The features of new smartphones may be rivaled by those of office desk VoIP phones being offered by Avaya, Cisco, Mitel etc, but the fact remains that office desk VoIP phones probably are not a good fit for workers.
Running a softphone client app for the VoIP platform on an Android tablet or iPad would be a good replacement for desk phones as employees would then be able to depend on the full touch screen controls of a softphone. Phone calls on the tablets could be listened to using a wired or Bluetooth headset.
The replacement of desk phones with tablets is looking like a very smart move, as in more and more enterprises we are seeing an increasing adoption of the strategies of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Mobile First. With mobile apps being released first for workers is being focused on by an increasing number of enterprises, the strategy of Mobile First is gathering increasing importance.
In fact, the replacement of desk phones with tablets can be part of a Mobile First strategy that is either existing or scheduled to be launched soon. Even the strategy of BYOD is increasing – this can be easily seen by looking at the fact that employees are not being provided devices by an increasing number of companies, with probably half of all companies requiring employees to bring their own devices in a few years.
Now let us also look at the difference in deployment costs of tablets running a softphone client, and VoIP handsets. Firstly the hardware costs of VoIP desk phones can be high – one has to also look at cabling costs and other overhead costs. VoIP on mobile devices and Unified Communications (UC) converging, along with the disappearance of landlines in homes, further cement the argument that VoIP desk phones should be replaced with tablets.
If there are a high number of remote workers in a company, they should consider having VoIP softphones shipped to employees instead of VoIP handsets. In fact, shipping charges, as well as hardware costs, can be saved if a BYOD strategy is in place in the company. Manual intervention, mobile application management solutions etc can be used for tablet security and maintenance – employees owning a tablet or smartphone will feel familiar with this.
Web conferences can be attended directly from tablets as this is enabled when multimedia communications support is provided by softphones and UC clients. UC tasks and video conferencing become easy on tablets with new features like cameras facing both the front and the rear. A combination of remote working and the strategies of Mobile First and BYOD is creating more interest in the idea of replacing corporate desk phones with tablets.
Organizations looking at ensuring that overhead costs stay down while making sure that customer requests and internal demands are met with good responsiveness by project teams using collaboration and communication tools, will find tablets to be a good choice. With so many factors in favor of tablets over corporate desk phones, companies will soon see the wisdom in replacing corporate desk phones with tablets.