Many businesses that have opted for hosted PBX solutions in an effort to reduce their telecommunications costs are experiencing some unexpected benefits which have little to do with reductions in capital and operational expenditure.
So says Graeme Victor, CEO of telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecom, which operates one of the country's first hosted PBX solutions based on carrier-strength TELES Class 5 technology.
"While savings are important - Du Pont estimates most businesses experience a 35 percent reduction in total telecommunications costs with hosted PBX - users of the technology are also starting to report positive changes in customer perception about their businesses as well as improved productivity and employee morale," he says.
This is as a result of the fact that hosted PBX can make the business virtual by sending calls anywhere - particularly beneficial in multi-site businesses such as retain chains and organisations with offices around the country; as well as for businesses with a mobile workforce. Customers now dial only one number to connect with anyone in the organisation regardless of whether they are in the Cape Town branch, Pofadder store, working from home, or on the road.
"Callers no longer have to try various numbers to reach a person or department; nor do they have to leave a voice mail for someone who is not at his desk in the hope that the recipient will return the call at some stage," Victor explains.
In addition, every branch, store or on-the-move employee has access to the same advanced PBX calling features - features such as Automatic Call Distribution, integrated auto attendant, virtual receptionist, intelligent call routing, call queue management, voicemail transcription - which impresses callers by projecting a consistent, efficient, corporate image.
Another unexpected benefit of hosted PBX solutions is that because employees can communicate with each other without constraints, the notion that everyone within the organisation is part of the same team is reinforced every time someone makes or receives a call.
"Hosted PBX bridges the ‘them-and-us' divide that arises when, for example, an employee in a small store or office has to ‘phone Jo'burg' or ‘head office'.With hosted PBX, they simply dial a colleague's extension number - and calls between extensions are free," Victor adds.
Finally, with the spectre of power outages part of our daily lives, the hosted PBX solution overcomes the problem of traditional hardware-based PBX systems going down when the power goes off. Because the hosted PBX service is always hosted off-site, an outage at the business won't affect its phone service as calls can still be taken on cell phones or at another branch or store.
"There's no doubt that a hosted PBX solution offers a remarkably cost-effective way for organisations, particularly those with multiple branches and sites, to get high-end PBX features and all the business advantages of IP telephony affordably and without risk. However, the benefits clearly go beyond cost savings," Victor concludes.
Du Pont Telecom
Du Pont Telecom provides voice communication solutions throughout South Africa and Africa by distributing a wide range of telecoms equipment along with comprehensive set of voice based telecommunications solutions, customised to deliver cost-effective results. Founded in 1999, Du Pont provides business assessment, strategy revision, management training on all aspects of voice communication solutions and the implementation of business and management tools. Du Pont Telecom counts Investec Bank and Liberty Life as significant shareholders, along with a substantial shareholding for management, which assures you of commitment and attention at all times.
Graeme Victor, CEO, Du Pont Telecom (011) 919 5555
Marilyn de Villiers, Troika PR, (011) 884 0775