For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wanting to keep overheads in check during another challenging fiscal year for South Africa, VoIP is king of the cost savers.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is unique amongst cost-cutting measures in that it delivers business efficiencies on top of tremendous telecoms cost savings of some 45%. Web conferencing expenses, for example, drop by 30% following VoIP system implementation, according to one survey of CIOs.

“With South Africa experiencing a technical recession in 2018 and GDP growth expected to remain less than impressive in 2019, it’s going to be belt-tightening time well into the foreseeable future,” says Evan Matthee, chief financial officer of Tier One telco, ICTGlobe.

Belt-tightening for the SME could mean letting underperforming staff go, cutting back on non-core services or moving to more reasonably-priced premises. All of these measures could adversely impact productivity. Implementing VoIP voice and data systems over traditional copper wire technology, however, will slash operating costs while boosting SME productivity in unforeseen ways.

Every second counts for the small business owner. Stopping and starting critical business tasks throughout the day to check voicemail, for example, results in an unforgivable 40% reduction in SME productivity, according to VoIP systems are renowned for their ability to deliver unparalleled multitasking through unified messaging.

Start-ups need to be especially careful in lean times as they have not yet progressed to the next stage in the business lifecycle. SMEs are fragile, hence the need for incubation, and they should be especially wary of onerous telecoms equipment commitments.

VoIP systems like 3CX from ICTGlobe are the absolute gold standard in VoIP PBX systems and boast outstanding security features and a plethora of value-added services to match their solid reputation. This cloud-based PBX system completely negates the need for clunky desk-based PBX systems of yesteryear that come with contractual commitments that never quite seem to end.

The CIO survey mentioned above further found that soft phone functionality enabled by VoIP systems like 3CX saw mobile workers saving 40 minutes each day while generating annual productivity gains of 3,5 days each per year. “Cost-cutting needs to be smart with productivity in mind as SMEs could negatively impact future growth with ill-considered belt-tightening not implemented in consultation with an established ICT partner,” concludes Mr Matthee.

ICTGlobe owns its telecoms network and therefore has full control over roll-out and maintenance of this core asset. Operating its own interconnect and networking facilities means ICTGlobe can reliably offer highly affordable voice calls. Finally, 3CX distribution rights for Africa complement ICTGlobe’s guaranteed uptime voice and data services.