A good VoIP softphone can provide all sorts of benefits to your business. Usually much cheaper and more accessible than using a hardware-based system, it can be accessed via the cloud will be fully scalable to the evolving requirements of your business.
Some VoIP providers offer an affordable option for smaller businesses, allowing you to scale up your operations as you go. Others offer a more complete communications system which is perfect if you’re a larger organisation.
Which one you choose will depend on the nature of your business and how mobile you need to be. This will shape the set of features you’re looking for. For example, a more mobile business with lots of employees based in the field will need ‘never miss a call’ features. A more data-hungry business, on the other hand, will prize options which allow them to quickly view communications histories and information about each of their contacts.
Choosing the best VoIP softphone
As VoIP softphones vary wildly in terms of features and functionality, to help you choose the best option for your business, we’ve picked out five of the best softphones currently on the market.
The softphone system from Nextiva offers an outstanding enterprise level telephony service which is perfect for smaller and medium-sized businesses.
It includes advanced features such as integrated scalable PBX trunks, online faxing and a
hosted call centre solution. Their call centre services come in two levels: Call Centre Pro and Call Centre Enterprise. The Pro level is aimed at smaller organisations with a team of agents. The Enterprise package is for much larger organisations that need advanced features such as outgoing call control.
The features of the Nextiva VoIP softphone are available through a simple cloud-based system, where new features can be added or removed as your business evolves.
It prides itself on offering enterprise-grade reliability, even with a fully redundant network – communications can continue even if the power goes out. Support is readily available and engineers continuously monitor the network so that any problems are addressed immediately.
Integration: available on Windows, iOS and Android devices. It can also integrate with third-party software programs, such as Salesforce.
Skype was one of the first softphones out of the starting blocks. Today, there are more than 300 million active Skype subscribers.
There’s no need for a free trial because Skype is free – at least for Skype to Skype calls. If you’re calling mobiles or landlines, Skype will charge you. There are also a host of added paid-for features, which you can choose to enhance your experience.
One of the best added features is Skype Translator. No longer will language be a problem when communicating with people from overseas. Skype instantly translates for you, taking the language barrier and kicking it into the long grass – a great tool for international communications.
With business broadband now reaching into gigabyte territory for some packages, Skype is becoming increasingly valuable as a voice and video call service. Video conferencing is smooth and seamless and you can use instant messaging to stay in contact with people while completing other tasks.
Integration: Compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.
Used by more than four million businesses around the world, Bitrix24 offers a great all-in-one business collaboration system. It aims to connect the different communications, collaboration and networking platforms such as email, social media, document management tools and real-time voice communications.
It is a business VoIP system and CRM all in one which makes communications and document sharing quick and easy within a single platform. It’s free to use for up to 12 users, which also works well as a free-trial period. Paid plans are delivered via a cloud-based platform, which is easily scalable.
The cloud-based system sends all your information, including emails, calls, tasks and social media messaging, into a central system which can be seen by all participants. It gives you an enormous amount of visibility over projects and allows streamlined collaboration.
Bitrix24 is a great collaboration tool, allowing the sharing of schedules, data and tasks. A virtual telephone service means individual numbers are not restricted to one device or location, allowing employees to take their numbers with them wherever they go.
Integration: Bitrix works across Windows and iOS.
This cloud-based communications system is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. A comprehensive business phone system, it allows communications via voice, text and video conferencing, is packed with all the features a growing business needs, and it is highly scalable.
The Desktop Connect app allows you to access your phone system from anywhere. From a central call management portal, you can see the call history of all your employees and send instant messages.
Call forwarding features can redirect calls on to your office or mobile phone, setup is quick and easy, support is 24/7, and you can normally get through to a qualified engineer who can answer questions and resolve issues quickly.
The Vonage softphone integrates seamlessly with a number of other systems. The web launcher, for example, can open social media profiles or search information based on a contact’s name. So, if you’re speaking to a new contact you can quickly see their LinkedIn profile to get more information.
It also integrates with platforms such as Salesforce and Office 365. This gives you a single place from which you can measure productivity, manage contacts and communicate intelligently. If you call a Salesforce contact, all their information will pop up on your screen. You’ll be able to see details such as their call and purchase history for the benefit of delivering more personalised customer service.
Integration: The app can be used on iOS and Android devices and it can integrate with programmes such as Office 365, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Bullhorn and G Suite.
Bria5 has an extremely sleek and attractive interface and allows you to easily see and sort through all your call history and data.
It’s simple to use and integrates with a host of third-party programs such as Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Outlook and Mac Address Book.
It positions itself towards the top end of the market with the ‘power user’ very much in mind. Bria is great for multitasking and allows you to continue working on other apps while making voice calls or sending instant messages.
Voice calls can be made in HD and video calls in 1080p for crisp, clear communication. You can send and receive Instant Messages, and share files, videos and images from within Bria, and create and name public or private chat rooms to streamline conversations.
Integration: Windows, iOS or Android.