Johannesburg, 25 Oct 2011
South African retailers are so complacent about their Telkom bills that they seldom seriously consider alternatives. Headlong against this trend is the high-ranking national jeweller, Galaxy and Co, which will soon harness a hosted cloud voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) solution from Euphoria Telecoms to reduce telecoms expenses by more than R500 000 per year.
Gavin Blignaut, Logistics and Operations Director of Galaxy and Co, says: “Galaxy and Co is a distributed retailer with a head office in Cape Town and over 80 stores nationwide. Each store has a dedicated Telkom line. Forty percent of the calls on these lines are inter-branch calls. Each branch further has an ADSL line, which provides Internet access, and a spare line on its ADSL service to support a fax machine. Our telecoms solution is complex and unwieldy and each month we watch it do damage to our profitability. Eight months ago we decided that there had to be a better way. We called experts in.”
Euphoria Telecoms' CEO, George Golding, says: “Galaxy and Co met with a number of providers before inviting Euphoria to deploy a proof-of-concept hosted cloud PBX installation. During the early stages discussions focused on quality of service, redundancy, security, scalability and our complementary business features. Within the first days of the trail, Galaxy knew that the Euphoria VOIP voice quality equalled that of their ageing analogue system. Soon after, we proved Euphoria's rock-solid business case.”
The national roll-out of Galaxy and Co's hosted cloud VOIP solution starts in October and will eliminate all internal call costs, including that of conference calls. Outbound call costs will be slashed by 30% month-on-month, and Telkom line rentals will become a thing of the past.
Golding says: “Because of their unique business model, distributed retailers often end up with extortionate telecoms bills as store numbers grow and geographic coverage increases. In today's market, the cost reduction which hosted cloud VOIP effects - by eliminating all internal call costs alone - is transformational.
“Another area in which hosted cloud VOIP is benefiting distributed retailers enormously is that of centralised call centres. Take, for example, the exhaust and tyre fitment industry. At the moment, customers call a local branch and may end up speaking to technical staff unable to maximise sales discussions or manage tough calls. A hosted cloud PBX places a centralised call centre, which can then transfer calls to branches free of charge, if necessary, firmly within every distributed retailer's financial reach.” According to Golding, retailers can introduce a national 087 number, and port existing landline numbers (011, or 021, etc) so that a single, central number can be used for marketing purposes.
For Galaxy and Co, the move to cloud VOIP marks an exciting new phase in the retailer's growth plans. Euphoria Telecoms advises others interested in deriving similar benefits to consider Galaxy and Co's measured approach to their hosted cloud VOIP installation as best practice. Golding concludes: “As is the case in any industry, when it comes to cloud computing, all solutions are not equal. Telecoms is a business-critical function, so great care must be taken to forge the right partnerships and to introduce proven solutions.”