May 04, 2012
VoIP the future, not the problem – hosting providerBack
1Stream|Africa|Environment|System|Systems|Telkom|Africa|South Africa|Call Centre Systems|Cloud-based Software Service|Maintenance|Service|Services|Sufficient Internet Infra|Systems|Telecommunications|Voice Over Internet Protocol|Bruce Von Maltitz|ADSL|VOIP|VoIP Technology
© Reuse this
“As a technology, VoIP is completely capable of doing the job, provided you don’t cut corners,” he says. He points out that cutting corners is exactly what companies tend to do, making VoIP the scapegoat for subsequent quality and reliability issues.
There has, therefore, been a negative response towards VoIP in some parts of the South African telecommunications market, with the assumption that the technology still needs to mature.
Von Maltitz is adamant that VoIP is more than likely not the problem when quality issues arise.
“Any number of other technology-related issues could be the reason for your call centre system experiencing problems,” he says, urging companies to look into the quality of their system, the credentials of their service provider and the use of asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) as a connectivity option.
“ADSL in South Africa is not voice ready,” he explains. “It doesn’t provide a dedicated method of connection for guaranteeing the voice path.”
ADSL is cheaper than other connections, which is why it is used by many South African companies.
Von Maltitz is, however, opposed to this. “If you’re going to put a voice down a line you need to provide some level of quality of service,” he says, and until there is sufficient Internet infra- structure and fibre in the ground, he believes there will always be a bottleneck when using an ADSL connection in South Africa.
Further, he states that South Africa is ahead of the curve when it comes to using VoIP, citing JSE-listed telecommunications group Telkom’s former monopoly over the industry as the likely cause.
He states that Telkom used to be the only provider, and that this resulted in high costs.
As a result, people tried other mechanisms, like VoIP, to manage costs, whereas healthy competition overseas kept citizens in other countries complacent and unwilling to move away from their old environments, adds Von Maltitz.
South African companies, however, are now happily embracing cloud services and the technology that comes with them as an alternative to traditional forms of telecommunication.
Von Maltitz maintains that, as long as the methodology used to implement and maintain VoIP technology is credible and of the best quality, this will be a company’s “best bet”.
“Spend a reasonable amount on proper bandwidth and other technology, and it can be trusted to do its job. Bargain basement shopping for VoIP is neither necessary nor worth it,” he says.
A company can hire someone internally to build, manage and support a networking system, which may or may not be successful, depending on whether this person has a suffi- cient understanding of the technology and a certain skills level to deal with any future complications.
Von Maltitz, however, argues that this option is too risky.
He says that, while freeware do-it-yourself systems may be cheaper at first, the cost of owning these platforms, maintenance and service upgrade costs, as well as any downtime that may occur as a result of the product’s lack of reliability, may be significant in the long run.
“If you’re going to choose that route, you have to have very good control mechanisms in place,” says Von Maltitz. “The technology is in a continuous state of development and it takes a very diligent environment to be able to manage that successfully and not have service interruptions.”
Call centre technology is far from basic, and, as Von Maltitz points out, when an organisation is responsible for its own technology, the most talented people internally will need to troubleshoot challenges whenever they crop up. This means that these employees forego their primary responsibility, which is to manage the call centre.
Hosting providers, however, take responsibility for the technological aspects of a call centre, enabling their clients to focus on the core role of their call centre business.
Von Maltitz believes the telecommunications market in South Africa is moving towards the use of hosting services that take care of the technical burdens behind the scenes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
Other Telecoms News
Updated 4 hours ago South Africa's third-largest mobile phone operator Cell C said on Wednesday it planned to issue euro-denominated notes due in 2018 with a coupon of 8.625%, a year after it restructured more senior debt. The unlisted operator owned by Saudi Oger Telecom did not give...
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services is slowly edging closer to completing a white paper on an information and communications technology (ICT) policy review for South Africa. The department presented its recommendations for a discussion to lead to...
A strike by workers demanding higher pay has forced MTN Group to close some of its South African customer help centres but Africa's No. 1 telecoms firm said it would not bow to the union's demands. Hundreds of entry-level workers led by the Communication Workers...
Updated 2 hours 29 minutes ago Kusile’s recently appointed contractor said on Wednesday that it was confident it would meet the tough deadlines set by Eskom and that labour issues will be averted going forward. The Mpumalanga-based power station has experienced massive delays and its completion...
Updated 2 hours 39 minutes ago None of the municipalities in the Free State, North West and Limpopo attained clean audit opinions for 2013/14, and a majority also achieved qualified, adverse or disclaimed audit opinions, according to a report released by the Auditor General Kimi Makwetu on...
Updated 2 hours 42 minutes ago With State-owned power producer Eskom “failing” South Africa, smaller private energy producers were stepping up to the plate and collectively delivering more power at a faster pace than Eskom or any other single entity could, EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland said on...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.