One of the largest cost components of buying a new system are the phones themselves. A proprietary desk-phone — that is, one manufactured by the same company that makes the telephone system — is always recommended for power users, receptionists, and call center employees because they are the most tightly integrated and provide the most features out of the box. But this is not necessary for everyone. 3rd party SIP phones can provide many advantages and save you money.
For instance, many SIP phones can be migrated over from an older VOIP system if they’re still in good working condition and supported by their manufacturer.
SIP phones can perform certain functions better than their proprietary counterparts. In a large conference room, where long-range speakerphone quality is required, you may choose to purchase a phone manufactured by a company that specializes in such features. These phones usually have a “starfish-like” or hexagonal design, and Polycom, ClearOne, and Konftel are some of the leading manufacturers that we recommend.
Some SIP phones are available as software only (soft phone), and can be installed on your PC or smartphone. The latter is especially helpful for employees that are always on the move, and can be programmed to display your company’s main telephone number when they make an outbound call. I use a Bria Android client on my Samsung Galaxy s4 and it cost less than $10!
These are just a few advantages that 3rd part SIP phones can provide your business. However, just as with SIP phone lines, not all SIP phones are created equally in terms of interoperabilty with your VOIP platform. Your telephone vendor or value added reseller can help guide you toward solutions that work best in your unique environment.