NoPBX, a locally-developed smartphone-based switchboard system, has been nominated for the Top 5 Most Exciting Startups 2021.

Awards founder Heavy Chef, in partnership with Xero and PayFast, has called for nominations to be submitted before 21 November.

A final short list of 12 ‘good news stories’ from the South African startup ecosystem will be prepared at the end of November and then will be narrowed down to the Top 5 on 2 December 2021.

Last year’s winners include Bathu, Carry1st, EasyEquities, MatchKit and Yebo Fresh, and this year’s winners will be announced at a gala evening in Cape Town.

To be eligible, startups must “have been operational for seven years or less; own their intellectual property (IP); and demonstrate an ability to scale”. Financials are not important as the awards celebrate what’s positive and what’s happening in the local startup scene.

“As a locally invented, proprietary technology ‘PBX-over-GSM’ switchboard solution, NoPBX fits the bill perfectly for a Top 5 Most Exciting Startups 2021 nomination,” says NoPBX co-founder Anton Potgieter.

“This South African-developed innovation enables other startups and SMEs to make those all-important business calls reliably and affordably using only their existing smartphones, with no special or costly hardware necessary. A simple smartphone app installation is all that’s required to start making business calls – and new clients are operational in an average set-up time of just eight minutes,” adds Potgieter.

NoPBX recently reported over 1 000 new PBX-over-GSM switchboards activated since their commercial launch in October 2020. Companies of all sizes have installed these NoPBX phone systems free from onerous telecoms infrastructure overheads, while experiencing a no-headache PBX solution that delivers consistently excellent call quality and zero fraud events.

Potgieter explains that NoPBX clients span the entire economic spectrum and include the likes of guest houses, estate agents, financial consultants, car dealers, farmers, non-profits, schools, transport operators and many others. There is also no limit to the number of users one can have on NoPBX, theoretically giving customers unlimited scope for expansion.

Prior to the launch of NoPBX, corporates and SMEs alike could typically wait days or even weeks for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or traditional fixed lines, handsets and infrastructure to be delivered and installed at their premises.

“The launch of our smartphone-based, cloud-hosted PBX system has proved especially timeous as SMEs need to adopt more effective and more affordable technologies to do business better,” concludes Potgieter.

NoPBX runs all of its calls over existing, highly-secure GSM voice networks that offer excellent call quality. A particularly pertinent advantage of NoPBX is that it is immune to the catastrophe that is loadshedding, provided your cellphone batteries are charged.