This is one of the most asked questions from companies interested in VoIP system. Integration of this technology is a huge leap for companies that have always been operating on conventional telephone services.
If you are among those who asks if you really need VoIP phones to use your cloud VoIP, the answer is no. However, since you’re aiming for better business operations and increased productivity, you will need the right type of VoIP phones.
Like many business software, pbx phone system comes in different types. As such, you’ll rarely find one solution that fits all businesses in the same industry. While installation of soft phones is enough for one establishment, the other might find it a necessity to do certain telecommunication functions with IP PBX telephone system.
How VoIP Works
Apparently, both PSTN and VoIP work for the same goal—to transfer voice calls from one end to another. However the way they perform to serve the same purpose differs. PSTN delivers voice signals through copper lines and requires cables to be physically connected to be able to deliver a call.
VoIP, on the other hand, does not require physical infrastructure to operate. Hosted pabx converts voice signals into packets, which are then transmitted over the internet. After converting the signals, the system can then handle the data just like other types of media such as an audio file, a picture or a word document delivered through the internet. As such, cloud VoIP works similarly as emails rather than standard telephone lines.
VoIP with Softphones
Before cloud VoIP became popular in the business industry in Singapore, the only method to make calls with VoIP is through the computer. Before the existence of IP phones, everyone uses software application with superb cloud voip quality to use the technology. Users can conveniently download and install any softphone app they prefer and use it for making and receiving calls via the internet.
When it became a big hit and more businesses and organizations in Singapore begun using it, manufacturers create phones with more specialized functions for business operations. Now, there are hundreds of IP phone models from different brands and manufacturers. Establishments and organizations in Singapore now face an overwhelming range of choices and there’s often very little difference to distinguish one phone type from the other.
Advantages of VoIP Phones
One obvious difference between a softphone app and a dedicated IP phone is the hardware. The latter is a hardware that is dedicated to perform the only function of making and taking voice calls. Therefore, with a physical phone, you’ll likely be provided with a much better audio quality compared to what you get from your earphones or from your laptop’s built-in speakers. The more sophisticated and advanced the model of your IP phone is the better audio quality you can expect.
Moreover, pbx phone system can display additional information of the call and has function buttons for you to use for specific tasks. You can do things like transferring calls to another phone in the same network or put the caller on hold with just one press of a button. Of course, these functions can also be done with softphones, but you have to pay attention on the screen and it usually takes several clicks to perform an action.
Hard phones also provide better return of investment. Though this may sound counterintuitive as they cost more than softphones, a hard phone can last up to 10 years compared to cellphones, PCs and laptops, which usually last only three to five years.
Lastly, hard phones are more appropriate in some areas of an office like the elevators, the guard house, hotel pools and other areas where a computer may not be available. In such locations, a hard phone is a more logical choice to pick.
Choosing an IP Phone
If you’re finally convinced that using a hard phone is more beneficial than a softphone, here’s how to choose the right hard phone for your IP PBX telephone system.
• Who will use the phones?
Depending on the job function of the person using the phone, there will be specific set of needs every person would want to have in their IP phone. When searching for the right hardphone, make sure to consider the needs of every employee who will be using the phone.
• What functions do you need?
Most people can do away with standard IP phone features, such as call transfer, call on hold, conference, etc. Additional functions that your business operations will greatly benefit from are a large screen display, speakerphones and capability to accommodate extra extensions.
• How often will the phone be used?
For customer representative agents, receptionists and other job positions that require constant communication through the phone, they deserve higher quality hardphones. Even if they only use basic functions, which don’t necessary call for high-quality phones, the durability of quality hardphones will save you from frequently replacing them.
• What’s Your Budget
Hardphones for hosted pabx comes in all types and budgets, with prices that can range from S$40 to S$500 a piece. Although price should not be the most important deciding factor, it’s vital to set a clear budget for your IP phones, since you do not want to overspend. Your budget will encourage you to look closely at the features and functions that are more important for you.
Generally, you don’t need an IP phone to use a cloud VoIP. However, although you can get away with softphone applications for personal use, the possibility of inconsistent connections and poor voice quality is just unacceptable for establishments.