With the Work Anywhere movement here to stay, companies need to deploy all of the technologies users need on their end devices. To make employees productive, and ensure they love (and use) the solution, IT departments need to make those technologies simple to use.
As a result, companies are looking for a singular, integrated way to provide collaboration, voice, and access to applications and data. This is achievable via virtual desktops with softphones that are delivered via the desktop, with voice embedded, to end-user devices.
Evolve IP has been providing virtual desktops or DaaS along with voice over IP or VOIP / UCaaS since 2008. With over a decade of experience, we’ve uncovered some do’s and dont’s that IT should take into consideration. We’ve tried to distill it down to 3 main concepts.
A Supported Voice Solution vs. The Minimum
The first thing you need to investigate is whether your PBX provider or the PBX you are currently maintaining yourself supports installing a softphone in a virtual desktop. Similar to trying to fill up your gasoline engine with diesel fuel, you need to ensure the vendor will support you if and when you call for help.
It’s also very important to note that while the vendor may say the solution is supported, there are also features they may or may not support. For example, IM and Presence are supported but audio and video calling are not.
Virtual Desktop Requirements and Specifications
Assuming you find that your vendor supports their softphone in a virtual desktop environment, there are also considerations for what type or size of desktop is required. If the vendor states 8G of RAM is required on the client device, then you need to use a virtual desktop that is given 8G of RAM. It may sound obvious, but there is no magic here whereby a virtual desktop can use fewer resources than what the vendor requires.
TIP! We have seen vendors requiring 4G of RAM but recommending 8G of RAM. This seems to be an attempt by the software provider to appeal or fit into lower RAM environments. However, if you call their support you are quickly told “well we recommend 8G of RAM”. Consider the vendors recommended spec as their requirement to avoid the eventual back and forth when a support issue arises.
Virtual Desktop User Experience
Some softphones, like Microsoft Teams, provide not only audio but video as well. This is known as Real-Time Audio and Video or RTAV. If your softphone is capable of these features, there are some resources on the client-side that are being utilized to make the experience that much better. If this is the case you’ll want to ensure you are using a Windows 10 device as opposed to a thin or zero client to get the best user experience.
Download the full Considerations for a Softphone in a Virtual Desktop data sheet and a comparison graph of the user experience when combining Microsoft Teams RTAV with Evolve IP’s virtual desktop offerings today.