e-Centric is an outsourced call centre specialist which provides inbound and outbound sales and servicing as well as consulting to corporate clients. The company has a 250-seat call centre in Johannesburg and has undertaken over 30 international campaigns.

Following the legalisation of Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony in South Africa in February 2005, e-Centric knew the technology could offer substantial cost savings over its existing combination of Telkom lines and a cellular least-cost routing (LCR) system.
However, the company decided to wait a few months for the dust to settle and dominant players to emerge.
“At the beginning everyone was selling VoIP hard,  but we wanted to be confident in choosing a provider who could guarantee the kind of quality and service levels we needed,” says e-Centric’s Dave Tolmay.
“By the end of the year it was clear that VoxTelecom was one of only two worthwhile players in the market, and we were attracted by their architecture.”
VoxTelecom implemented a VoIP system for e-Centric in November 2005.
More recently, in July 2006 following a six-month testing period, e-Centric also commissioned an open-source Asterix PABX.
“We liked the VOX model because there was no capex cost and no monthly equipment rental cost,” says Tolmay. “We only pay for our calls. They’re the only ones in the market offering that service.”
e-Centric makes around 25 000 outbound calls per day, of which about 10 000 are carried via VoxTelecom’s VoIP lines.
“We don’t want to rely exclusively on one vendor,” explains Tolmay. “One of the advantages of VoIP that isn’t often mentioned is that it has allowed us to introduce some redundancy.”
The cost saving to e-Centric has been, according to their own calculations, just over 50% – and has been achieved while maintaining the quality of calls.
“There were some initial teething problems,” concedes Tolmay. “We started really pumping calls across the VoIP network and there were some traffic and quality issues, but those were sorted out quickly once we understood the new technology and got used to a new vendor environment.”
The Asterix PABX has also delivered good results. “We’re using it for back office and now partly for our call centre as well and it’s performing very well.”
The number of channels has increased from 30 to 60 and we anticipate increasing to 120 by March 2007. “VoxTelecom has been able to deliver that extra capacity in a couple of days,” says Tolmay. “Previously we would have had to wait three months for Telkom to do it.”