Mobile technology is likely to be the saviour of South African business as the power crisis continues.
That's according to Graeme Victor, CEO of Du Pont Telecoms, a specialist in the provision of tailored voice and data communications solutions who points out that business productivity and profitability have been badly affected by ongoing power outages and the situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Many organisations are already investigating the costs involved in purchasing a generator to keep their computers and their PABX functional when the lights go out.
However, the purchase and installation price as well as the running costs of generators are often be prohibitively high for many small and medium companies.
"Mobile solutions, on the other hand, are designed to operate without electricity," he notes.
"With a notebook PC and a 3G SIM card delivering a wireless broadband connection, it won't matter if the power 'sheds' while you are downloading your emails, surfing the Internet or having an on-line, real-time "chat" with a colleague overseas. Indeed, you can continue working from any location, even when stuck in one of those time-wasting traffic snarl-ups that occur when the traffic lights go down."
As for the PABX, Victor says the best solution is to install a battery-backup that will kick in as soon as the electricity goes off. This can last for up to four hours, seeing a business through a full-scale load-shedding and ensuring its customers are not frustrated by calling their switchboard number without receiving a response.
"Businesses have to change their mindsets and cut their dependence on electricity. With the mobile technology that is readily available, mobility is no longer only for people on the move," he says.