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Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

(OP)
Hello All,
This may be a basic and opinionated question, but I am a little confused. I tried to search here for something similar but couldn't find any posts.

So a little backstory.... When I started here we were in a terrible contract with our local IT/Phone company who provided us an on prem Zultys solution which worked great and had all the features we needed. Due to the contract, we were paying insane money for something we would never own in the end. Essentially we could have paid off the service over three times. So we ended up buying out of that contract. While on that system we had mostly desktop phones for every user. We had maybe 3 softphones in the building and they would randomly malfunction. Not a QoS type of malfunction but they would randomly mute, lose connection to the dongle, not be recognized by the PC, etc. As we were courting new Voip solutions, our local IT/Phone company told us to stay away from softphones as they are generally more hassle then they are worth. We ended up moving to 8x8 Voip and the owner decided to de-clutter all the desks for everyone except IT, and everyone received new softphones. 8x8's software was terrible and so was their support but the softphones were probably 50% of the issue. That experiment lasted a year and we moved on to RingCentral but with the entire company still on softphones, sans IT. RingCentral has way better software and support and works great, for the most part but we do still have softphone issues but not nearly as bad as with 8x8.
I guess my basic question is are softphones a giant pain in the ass? IT didn't have a ton of issues with 8x8 with our desktop phones but we did have some. Since moving to RingCentral we have had zero issues with the desktop phones but since the rest of the company is on softphones we do still have some physical seeming issues. So since the owner has a softphone she is determined that RingCentral is the issue and we are shopping for a new Voip provider again. I tried telling everyone that we could fix almost everything by going back to desktop phones but after shelling out about 10k on new softphones, it seems to fall on deaf ears. Essentially I was hoping you fine people here would validate that softphones are terrible and to stay away from them. It is possible that it is the brand we use I suppose but they are not cheap. We use Plantronics Voyager B235-M and Plantronics Savy W440s and both seem to have some issues.

Let me know what you guys think and if there is a better softphone out there that you have used which has little or no issues, please let me know. Have heard Jabra is the way to go....

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

Quote (DrB0b)

I guess my basic question is are softphones a giant pain in the ass?
Yes and no. it depends on QoS setup and network setup.
We only use softphones if the PC has a VLAN capable NIC and QoS is setup properly and the ethernet network must be configured with VLANs and QoS as well.
Remote softphpones will stay troublesome as you have no control over the network but for a road warrior a connection is more important as voice quality.
In respect to the softphone used I don't think there are real bad softphones as they all use the same protocols etc.

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

(OP)
We have the QoS side locked down but all the issues we deal with seem to be physically related to the softphone itself. Random times it will mute itself and you have to physically remove the dongle and plug it back in to be unmuted. Random times it will not answer a call. Etc..... Issues that seem to be related to the softphone either loosing connection to the parent PC or its own dongle seem to be the biggest issue we have had with them. That said we have about 100 of them in play. Maybe we are using so many and just seeing issues at a higher rate?

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

What soft phones are you using and/or have tried?

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www.curlycord.com
Toronto, Canada

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RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

(OP)
See above but: We use Plantronics Voyager B235-M and Plantronics Savy W440s and both seem to have some issues

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

The corner of my brain thought headsets so I skipped it....never new they made softphones, but maybe that's the issue.
Kinda of like cable companies supplying dial tone, they were so terrible at first but ok now.

I use Bria by Counterpath and never had an issue but I do not have a load on the bandwidth.

Suggest you try Bria for 1 or 2 users but also to test sign up for a couple free accounts with another carrier like Call Centric and test like crazy calling each other (no charge to call other centric users)
That will help narrow it down to softphone or network.



________________________________________


=----(((((((((()----=
www.curlycord.com
Toronto, Canada

Add me to LinkedIN

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

(OP)
Sorry that was the headsets and not the actual softphone app. As for the app we use Ring Central and all seems fine with it. We can try a different one and see if it makes any difference with the headsets.

Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.

RE: Softphone Issues, best softphone available?

Have you tried a wired headset?
Have seen issues with Bluetooth headsets with randomly disconnecting even with the official dongles.
(Plantronics Voyager). It appears to go into a deep sleep state and the system thinks there is a speech path when there to the device when their isnt.

You can also lose the first second or so while the audio path is setup.

It could be that their is some RF interference which is affecting the headset in that location.

If you need to use wireless then a DECT based headset could be an option. They have a longer range than Bluetooth but are more expensive and often heavier.

If the users don't make many calls a USB handset could be an option. Plantronics and Jabra both make them.
As for QoS, for Windows 7 onwards you need to apply a Group Policy for QoS markings and the from experience with Jabber the QoS Trust setting on the switchport needs to be set for a softphone.

The vast majority of our secretaries in our hospitals and all of ICT use Cisco Jabber with most people using wired headsets.
The biggest complaint from the secretaries is the headband messes their hair... (But don't complain about not getting neck pains from cradling a receiver with their neck).

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