Alviva Group companies realise major cost, efficiency improvements with enterprise voice services roll-out

Johannesburg, 23 Apr 2024
Alviva Group CIO and CISO, Morne van Heerden.
Alviva Group CIO and CISO, Morne van Heerden.

Several group companies within Alviva Holdings, one of Africa’s largest providers of ICT products and services, have transformed their business communications with enterprise voice services from eNetworks, a wholly owned Datacentrix company.

The move to cloud-based voice services supports the Alviva Group’s strategic requirement for operational optimisation, while also aligning with the group’s digital transformation drive.

Each company, which includes Axiz, Centrafin, Tarsus, Pinnacle and SynergERP, has migrated to a centralised enterprise voice platform, offering enhanced functionality, security and service adaptability that supports WFH (work from home) arrangements without any disruptions to company operations.

The adoption of enterprise-grade voice services is deriving significant business value for the sister companies, with the group realising call cost savings in the region of 40% thanks to inter-company calls now coming in at zero cost, according to Alviva Group CIO and CISO, Morne van Heerden.

In addition, SLA-based services are improving operational efficiencies, eliminating pain points that were intensified by the remote workforce, involving high volumes of minutes from mobile telecommunications providers and the costly use of personal airtime and data for work calls.

“Not only has the migration to voice services removed the need for investments in SIM (subscriber identity module) contracts, but it has also eradicated the high costs and long claims process associated with using employees’ personal cellphone contracts and bundles for work calls,” says Sonia Jordaan, Sales Specialist at eNetworks, a Datacentrix company.

“One of the most exciting outcomes of digitally transforming voice services is that remote service desks can maintain their client centricity. Now, call centre agents can make remote calls that are identified as company calls, despite being made remotely.

“Additionally, the dedicated cloud PBX is capable of switching call traffic seamlessly between a mobile client, soft phone and traditional handsets. This functionality supports remote and rotational on-premises staff movements seamlessly,” she adds.

Axiz sees mobility gains, cost savings

The genesis of the group project began with technology distributor Axiz, which, at the time, was using 15-year-old connectivity infrastructure, explains Van Heerden.

“It had been identified as a group-level risk due to its instability, but despite several attempts to rectify this, local support capabilities and costs continued to be constraints on the success of the project.

“Although it was not the only solution under consideration at the time, we selected the managed cloud PBX technology solution put forward by Datacentrix. It was a compelling solution, which offered proven functionality and potential cost savings, and was also backed by the strong capabilities of Datacentrix and eNetworks.”

Axiz became Alviva’s kick-off business communications project, and it has only grown from there, says Van Heerden, expanding quickly to become Alviva’s de facto group platform.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Axiz operated as a hybrid environment, with employees spending half of their time in the office and the remainder off-site. “One of the biggest benefits Axiz users realised following the voice solution implementation was a seamless transition between remote and on-premises work. Furthermore, the new system’s mobile functionality unlocked capabilities that the company did not have previously, with users being able to transition between phones and computers,” states Van Heerden.

Aside from call cost reductions, a secondary cost benefit realised by Axiz has been through the use of headsets, he adds, which cost a fraction of the phone sets being considered. “This has translated to major cost efficiencies across Axiz’s 600-strong staff complement.”

Furthermore, after Alviva’s acquisition of Tarsus in late 2020 and the subsequent merge of Axiz’s warehousing and logistics components, the new solution allowed for the entire Axiz warehouse complement to move to the Tarsus premises with telephone numbers intact.

Tarsus simplifies complex voice environment

Tarsus’s voice environment was also in serious need of an upgrade, discloses Jan Appel, Information Technology Operations Manager at Tarsus, with a mix-and-match infrastructure operated by two different service providers proving to be complex.

“One of our existing systems had become outdated and we were experiencing regular breakdowns, which required expensive maintenance. Thus, the decision was taken to bring Datacentrix on board, and we haven’t looked back since.”

The entire Tarsus business – which encompasses around 500 users across several branches, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Namibia – is using the new voice system, allowing for improved call distribution.

“We’ve definitely seen a productivity increase in this sense, as managers can now easily see who is online or on a call, who is not answering and how calls are distributed, which has in turn allowed for enhanced workload management. It’s also much easier to alert agents already on calls that someone else needs assistance.”

Datacentrix additionally assisted Tarsus with the installation of cordless phone base stations within its sizeable, state-of-the-art warehouse in Johannesburg, in order to ensure that there is sufficient signal for phone usage within the warehouse. The organisation’s previously used mobile devices had reached end of life and were difficult to repair, adds Appel, stating that the new system has significantly improved capabilities here, providing fantastic coverage.

“Our experience with Datacentrix has been great. During the roll-out process, the company was constantly by our side, helping us to map out the base stations and more. Our multiple branches are also now able to better manage their internal billing using a TMS-based (telephone management system) reporting tool from Datacentrix as part of this cloud-based offering.”

Centrafin enhances call recordings

As a specialist principal equipment finance business offering funding and insurance for a wide variety of equipment, Centrafin’s requirement for a reliable telephony system was critical.

“A dependable telephony system is one of the major requirements within this type of environment, and we’d found previously that the biggest challenge was our call recordings; we were able to make voice recordings and upload them to the previously used system, but could not access the raw data. We had also experienced many occasions where the voice recordings were either not available or were unclear,” comments Dustin Nimmerhoudt, Centrafin’s IT Manager. “Moreover, our system was outdated, with no local support available.

“Partnering with Datacentrix has allowed Centrafin to solve all of these challenges. The new system’s flexibility, availability and reliability has been excellent. Our user mobility has greatly improved, and agents are able to quickly and easily make conference calls. Less logging in and out has also delivered faster operations and reduced user frustration.”

Outstanding group-level experience

“Our experience across the board with Datacentrix and eNetworks has been phenomenal; not only has Alviva been able to leverage Datacentrix’s existing processes and infrastructure, but the team has also been extremely engaged and productive,” Van Heerden concludes.



Datacentrix provides leading ICT integration services and solutions to South African organisations, ensuring their success and sustainability into the digital age. The company’s approach is to partner with its customers, equipping them with valuable insight and helping to align their ICT undertakings with their business strategy.

Datacentrix offers a deeply specialised skills component and is endorsed by the world’s foremost technology partners. The company is recognised for its agility, in-depth industry knowledge, proven capability and strong overall performance.

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