For today’s increasingly connected employees, work is no longer a place but is instead a fully-immersive activity. The adoption of cloud communication technologies, mobile devices, software, applications, and social media has removed the boundaries set by traditional workplaces and has instead enabled organizations and their teams to achieve greater flexibility as to how, when, and where they work.
To further empower modern businesses and their mobile workforce, trusted cloud Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider OnSIP recently unveiled its first business softphone for Mac and Windows. Free and feature-rich, OnSIP’s new desktop app offers users another way to access their business phone and make work calls anywhere or anytime. In this article, John Riordan, the Co-Founder and CTO of OnSIP, talks about their latest offering and shares with VoipReview.org why OnSIP for desktop is a must for bringing modern teams together.
Taking Enterprise Communications Up a Notch
When people used to talk about business phones, they often referred to the physical phone sitting on a desk or in a conference room. But today, with the advent of cloud and VoIP technologies, business phones are no longer limited to just physical office hardware. When users now talk about phones, it can refer to softphones or soft clients, a type of software or an application installed on a computer, laptop, or mobile device that allows users to place VoIP calls and carry out other phone functions.
Softphones are significantly cheaper than traditional desk phones and are quicker to install. They also offer greater flexibility to users because they only need an internet connection to access all features. While softphones have been a popular option for many users for a long time, not all solutions available on the market serve as a complete desk phone replacement. Seeing a gap in the market, leading innovator in enterprise communications OnSIP created a solution that took softphones up a notch.
The provider first launched the OnSIP app, a free Unified Communications browser app, in March 2016. With no downloads or plugins required, the OnSIP web app offered teams a business-grade phone on the go. The web phone lets users quickly make voice and video calls, check voicemail, manage contacts, and more, in one interface--even if the computer is not their own. Over time, OnSIP built more features into the app and, after reviewing usage of the app, realized that they needed to give their “power users” something more permanent than an open browser tab. Thus, the birth of the OnSIP desktop app for Mac and Windows.
"We originally created the OnSIP web app because we saw it as an opportunity to innovate and satisfy a growing business need,” said Riordan. “ As it became more popular, we saw a shift in behavior - some customers were using the web app on a regular basis, in place of a hard phone. Others relied on it for remote working. Our desktop release gives these users the ability to access these features from a native application instead of opening a new browser window and logging in for every session," he explained.
Free for OnSIP customers, the desktop app is a fully functional business phone with a single, user-friendly interface, specially designed for the flexible and mobile worker. Currently, the desktop app is only available for Mac and Windows operating systems. However, according to Riordan, a Linux release is slated for later this year.
Key Features of OnSIP for Mac and Windows
According to Riordan, OnSIP stands out from other soft clients available today as it builds upon the flexibility of their existing web app and offers users a complete replacement for their business phone.
“Our new desktop app enables a user to have a softphone integrated right into the computer’s operating system. This allows for some performance enhancements: users can access the softphone from a desktop or dock/system tray icon, while incoming calls will prompt a desktop popup notification that provides caller ID info,” explained Riordan. In addition to enjoying the reliability of a native desktop application, OnSIP’s new app for Mac and Windows also offers the following:
Advanced call handling: Standard features such as hold, mute, dial pad, volume control, multi-line call management, and recent call history are available. The app also offers advanced capabilities like click-to-call contacts on your contact list and drag-and-drop call transfer. Users can even access their voicemail messages and settings, including the option to receive recordings via email.
Video calling and conferencing: The app enables users to video call contacts with a single click. Users can also set up multi-party conferences that allow up to five parties to engage in a free video call within their web browser.
Inbound call queue management: A real-time dashboard is built into the app, presenting supervisors with a live overview of their ACD queues and agents. Supervisors can listen in on any active inbound call and “barge” into them as needed. Historical reports are available over custom time periods and can be downloaded as CSV files to review in-depth calling data. For instance, managers can view the average time callers have spent waiting on hold, how many calls each agent accepted, the busiest time of day, and other metrics.
Slack integration: The app also comes with a seamless integration with popular team collaboration solution, Slack. The app is already equipped with simple text chat, but Slack users can replace it with Slack’s robust chat service via an in-app integration. Slack conversations with team members will be imported to their contact page within the OnSIP app. App users can send and receive messages to other Slack users in their company without having to navigate between two separate windows. Users can even message Slack channels that they are a part of right from the OnSIP app interface, as well.
Enterprise-grade security: More than just delivering a feature-rich softphone solution that allows users to call any phone number and extension dial co-workers, OnSIP also puts a premium on the security of its customers’ communications. Riordan shares that their web and desktop apps are built using WebRTC, the open source technology now supported by Google, Mozilla, Apple, and Microsoft that enables web browsers to send and receive voice, video, and other data streams. WebRTC has native, built-in features that secure all instances of communication. Before any data is transmitted, it is first encrypted using the Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) communications protocol and decrypted at the receiving endpoint. OnSIP also restricts access to the web and desktop apps by requiring users to authenticate themselves using their login credentials before each session.
So far, the response to the new OnSIP softphone has been positive. Customers have noted many benefits from using the desktop app, particularly in the flexibility and mobility it grants users. “The desktop app is perfect for people who travel from location to location for work," says Bryan Katz, VP of Engineering at toXcel. "For example, I rotate between two different offices in the same town and travel quite a bit for work. Therefore, the desktop app is much more convenient for me when I’m away."
To learn more about OnSIP’s enterprise communications solutions and how they are pushing businesses forward, please visit OnSIP’s website.
OnSIP offers simple yet powerful communications solutions for modern organizations, which enable them to collaborate with each other and connect with customers while saving time and money. Founded in 2004, OnSIP is trusted by over 80,000 customers accounts. The company was named by leading analyst firm Gartner as a Cool Vendor in Unified Communications (UC) in 2015 for their innovative solutions.
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