Open source telecoms partnership in KZN

By   |  July 26, 2007

Linux company DcData and telephony solutions providers BizCall have entered a strategic partnership in order to provide IP telephony and Voice over IP (VoIP) services to the Kwazulu Natal market, forming BizCall KZN.

The partnership combines DcData’s [1]Linux[/1] experience and infiltration into the Kwazulu Natal market with BizCall’s call centre and PBX experience and its parent DataPro’s clout.

DcData’s main focus is developing, creating and implementing Linux and [2]open source[/2] based end to end communication solutions. Billing itself as "Kwazulu Natal’s leading pure Linux solution provider", it supports over 200 Linux servers countrywide and several based internationally.

DcData was formed in 2002 as Linux solution provider. When VoIP was legalised in February 2005 DcData began to provide IP telephony solutions based on the open source PBX platform, Asterisk, and has since made in-roads into the call centre and PBX market.

The growth in KZN IP telephony use and DcData’s Linux experience caught the attention of BizCall, a subsidiary of the DataPro Group. Bizcall managing director, Steve Briggs, told Tectonic that they partnered with DcData so as to extend their footprint in KwaZulu-Natal.

Explaining the technical side, Briggs said that their solutions are based on Asterisk. As he explained, Asterix, as it comes off the web, has a "garage start-up feel" and can be tricky to work with.

Although there have been various attempts to package it with a GUI, he believes that their particular solution, which uses a lot of software developed in-house and some other open source programs such as Nagios, provides a flexible product that can be used for anything from small networks of two or three extensions, through to large call centres managing 300 to 400 extensions.

BizCall KZN will be lead by DcData’s David Wilson, who will still retain ownership of DcData while Grant Wilson and Neil Wilson will manage the running of DcData.

BizCall was acquired by Datapro Group in March 2006 and has seen rapid growth in the IP telephony market since its inception in mid 2005. This new venture means that BizCall now has offices in the three major South African centres, Johannesburg, Cape Town and now Durban.

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