South African home shopping giant HomeChoice has saved 50% of its call costs since implementing a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution from Orion Telecom.
VoIP technology converts voice calls from analogue to digital to be sent over digital data networks.
HomeChoice offers home shopping direct to the consumer via catalogue mailing, Internet and telemarketing agent sales. The company commands more than 50% of the local mail order retail market share.
HomeChoice first contracted with Orion in 2002 for a least cost routing (LCR) system to reduce call costs. Its 180-agent call centre in Claremont, Cape Town, makes an average of 25 000 calls per day, including cellular and national. The organisation has achieved savings of up to 50% per month since engaging with Orion.
Termination options can vary between full VoIP, on-site GSM or a hybrid of the two. HomeChoice has chosen a hybrid solution because of its high volume of call traffic, which also means the company is assured of redundancy.
"From a business recovery point of view, VoIP has given us the ability to continue with business as usual in the event of any disaster involving the PSTN in our local exchange area," says HomeChoice's Neil McIntyre. "All we require is a data line into Orion Telecom and we will be up and running. Considering that we are a direct marketing business that is largely call centre-based, that is a vital benefit.
"We had numerous telecoms vendors on site," says McIntyre. "Our aim was to consolidate HomeChoice's requirements with one vendor who could meet all our needs. Orion came out tops in terms of service and costs. We have a dedicated account manager to monitor our traffic and usage patterns. This ensures that our equipment is being optimised and it addresses discrepancies immediately so that our savings are always maximised. Its per second billing option also increases savings substantially."
Steve Macfie, Orion Telecom's national sales manager says that Orion's principle of managed voice solutions guarantees savings on all call types, including cellular, national, international, local and inter-branch. "This is the most effective way in which to manage voice traffic in any business. Through our consultative approach, we are able to offer an alternative solution to Telkom in line with HomeChoice's specific needs."