The BYOD Problem

The BYOD Problem

Desk phones have significantly better clarity of voice than smartphones. We spent a great deal of time making that point in our last blog post because it’s an important point to make. In fact, if you haven’t read it, take a look here.

Is voice quality an underrated quality for a business phone system? We spoke to Primus Product Manager Christopher Millar, who told us: “In some respects, yes. Convenience, efficiency, and mobility are key considerations and benefits with modern telecommunications, but there are usually trade-offs verses call quality. The key is to evaluate what will meet the all of the various needs of the business—not just from an economics perspective but from a functionality and quality perspective. Mobile communication may be a key requirement for enabling a remote or distributed workforce—and is a powerful tool.  However, if you are having an important conference call with a key customer, do you want that to be done via a cellphone, or a quality desk or conference phone with excellent voice quality? Sometimes you need multiple tools available to you and your team to do the job right.”

Since we’ve already made our case for call quality, let’s talk about some of the things business think they’re getting by choosing smartphones over desk phones, perhaps thinking that they’ll get all the best features of a desk phone in a smartphone when really, that just isn’t possible.

The BYOD Cycle Is Fast

How long does the average smartphone last? 18 months. Every time a device is switch out for another, it requires a businesses IT department reinstall software, update policies, recertify applications, retrain workers, and more.

BYOD Puts Serious Strain on IT

Businesses may require that employees maintain their own devices, but the reality is that the IT department takes care of most tech support. In a BYOD environment, that means understanding and troubleshooting potentially dozens of different types of devices.

BYOD Threatens Security

Speaking of IT headaches, BYOD brings significant security risks to a business. With large numbers of devices coming and going from the network, potential points of attack increase. When devices are used for both business and personal life, data protection becomes an issue. On top of that, because IT departments don’t have much control over devices, it becomes incumbent upon individual users to be vigilant and maintain network security. And guess what? People are fallible.


Computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices share memory, processing power, input/output, and screen space with all the other applications that are running, which threatens performance. What happens when a device crashes during a video conference call? It crashes the meeting too. A desk phone is just a desk phone. It does one thing and does it well.

The Bottom Line

It might sound like we dislike smartphones. Nothing could be further from the truth—it’s just that we think that anyone who promises all the benefits of a desk phone on your smartphone isn’t being truthful or realistic. There are lots of factors smartphones bring to the table, such as security issues, reliability, and performance issues, which just don’t exist with a network of desk phones. And then there’s the one factor where desk phones will always beat smartphones: high definition voice.

We’ll leave the last word to Brad Fisher, GM Canada here at Primus: “When it matters most: would you want to trust your employee’s cell phone to present your brand’s voice at its very best? When you want your client to feel like you are in the room with them, you’re going to want the intimacy of high quality, high definition voice.”