INFOTECH: Google Umbono Calls In The Cloud
Recent Western Cape Business News
Technology giant, Google set up its operation in South Africa in 2007 and has now launched the Umbono innovation programme in the ‘Silicon Cape’ to support the burgeoning local tech industry. Recognizing the importance of effective business communication, Google Umbono has chosen Telfree’s no-fuss cloud-hosted PBX system, Office Connection, for itself and the start-up teams on the programme.
“Effective business communication is an essential requirement for start-ups in South Africa,” says Rapelang Rabana, Global Head of Research & Development at Telfree – the company that developed and recently launched Office Connection.
With the significant improvements in South African’s internet bandwidth to both businesses and consumers, cloud services are fast growing in popularity – anything from cloud-hosted payroll systems to email accounts to hosted servers. Given that a traditional on-site PBX can cost hundreds of thousands of Rands, a cloud-hosted PBX without high set-up and ongoing maintenance costs not only appeals but will become increasingly critical for businesses – new and established. For the Umbono teams, Office Connection is ideal because, as a fully hosted service, it makes the phone system accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the country – all they need is an internet connection.
“The professional edge that Office Connection gives a new company cannot be over-stated”, says Johanna Kollar, Google Program Manager. “Each of our teams is provided with an office number, unlimited extensions and with the easy-to-use online interface that each team can manage, the flexibility and control offered is unprecedented.” Because cost management is vital for any company, Office Connection gives real-time reporting of all costs and budgets can be set per staff member to limit expenditure. Specific to needs of the Umbono teams, dedicated conference rooms with dial-in numbers for the US and the UK were provided to facilitate international conference calls.
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