Are softphones the future of BYOD?

As more enterprises move into the BYOD era, the term 'softphones' has become a key trait as it allows IT departments to deliver unified communication systems. According to Diane Meyers, an analyst for Infonetics Research, the relationship between a workplace phone extension and a hard phone will become a thing of the past. Are softphones the future of BYOD? What positives will come from this shift?

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This is an interesting concept and prediction. Do we call it BYOS (Bring Your Own Software)? Weren’t VoIP, IM, and the related unified communications technologies supposed to do this already?

I think people want to have a tangible phone/tablet/laptop in their hands to tinker with and suspect these devices won’t go away for a long, long time. I also believe that BYOD in its current form is here to stay and people in IT and information security are going to have to step up to the plate, get people on board by focusing on their communication skills, and come to a consensus on how to properly secure the devices and information residing on them.

I do think we’ll come around eventually – maybe in the next 8-10 years…until then, it’ll be heads in sand as usual.

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  • TomLiotta
    It's been coming piecemeal for at least a couple decades. It began for me almost 20 years ago with a data center monitoring setup that contacted (and could be contacted by) support personnel over phone lines. Cell phones started the serious extensions; and tablets, VoIP and smart phones are a natural evolution.   IMO, one big issue is simply that there has been no corresponding evolution of 'etiquette'. I have often been called to a location -- a cubicle, a desk area, an office -- for a support issue or a significant problem only to have the person who made the request allow interruption from an incoming phone call for them. ("Hold on. I'll just take this call...".)  It seems that the belief is that an incoming call is always the higher priority. It implies that a support resource always has time to waste sitting around while an unrelated conversation continues.   Any circumstances where interruptions are easy and accepted will cause additional wastes of time for everyone except the primary participants of the interruption. When instant communication becomes the expected norm, interruptions will be the rule rather than the exception.   While there will be many environments and jobs that will see advantages, there will be others that might see more difficulties.   Tom
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