The Cloud Private Branch Exchange (Cloud PBX) market in South Africa offers substantial benefits over traditional PBX services, and Switch Telecom expects its growth in the market to continue.
MyBroadband asked Switch Telecom and Euphoria Telecom for insight. Switch Telecom’s spokesperson said the company has seen its Hosted Switchboard solution grow substantially over the past three to four years.
“I can’t speak to the PBX industry as a whole, but we’ve definitely experienced huge growth of our Hosted Switchboard solution over the last 3 to 4 years,” they said.
They noted that Switch Telecom saw an increase in the uptake of Hosted Switchboard solutions before the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
They also said that Switch Telecom expects this growth to continue, as it offers significant benefits over older technologies.
“With the cost of doing business continually increasing, companies are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and streamline their operations,” they stated.
“We have also noticed that a lot of companies are moving from their in-house PBX solution to our Hosted Switchboard platform.”
“It’s for all these reasons we are confident that we’ll continue to see an increase in the uptake of our Hosted Switchboard Solution,” they added.
Euphoria Telecom’s chief technology officer Nic Laschinger told MyBroadband that while recent figures for South Africa are unavailable, it expects that the local market would have shown similar growth to the global markets.
“IDC data indicates the global unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market grew 29% year on year to $13.1 bn [R203 billion] by Q4 2020,” he said.
“While recent figures for South Africa are not available, we expect that the local market for cloud-based PBX, and unified communications and collaboration services as a whole, is showing similar growth,” he added.
Switch Telecom said it deployed 20% more Hosted Switchboards in 2021 than it had in 2022 and is on track to achieve a 25% increase at the end of 2022.
They also said that Icasa introducing non-geographic number portability in March this year allowed more clients to adopt Switch Tel’s hosted platform.
The benefits of Cloud PBX
One of the most significant benefits of Cloud PBX over traditional services is lower costs compared to traditional PBX services.
“Before the advent of the Cloud PBX, companies were forced to pay exorbitant amounts for a switchboard, both for the hardware and the installation,” Switch Telecom’s spokesperson said.
Companies would often have to finance PBX equipment over several years, and Cloud PBX offers an equally — if not more — capable solution for as little as R250 a month.
“For as little as R250 a month, you can get a fully supported PBX solution with all, if not more, of the features and functions of a traditional PBX,” the spokesperson said.
Customers that adopt a Cloud PBX service need not even purchase phones for their company, as providers often offer browser-based softphone solutions.
Laschinger told MyBroadband that another significant benefit of Cloud PBX was that cloud-based VoIP PBXs are accessible anywhere you have Internet.
“Cloud-based VoIP PBXs are accessible from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection and credentials, which means businesses are not tied to their physical locations for their telephony, and their teams can work remotely, on-site or a mix of the two and always be as contactable as if they were at their desks,” he said.