VOIP usage requires commitment

Von Nicolas Callegari

The journey to enjoying the benefits of a fully-VOIP enabled telephony system requires commitment, says CentraTel group marketing manager, De Wet Snyders.

There is currently a lot of hype around technologies such as VOIP, so much so that two totally different schools of thought have emerged, one evangelizing the technology, and prompting business to replace old infrastructure, and the other taking a much more conservative approach with regards to actual cost savings.

In some cases, feedback on VOIP has been disappointing, because businesses are not realizing the cost savings that they had hoped for, largely because they gave into the hype and did not look at whether there was a genuine need for VOIP.

CentraCell, CentraTel?s connectivity division, believes that the only way to make sense of the hype surrounding VOIP (and other cost-saving technologies being used) is to adopt a gradual roadmap to include the technologies and make sure that it is right for the business and that the savings will justify the capital outlay.

?Because VOIP is not ideally suited to every business, they need to carefully examine all the alternatives to saving on call costs,? says Snyders.

?Essentially, businesses should be looking at using hybrid solutions at the moment, which incorporate the use of GSM, fixed-line and VOIP routing systems,? adds Julian Morelis, MD of CentraCell.

He says that to reduce the need for expensive capital outlays associated with VOIP, and running the risk of not reaping the promised benefits, or extending return on investment (ROI) cycles, businesses should look at what they have currently installed and work on a migration plan going forward.

Aimed at larger corporates, CentraCell has for a while now been using advanced least cost routing through Novatech Gateways and ?SIM farms,? aiming to allow users to dabble in newer technologies to see what benefits they can derive and formalize a strategy for call cost reduction.

Both Snyders and Morelis say that customers have seen huge savings using more than one cost-saving technology through the companies? Novatech Gateway offerings (as opposed to going all- VOIP) and will soon be able to deliver case studies.