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)
Other ICT News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years. The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...