Desk Phones Destined for Extinction? Not So Fast.

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New research suggests that the desk phone could be going the way of the dodo bird, film cameras, and Palm Pilots. Two surveys from Fonality and Google found that just 51.6 percent of workers view their desk phone as the top option for placing and receiving calls, compared to 48.5 percent who prefer either their mobile device or computer software (PC-based softphones). This trend makes sense when you consider that more than one-third of respondents do most of their work outside of the office.

However, the desk phone is still an essential communication tool for the majority of workers despite repeated predictions of extinction. A recent survey from Software Advice found that desk phones are used by 64 percent of companies with VoIP service, and 69 percent of employees who spend more than half of their time working remotely still use their desk phones.

The primary reason for the staying power of desk phones is the fact that most company cultures prioritize familiarity and are resistant to change. In many cases, smartphones and tablets are still thought of as new technology. The desk phone is typically viewed as more secure and reliable than softphones and mobile devices, and employers would rather bring the functionality of those alternative devices to the tried-and-true desk phone. Although mobile devices and softphones are gaining ground, the desk phone continues to be the leading voice communication tool in the workplace.

Organizations are also recognizing the varying preferences between generations with regard to both physical tools and modes of communication. For example, Millennials tend to be more comfortable texting, emailing and instant messaging than Boomers, who are more likely to pick up a phone and dial a number by pushing buttons. These generational preferences underscore the need for companies to offer a blend of communication tools and services.

ShoreTel has responded to the demand for flexible telephony options with ShoreTel Connect, a platform that enables organizations to choose how their communications system is structured. Choose an on-premises, self-managed hardware system, a managed phone service that resides in the cloud, or a hybrid system that uses both onsite and cloud-based tools and applications.

ShoreTel has a number of physical desk phones that offer sophisticated functionality such as presence, smartphone docking and visual voicemail. The ShoreTel Connect mobility app makes it possible for employees to securely and cost-effectively integrate their mobile devices with the ShoreTel phone system. The mobility app leverages the wireless LAN network to prevent dropped calls and performance issues that commonly plague cellular service used inside buildings. It also provides modern, productivity-boosting features such as videoconferencing and customer relationship management integration.

ShoreTel Connect offers the flexibility and simplicity that organizations demand from their communications systems. As a ShoreTel Circle of Excellence partner, IPC can help you take full advantage of the ShoreTel suite of solutions. Let us determine which model is best suited for your company’s specific needs and help you optimize your business communications by implementing ShoreTel Connect.