ITSPs and VoIP providers are at the forefront of communication trends in the SMB and enterprise markets, and in response to a growing shift in preference from physical handsets to software clients, many providers are considering offering their customers a UC solution with softphones.
We've been providing retail, white-label and customized solutions to service providers of all sizes for over a decade and through this experience we've addressed many unique scenarios. In this blog we've shared some key considerations you'll need to explore when evaluating UC solutions or a softphone for business.
Deciding on an off-the-shelf or customized/white label client
An off-the-shelf or ‘retail’ client allows ITSPs and VoIP providers to take an established and trusted softphone and immediately go to market with it. This is ideal for companies that are testing the waters and trying to gauge demand from within their target market and customer base.
Many potential softphone providers recognize the benefit of white labeling the client and infusing it with your branding. You should consider if you want to take the white labeling process even further than just aesthetics, by customizing many aspects of the client itself. Features and settings can be disabled, hidden, forced to default values. At CounterPath we offer the unique ability to fine-tune the application to your exact specifications and requirements – ensuring your customers get a product that is tamper-proof and won’t drive up support tickets.
Why an agnostic, standards-based solution is important
It’s no secret that customers like holding on to their old PBX equipment. This makes it difficult for providers to offer an effective UC solution as many products are predicated on customers upgrading and replacing their PBX equipment and are designed specifically to work with only certain brands and platforms.
By opting for a fully agnostic third-party UC client, you’re ensuring that even the most stubborn customer with an aging IP-based PBX can still benefit from your softphone client regardless of their hardware or back-end preferences. Customers with multiple locations, running on different PBX systems can layer your softphone client overtop to achieve a single UC experience in even the most diverse technical environments.
Choosing a vendor that can keep up with changes
How many times have you used an application from the iOS App Store or Google Play store in which something stopped working after an update? Applications that rely heavily on the components of a devices' OS and hardware are especially susceptible to OS updates and can often catch developers off guard.
The last thing you want is your customers building their business processes around your softphone, increasing their reliance on it – only to have something break that's out of your control. That’s why it makes sense to look at vendors which have a proactive development team and a history of providing reliable and well-supported solutions. At CounterPath we have over 90 developers and engineers, focused on maintaining our softphone applications as well as the custom-built and white labelled clients we provide, ensuring every product runs smoothly and uninterrupted.
How you plan on provisioning and deploying softphone clients
As with any software, an important factor in ensuring a positive user experience and overall adoption depends on how it is deployed. Minimizing the effort it takes for an end-user to get going with their new softphone is key.
A provisioning server can make the deployment process simpler for both IT and the end user by cutting down on the configuration and setup work needed to get the softphone client up and running. By simply entering a username and password, the softphone client reaches out to the provisioning server to fetch the SIP and XMPP server settings and saving them into the client.
CounterPath has refined this even further with our Stretto Server – a purpose built provisioning server for our customers which allows you to control all aspects of the softphone clients from a single centralized point. With over 250 configurable settings in Bria, Stretto makes it easy to manage by leveraging user profiles, templates, and groups to easily share common attributes and mass-update where necessary, allowing you to deploy thousands of softphone clients in minutes.
In summary, our depth of experience in the field has given us a strong ability to recognize the diversity of use cases from one company to another. We understand what works for one, likely will not work for all, which is why we pride ourselves on the thorough and customized solutions we provide. Our team of subject matter experts and engineers are ready to help you develop a softphone strategy for your specific to your organization.
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