“Brace for tax pain: higher corporate tax possible” is how veteran money matters columnist Jackie Cameron saw Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s recent mini Budget Speech playing out.

“Squeezing additional shareholder value out of corporate earnings under pressure from rising tax rates is possible by revisiting an organisation’s telecom’s spend,” says Rad Jankovic, CEO of independent Telco, OTEL.

The PBX – or switchboard – is one area where large enterprises can save a tremendous amount of money without negatively impacting client service delivery.

“The first step on the road to a lean organisation better able to manage South Africa’s changing macroeconomic circumstances is to switch from yesteryear’s desk-bound PBX system to a virtual PBX platform where all functionality is hosted in the Cloud and available on any desktop computer or mobile interface,” explains Mr Jankovic.

He says that OTEL’s brand name hosted PBX platforms offer companies of all sizes enterprise grade unified communications platforms without the need for clunky physical equipment.

“Our flagship 3CX phone system is a unified communications platform that is finding growing favour with South African businesses keen to scale down voice and data costs without comprising on the quality of their telecoms experience. Our hosted products hold their own against the incumbent suppliers and do so at a much lower cost,” adds Mr Jankovic.

OTEL’s 3CX solution’s major advantage is that it comes standard with cost saving and productivity features that competing and more expensive PBXs can only add as optional extras.

Other advantages of the 3CX system over more costly unified communications solutions include the fact that it is software as opposed to hardware-based means 3CX can be inexpensively scaled up or down simply by tweaking its software which runs on either iOS or Android. The system can be remotely managed from anywhere in the world although you’ll probably want to phone in as OTEL’s experience is that client telecoms bills decline dramatically thanks to such features as integrated video conferencing, the availability of standards-based IP phones and SIP trunks, and the ability to click to call from the organisation’s website.

In line with global connectivity trends, a mobile application is included that allows remote extensions via Wi-Fi or mobile network access. As if that’s not enough, proper control and better customer service is enhanced through the ability to integrate the 3CX system with CRM and accounting software.

OTEL’s focus is on organisations with as few as 5 users, right up to 10 000 and above users that it can guarantee faster and more cost effective web access. The telco’s products enhance the customer experience by creating value through various managed services that together lower the total cost of ICT for both business and home customers.

The telco’s PBX range offers a host of new features and functionality to local VoIP clients such as increased concurrency of calls and major upgrades in the underlying Asterisk applications. Under pressure organisations will appreciate the fact that we offer a high-quality IP telephony solution and market-beating prices,” says Mr Jankovic. He adds that 3CX is a Windows-based platform with a Linux version set to be launched very soon.

From a modest operation in 2008, OTEL is today a licensed business-to-business provider of VoIP & broadband Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. Its nationwide dedicated network and cutting-edge technology positions OTEL as one of South Africa’s leading telecoms providers with a specific focus on meeting the needs of SMMEs. Its wholesale and retail fibre solutions are designed to increase profitability and reduce downtime and include hosted PBX, free email, server hosting, cloud services, as well as full-featured call centre solutions amongst other value-added voice and data services.