Vodacom's One Net Express South Africa
The South African PABX market has been turned on its head by the introduction of Vodacom’s hosted PABX solution. The Vodacom One Net Express product is an iteration of a product by the same name already supplied by Vodacom’s parent Vodafone to the European market. With an estimated 2 million customers using the service across Europe, Vodacom must be expecting to make a considerable dent on the incumbent Telkom and the other fixed line PABX service providers.
The One Net Express system effectively works as a hosted PABX, whereby the “brains” of the system is hosted on servers run and maintained by Vodacom in the cloud. The advantage of which is that Vodacom maintains and ensures that the latest and greatest features and software are constantly being added by the Vodacom support team, no need for technology upgrades every 3-5 years as is currently the case for many PABX customers, using a product like Vodacom One Net also removes the danger of lightening, water and theft by having all of the hardware driving the system located at a secure purpose built off site location. Vodacom supplies 3G enabled phones which then join the Vodacom network allowing features such as hunt grouping, call transfers from cell phones and auto attendant services.
Vodacom’s one net express is slated to provide 2-99 employees with full switchboard functionality and according to Vodacom numbers can be transferred from Telkom or other voice providers to the new system. The speed at which this occurs will be a key determinant on how well the system is adopted, a second key point will be cost, at R149 P.P a ten person company will be looking at a monthly rental cost of R1500, a fairly steep rental compared with comparable products from traditional PABX vendors. This does however include 500 minutes per user of free internal calling no doubt passing savings on to the customer.
It is going to be very interesting watching the impact of the new Vodacom One Net Express on the South African PABX market. Watch this space for further developments.
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