What’s a Softphone and 5 Reasons You’ll Want One


At Jive, we recently announced the release of Jive Mobile 2.0, our softphone application. With workforces going more mobile (61 percent of workers report working out of the office part of the time), they need the latest tech to both streamline the hardware they have to haul around with them, as well as lower costs. Softphones help them do both.

What’s a softphone?

A softphone is a phone composed of software, not hardware. Software + phone = softphone. They are usually included in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution. VoIP uses Internet connections instead of traditional phone lines to transmit voice signals.

Because it’s a software application, you can use a softphone across multiple devices, turning any Internet-connected computing device into a phone. There are even advantages to downloading a softphone app to your smartphone. We’ll get to those later.

What’s driving softphone adoption?

Softphones appeal to remote workers and office-based employees alike for several reasons, including:

#1. Lower cost

Softphones are downloaded to your existing devices, so there’s no hardware investment necessary, no cabling requirements, no dedicated lines. Your tablet, smartphone, and desktop are often all you need. Call rates are typically lower with softphones as well.

#2. Less hardware

Softphones reduce the number of devices in your office, or in your luggage if you’re on the go. If a softphone stops working or becomes outdated, instead of paying for a replacement, most softphone providers let you upload the latest version for free.

#3. Simple scalability

When new employees join your team, rather than spring for a new phone and dealing with setup delays, just have him or her download a softphone. That way, the new employee hits the ground running with a phone number and phone. In fact, some companies are avoiding office phones and landlines altogether by switching to VoIP and taking advantage of softphone options.

#4. Better mobility

With a softphone, you don’t have to be sitting at your desk to access phone features or handle business calls. You can check voicemail, look through the office directory, dial extensions, place calls on hold, initiate conference calls, and more no matter where you are: in the office, cooling your heels at an airport on the other side of the world, or working from your home office.

#5. Increased privacy

If you’re like the rest of us, you don’t like handing out your personal number for work purposes. You want your privacy, and giving customers access to your cell and home numbers—while sometimes necessary—is not the way you’d prefer to handle business. Softphones allow you to hand out one business number, and then that rings both your office phone AND the softphone app on your device. You don’t miss any calls, and you aren’t forced to compromise your privacy.

What’s so special about Jive’s softphone?

The latest release of Jive’s softphone application offers organizations new features to improve their communications, like:

  • SMS/Chat. You can send chat messages to co-workers in your network, and for those outside your network, there’s SMS (short message service), or business text messages. And these are all sent from your business phone number no matter what device you’re using.
  • Video Calling. Point-to-point video calls are now available via the mobile app to help you trim travel expenses and time.
  • Geofencing. This enables you to establish location-based rules. When you’re walking into your house, your devices will automatically turn on your Do Not Disturb and other call features. Once you’re back in the office, your device automatically begins accepting calls again.

Don’t get left behind in the technology race. Softphones cost less, are easier to deploy, help employees better connect with each other and clients, and protect your privacy. Read more about Jive’s softphone app, Jive Mobile 2.0, or download it from the App Store or Google Play.

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