A softphone is a downloadable application that allows users to make and receive phone calls via the internet on mobile devices, laptops, and desktops. Softphones offer benefits, and some additional features, that traditional telephone lines do not.
There are many benefits to a softphone application including added features, cost benefits and a more robust communications service. The following is not an exhaustive list, but some of the most prominent benefits of a softphone application for the university community.
- Greater mobility
Full telephone functionality at home, on campus, traveling, or wherever there is an internet connection, allowing faculty and staff to seamlessly work, and have a more consistent presence, with their U-M number no matter where they are.
- Expanded privacy
Telephone abilities with a U-M phone number so faculty and staff no longer need to provide their personal number to others for work purposes.
- Device options
Ability to choose any combination of how the softphone application is used; university-provided or personally owned laptop, desktop, mobile device or from a desktop phone if needed. Also offers multi-device compatibility.
- Increased functionality
Comprehensive calling features, including options for when/how calls are received, contact integration, and more. These features are all available with a quick application download through an easy-to-use interface.
- Decreased environmental impact
A cloud based softphone service limits physical devices and backend equipment. Eliminating the need for physical phones also eliminates the costs associated with updating, maintaining, and moving telephone lines.
- Efficiency with a Softphone Application
The softphone application user interface offers shortcuts and enhancements such as drag-and-drop call transfers, ability to transcribe voicemails, and voicemail-to-email service. These features will enable phone communication that is faster and easier to manage.
- Network flexibility
Ability to use the softphone application through most internet connections, without the requirement of a VPN.
This is not an exhaustive list of the softphone features available, but a limited list of those that may not be currently available with a physical phone. All current features available with a traditional phone will continue to be available to the university community with a softphone.
- Traditional phone capabilities such as: call forwarding, call hold, call transfers, shared contact directory, incoming call notifications, caller information, and voicemail options.
- Customizable call parameters to ensure you are only getting notifications from your U-M number when you want to receive notifications.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) enables calls with a U-M number from any of owned devices you choose to use without using your personal cell phone number.
- U-M Presence from your softphone which indicates when individuals are online, offline, busy or in a meeting. This enables others in the university community to know when they should reach out or when they might not get an immediate response.
- Effortless conference calls including the ability to switch a call from your softphone application on one device to another quickly if needed.