Think that smartphones are going to do away with desk phones in the modern office? Think again. Sure, modern offices are a lot different than they were in a pre-smartphone age, what with more relaxed dress, open plans, and amenities like foosball tables. But office handsets have some clear benefits over smartphones and even softphones.
Simplified Management & the Need for an Endpoint
IT departments should be empowered with phone systems that have a simplified management platform. They have a million things to do. Between managing networks and handling security, IT departments should be given a break to focus on mission critical issues. Modern business phone systems that are cloud based are that break. They are scalable, update features in real time, and can be centrally managed. Consider an Opex provisioning model when the desk phones auto provision back to the Hosted PBX Platform. Deployment is a snap to set up, features stay current, and the whole system is easier to manage.
Smartphones are perfect distraction machines. When people are making rules about phones when dining out, you know there’s a problem. Smartphone addiction is a real thing and one study found that workers spend five hours a week goofing around on smartphones. It adds up. It’s just so easy to browse the internet, play games, or shop using a smartphone. And that helps the desk phone’s case. A desk phone is just a phone. When employees use desk phones, you can cut down on the distraction factor and boost productivity.
User Preference Can Get Messy
When bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies get written, they cause a whole bunch of issues. It’s complicated for IT to set up and maintain a bunch of smartphones. Invariably, devices are approved or not on a model-by-model basis. Some people are stuck using devices they don’t like or aren’t used to because they don’t use them in daily life. BYOD policies get complicated fast. But everyone uses the same model of desk phone? That makes life easy.
Handsets vs. Headsets: Guess Which Is Cheaper?
Assuming you want a reasonable headset that doesn’t fall apart in two weeks, it isn’t cheaper to move to headsets that connect to your softphone platform (such as Microsoft Teams Voice). You need endpoints. Headsets and smartphones just aren’t as inexpensive as modern handsets.
Audio & Voice Quality
This is the biggest argument against smartphones: they just don’t have the voice quality that you get with an office handset. Desk phones are designed to be phones. That’s all they do. Combine that with a modern cloud-based system and you have the ingredients for crisp, clear voice quality. How many phone conferences have you had where the audio quality is bad and you’re struggling to hear or be heard? Poor connections and dodgy audio makes for one of the most frustrating parts of modern conference calls. But this can be avoided with an office handset.
The Business class handset has a place in today’s workspace and partners like Mitel, Poly and Cisco are developing feature rich devices suitable for office or home environments. We hope these considerations will help you make future ready choices as you plan your Unified Communications roadmap.
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