Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Some very good reasons why employees should be making company calls via a softphone rather than a mobile number and especially their personal number.
I talk to companies every day about their situation and challenges regarding communications and collaboration. I often have companies telling me, especially under lock down, how their employees “just use their mobile” to make calls. Today, the traditional “landline” or 8-digit number we associate with a handset is now just another mobilised number completely available via a softphone from any device. Here are a few reasons why using a company extension via softphone may make more sense than just using the mobile number:
Mental health of employees – the right to disconnect: With mental health of employees always a concern the right to turn off your phone after working hours is becoming increasingly important. With a cloud phone service your phone can be set to automatically go to voicemail at a designated time. This is particularly important in a BYOD policy where employees are using their personal mobile devices and mobile number for work and personal calls. Covid has created the “collapse of work-life boundaries” and that combined with additional scrutiny from employers and the risk of losing your job and forcing employees to work harder and longer; See article “Do we deserve the right to disconnect?”;
Reduce BYOD Risks:
o Employers need to manage issues like software licensing, inadvertent damage to an employee’s personal data, expectations of privacy in the event of an investigation, Freedom of information request or incident response activity. This can significantly reduced by having all messaging, phone, file sharing and videos done within a cloud unified communication app which includes your softphone. See “Bring Your Own Devices for Executives” – Australian Cyber Security Centre
o Brand: the company numbers STAYS with the company;
Security: Leading cloud phone providers have multiple layers of encryption. Smartphone
calls are weakly encrypted in comparison and by some industry accounts can take as
little as 15 minutes to hack;
Increasingly Higher Quality calls: Softphone apps support HD voice and VOIP codec technology is constantly improving.
Insights and Analytics: Easily gather valuable information on all calls companywide to
improve customer experience, manage costs, employee productivity, support compliance. What information do you receive from your mobile phone bill?
Audio Recordings: some industries demand this for compliance. Measure customer
sentiment through AI? Record on demand or continually; Recordings can be stored in a
CRM that helps to build the single customer view.
BYOD: rather than financing the allocation of mobiles, dealing with mobile device
management, not to mention the cost, have them download the company softphone
and allocate them a company direct line; In some cases the company softphone will be
cheaper than the monthly telco voice plan.
Brand: the company numbers STAYS with the company;
Cost: Invariably softphone calls are cheaper than mobile phone calls. Optimise your
company enterprise mobile plan to ensure you have enough data but lower call volume
requirements. The savings can be significant. Also, reduce the BYOD costs related to risk, and/or eliminate expensive mobile device management by having all company correspondence completed through a secure company sanctioned unified communication app;
Business calling features in one place: receiving and making calls from an enterprise
softphone allows a range of options you won’t get from the mobile;
o Easily transfer calls to a fellow employee: Use the company directory within the
app if you need to;
o Audio conference: to multiple team members and then easily switch to a video
conference within the same app;
o Escalate to video conference, if required
o Make calls from multiple numbers of your choice: your main office number, your
direct number, an unlisted number, or from any of your other office numbers.
Just won a deal in Perth. Set up a Perth based number and make and receive calls
from there. Automatically redirect calls to your mobile after a few rings;
o After hours / personal time off: call routing
Enterprise Management: Change the configuration of your or all extensions centrally by
simply logging into the company admin portal.
Integration with CRM or ERP for screen pop, CLID, note taking, call record, click to call,
Device flexibility: receive the call on your desktop and “flip it” to your mobile device to
chat in the other room or walk and talk;
Reliability: leading cloud phone system providers utilise some of the most robust
infrastructure on the planet. When this infrastructure is supporting voice calls, it adds
considerable reliability to the process. One of the global leading cloud phone providers claims a 99.999% service level that they back financially;
Accountability: some leading providers provide reports for your service account that
allow you to monitor and identify in detail when there is a quality issue and what the
source of the issue was.
A final small point but possibly relevant to some. I had an IT Manager voice his frustration to me about having to transfer ownership of mobile numbers from the company account to a departing employee who requested it; a painful and time-consuming process when multiplied by dozens of employees.
The best scenario is a mix of both. They both have their advantages. Have the mobile phone available as a backup option.