice: "Determining the Ideal Phone Setup for Your VoIP System UserView."