Pro’s far outway the cons. For any business the big question is finding the right service provider rather than deciding whether VoIP is the way to go. In fact most companies in South Africa already make use of VoIP for calls. For some businesses where there is limited to no connectivity options, physical lines may be the only way to have telephony services. However with new satellite connectivity options becoming available this will likely be a thing of the past making affordable, stable internet a reality for even these remote outliers. Until then and generally speaking there is a form of connectivity available in the majority of the remote areas of South Africa, price of course becomes the obstacle. However as connectivity providers continue to expand their networks connectivity options become more affordable to those remote users. 

Now that we have covered the possible connectivity obstacle we can dive into the benefits of VoIP.

Below is a list of some of  the most popular reasons that companies decide to invest in VoIP

  • Cost saving: Moving to VoIP and more importantly, the right provider will ensure a savings to your bottom-line. VoIP call tariffs are substantially cheaper compared to that of a  fixed line provider. Saving on your telephony bills for call usage is not the only saving.  Hardware  relating to your VoIP setup is also cheaper than an onsite PABX which would likely require additional insurance, power and other areas of saving depending on your company’s environment. 

  • Redundancy / Failover Plan: What happens if your internet connection is down or you have no power, such as with load- shedding? Thanks to flexible call forwarding options, the answer is nothing. Automatic call forwarding will kick-in ensuring you don’t miss a call. How does this work? When your VoIP call extensions are not able to register back to the cloud or hosted PABX, configurations are made to ensure that these calls then forward to a mobile number. Different mobile numbers can be setup per extension as well, ensuring that the calls may be distributed in such an event.

  • Mobility/ Accessibility: If you and your staff have a smartphone / tablet or laptop that can connect to the internet, you can make VoIP calls on the go. This is especially handy for remote teams, as it allows them to make calls from anywhere in the world. This is made available through the configurations of a hosted extension on your devices.

  • Features and Functionality: Hosted PABX which includes Microsoft Teams calling include a ton of additional features. Traditionally these features would require both upfront hardware investment as well as additional PABX modules / licenses to be added. In some cases your hardware may have been required to be upgraded or replaced to achieve these features.  An example of just some of these features that are now included is; conference calling, TMS, call recording, call queuing, group ringing, call transfer, video calls and so on.

  • Scalability: Due to the nature of VoIP, scaling your business either up or down is as simple as letting Netlayer know to add or remove extensions. No contracts, no additional hardware or modules to be added. No matter what the scenario, you have control of your VoIP setup

  • Portability: Keep your number for life no matter where you are situated geographically. In the event that you move business address, no problem, you can retain the same number.

Below see a list of the constraints with VoIP

Connectivity: As mentioned, connectivity can be a constraint. For example if you do not have access to stable connectivity, this can affect the quality of the voice calls. Netlayer will be in a position to assist with considering the connectivity options available and what would be most suitable.

Latency and Jitter: Aside from the connectivity obstacles discussed, the quality of your internet connection can drastically reduce the quality of calls. When a call is made using VoIP, the audio is broken into bits of data referred to as data packets. These data packets are then reassembled at the receiver’s end to create the original audio. Latency and jitter refers to when these data packets either become incorrectly re-assembled or delays are caused in the audio transfer. In the event that you are experiencing delayed audio transfer or broken speech, this is an indication that there is an issue with the transferring of the data packets. Your VoIP provider will be able to troubleshoot where the cause is occurring and be in a position to suggest the best resolution.