A part of many VoIP systems and services that often gets overlooked is softphone apps for smartphones. I witnessed a distributor with 30 sales people in the field that would have reduced their cellular phone spend dramatically with approximately $2,000.00 in monthly savings. However, the IT team was never been able to influence adoption rates to realize this opportunity. As a result, those in charge of accounting and administration felt mislead. To add more to the discontent, the users who did try the service often stopped at their initial try, siting issues of quality or complexity.
Of course, there are outside restrictions for softphone usage over cellular connections. The product is dependent upon good 3G/4G service, an unlimited data plan, and the battery life on user’s smartphones. So, how can IT teams lead to higher adoption rates and help their organizations save. It starts with understanding and relating the best conditions for initial users?
Tips for Softphone Adoption
Two great reasons why users could choose to use a soft phone are to cut costs and to access their work extension from anywhere (home, cottage, or hotel). Although many employees may not be concerned with the cost of their calls, IT teams can correlate these high bills to low-quality cell phone calls. Every user has experienced these static filled or dropped calls. IT teams can point out that there is a time when using a softphone over a cell phone may actually provide a higher-quality and more reliable service. This can be very true in environments that are
- heavily wired (worksites)
- in-doors (warehouses), or
- secluded (homes or cottages)
but have broadband access over wi-fi. The connection for most softphones is great over wi-fi, both more reliable and clearer. An important note is that many softphones are not set up to transition between wi-fi and the cellular network. Steering softphone adopters towards reliable use situations will aid in adoption rates. It is also likely that a few users will push the envelope and develop higher use rates over 3G and 4G networks helping engage those slow to pick up the new technology.