by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453 by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

Cost-saving telecoms products ‘key for SA’

Time of article published Jul 28, 2011

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Ayanda Mdluli

Cheap and effective communication is vital in the operations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

A pressing concern noted by local and global businesses is the high cost of doing business in South Africa.

There are many reasons for this, including the escalating price of electricity, staff costs and tariffs. As a country that is open for business, the key to ensuring economic growth in South Africa is for businesses to grow, while reducing costs.

Euphoria Telecom has gained ground in the telecoms market with its Cloud PBX product, which aims to allow its clients, mostly SMEs, to save on their communications service fees and upfront capital costs.

Euphoria Telecom is an information and communication technology group that provides voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communication services to SMEs.

George Golding, the managing director of Euphoria, said the company had developed the technology for two years and introduced it to the market in January.

Cloud PBX helped businesses to reduce costs, eliminate complexity and compete more effectively by providing communications services traditionally reserved for large organisations, at small-business prices.

“Euphoria’s fast-growing base of satisfied clients includes Altech Isis, Medway Medical Insurance, Fullhouse Furniture, Wimdu and Visual Tours,” he said.

Golding said the Cloud PBX solution was much more cost-effective than an on-site PBX solution, mainly because on-site PBX solutions were acquired, installed and supported at high cost. Cloud PBX was a low-cost hosted telco service that did not require upfront capital and training or installation costs, and it offered upgrade assurance, he said.

“One PBX can serve a retailer with 100 branches, compared with on-site installation of 100 PBXs,” he added.

Explaining the choice of solutions on offer, Golding revealed that each provider differed considerably when delivering telephony to clients.

He believed that with on-site PBXs, most installations were in the form of server boxes on site with enterprise customers.

In addition, products such as Skype offered PC telephony in the form of a computer application. Consumers called one another from their computers over the internet. However, the service did not offer full PBX functionality and quality was uncertain, and therefore not suitable for businesses, said Golding.

He explained: “Cloud providers follow an improvement in South Africa’s bandwidth situation and allow providers to offer hosted (cloud-delivered) PBX functionality to enterprise customers.”

According to Golding, some SMEs had reduced their telecoms expenses by as much as 50 percent with the service.

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