The telecommunications needs of businesses worldwide have changed and evolved over the past decade. Now, it’s possible to leave hardphones, a piece of hardware found on every employee’s desk for decades, behind entirely.
Softphones have created a new alternative to hardphones by shifting the utility entirely to an application on mobile or desktop devices. This change has provided a range of benefits as the modern workforce is now remote or hybrid, alongside the growing need for methods of unified communication beyond voice calls.
Companies around the world are beginning to invest in softphones due to their benefits and cost effectiveness. The global softphone market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5%, reaching US$2.48 billion by 2030 from $1.02 billion in 2022.
Why are organizations across most industries exploring softphones? We’ll be breaking down the core differences, benefits, and drawbacks of these two types of phones to help you understand the right choice for your business.
What is the Difference Between Hardphone and Softphone?
Hardphones, tethered to the Internet through Wi-Fi or an ethernet cord, deliver basic calling features and physical presence, ensuring reliable voice communication. Softphones, in contrast, leverage flexibility, enabling calls, video chats, and messaging across various devices, offering a blend of mobility and advanced functionalities. Both cater to different needs, balancing traditional reliability with modern convenience.
How do these two common types of office phones vary? Both a hardphone and a softphone are powered by VoIP technology, so the underlying infrastructure and its benefits are similar between the two.
Instead, the difference is found in their form, function, and other attributes that directly affect the end user. Let’s start by quickly going over a few of these key differences before diving deeper. Some ways these two types of phones vary are:
Both types of phones have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered before making a decision. Understanding these pros and cons helps inform if your organization should adopt a complete hardphone or softphone environment or take a hybrid approach.
So, we’ll elaborate on the differences between them with a focus on business benefits or drawbacks to be aware of.
We’ve seen softphones evolve over the past decade and can now provide the full range of capabilities and reliability businesses require.
There are several potent advantages to softphones that have helped power their adoption in recent years, including:
However, softphones aren’t a perfect one-size-fits-all solution. So, what are the drawbacks of softphones?
Hardphones are a tried and true way to equip employees with the voice capabilities they need. While they may struggle in some areas, they also offer some advantages worth considering, including:
A few of the disadvantages of headphones include:
Hardphone vs softphone — which one should you choose? Let’s quickly explore a few key points to keep in mind as you decide:
Many organizations can leave hardphones entirely behind, while others prefer to keep them but may augment the workforce with softphones. Some organizations may be able only to use hardphones as well.
One of the most significant trends shaping the modern workforce is the growing need to provide remote and hybrid workers with the right tools. Softphones can provide workers who are not physically in the office with the same capabilities as on-premise workers.
A workforce equipped with softphones can also work while traveling, allowing them to use their business number and extension wherever they are.
Adopting softphones is becoming increasingly necessary for many industries. Any organization with a component of remote work will need to offer some level of service to allow employees to work remotely.
Traditionally, healthcare organizations have depended on headphones largely to maintain security. Softphones have been considered to lack the data protection and privacy healthcare organizations require.
However, while still worth considering when making a decision, platforms like Acrobits have started changing this perspective. Leading-edge softphones offer the level of security necessary to maintain full compliance with healthcare regulations while also offering the benefits of being able to use a mobile device.
The healthcare industry still prioritizes hardphones and will likely continue, but now it’s possible to equip the workforce with mobile and desktop software that adds flexibility for some roles.
Companies offering tech products and services are not only more prone to adopting new solutions, but they also often need a broader range of capabilities than hardphones have to offer.
Softphones are able to offer video conferencing, rich text messaging, and a broad range of other capabilities that allow employees to better collaborate and communicate. This utility also enhances sales and customer service teams that work with external parties.
Additionally, tech companies often have remote or hybrid workers, adding a secondary use case that makes these platforms more appealing.
Fortunately, you don’t need to choose one way or the other; many companies have adopted a hardphone softphone strategy to reap the benefits of both options. While you may decide to adopt softphones fully, you can also augment existing capabilities with softphones to better cater to hybrid workers and the evolving needs of some roles.
Acrobits is a leading provider of softphones, and we’ve continually prioritized innovations that make our platform reliable, cost-effective, and offer various capabilities beyond traditional hardphones.
Is your workforce ready to adopt softphones? Book a demo today to see Cloud Softphone in action.
The telecommunications needs of businesses worldwide have changed and evolved over the past decade. Now, it’s possible to leave hardphones, a piece of hardware found on every employee’s desk for decades, behind entirely. Softphones have created a new alternative to hardphones by shifting the utility entirely to an application on mobile or desktop devices. This […]
Where UCaaS solutions are concerned, to say that users are spoiled for choice would be putting it lightly. There exists a wealth of softphones, VoIP platforms, and communications tools designed for both business and personal use. Zoiper is one such tool — and if you’re here, it’s because you’re either considering a deployment or wondering […]
In the past, business communication largely happened over email and by phone. But times have changed. While email is still as relevant as it ever was, voice communication has evolved. We live in a world of distributed work and digital experiences — a world in which legacy PBX increasingly feels like a millstone rather than […]
I can’t imagine a world without push notifications. Can you? This simple app feature has become essential to virtually every app on the market. Think about it. How else would essential applications get your attention without them? And yet, it wasn’t that long ago that they didn’t exist — in a time where critics called […]