Businesses are hanging up on the desk phone

KPMG, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has ditched desk phones. PWC have done the same in favour of mobile phones, shifting to a ‘mobile first’ culture… And they’re not alone.

The days of cradling a desk phone between your head and shoulder on a long conference call are over for KPMG LLP’s Canadian employees.

The accounting and advisory firm has deactivated desk phones for all of its approximately 5,000 employees, and PWC have done the same for all of its 18,000 employees, supplying mobile phones instead.

“You couldn’t find a phone if you looked for it,” Greater Toronto Area managing partner Sebastian Distefano said of KPMG’s telecom transformation, which the company first introduced at its new Vaughn office and then rolled out nationwide.

Although many office employees these days already have a smartphone, hanging up on a telecom staple such as the desk phone still challenges ingrained corporate behaviour.

It’s no problem for digitally native firms such as Facebook Canada, where employees only use cellphones and retreat to in-office phone booths if they need a quiet space to take calls. At bigger firms, however, that idea can take some getting used to.

“It was a bit of a change,” Distefano said. “There’s little things you’ve got to get used to.

There are some cost savings associated with cord cutting — desk phones can cost about $100 each for the equipment alone — but Distefano said the primary driver for the decision was flexibility, as its teams frequently travel to clients where they couldn’t be reached at their primary phone numbers.

Businesses in general have been slower to ditch landlines than consumers as they tend to be more conservative and cautious, said IDC Canada telecom analyst Lawrence Surtees.

Smaller business, especially in mobile industries such as plumbing or construction, were the first to become completely wireless because it made more sense as many of their employees are always on the road. Now, bigger organizations are following the trend, driven in part by employees who bring their own devices to work.

Axing landlines at the workplace often accompanies a change to shared office space since employees are no longer anchored to their desk phones.

When it comes to endpoints, businesses have a decision to make, between
deskphones – the traditional plastic option we’ve all grown familiar with, softphones, that live on their computer desktop or mobile phone or Mobile Phones utilising cellular technology.

Positives and Negatives of Softphones

If you’re on the search for a flexible, versatile, and portable solution to Unified Communications, then you might be looking for a softphone. The softphone comes with many distinct advances, available when businesses choose to leave the traditional deskphone behind and opt for a more software-based piece of equipment. While a deskphone can be a pricey piece of hardware, tethered to a physical environment, a softphone deployment is a simple, cheap, and offers an easy way to take communications with you wherever you go. The benefits of softphones include:

  • Versatility: With the right software, you can install a softphone on any device you have with you in the moment. That means that you can call your customers or co-workers through a softphone on your desktop, your laptop, your smartphone, or your tablet
  • Portability: The flexibility of the softphone means that you’re never restricted to a desk space. Your softphone can come with you wherever you might go. Depending on the software provider, and your phonelines, you can use your softphone as a sort of mobile phone
  • Cost efficiency: Softphones cost practically nothing – there’s no investment in any expensive pieces of hardware, and this can be particularly beneficial to small teams and businesses who don’t have much of a budget to speak of. There’s no license, and no physical system to worry about

Of course, Softphones aren’t ideal for every situation. Softphones need to be able to work alongside whatever hardware is currently available, which means that the quality of your audio connections could vary quite significantly.

Mobile on Cellular – all the benefits of Softphones with HD call quality.

The ultimate game changer is a user having the ability to use their mobile phone and not have to worry about WiFi connections or eating in to their precious data plan.

The ConXhub solution, offers customers the freedom, flexibility and cost savings of using mobile phones with the added bonus of utilising the mobile cellular network for making and receiving calls, even when calling from the companies business phone numbers.

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