In the midst of the lockdown turmoil in South Africa, a new phone service has quietly launched – that dramatically reduces the costs and issues of both employee cellphone allowances and single business telephone lines.
Historically, making business calls from a cellphone has had several inherent failings: the telephone number shown is not a company number which can look unprofessional, the call is not automatically charged to the company account and requires reimbursement (via tax inefficient “cell allowances”, or admin intensive manual claim forms), and possibly the most important, the company gets no record of the business numbers that are being called on its behalf.
The proudly South African-developed Scotty BusinessLine, touted as “a second or business telephone line on your mobile phone”, solves all these problems and more.
In a nutshell, Scotty is an Android app that gives you your own unique Scotty telephone number from which you can make or receive calls, from your existing cellphone. The Scotty app replaces your default Android phone dialler and allows you to make calls through either your SIM card, or through your new Scotty number, using a choice of two separate dial-out buttons (“SIM” and “Scotty”).
Calls made from the “Scotty” button are made from your Scotty phone number and use neither your SIM card’s airtime nor data – instead, these are billed to your Scotty account.
Inbound calls on your Scotty number are automatically identified by Scotty and flagged as a “Scotty Call” next to the caller ID on the inbound call screen, so you can answer with your best “business voice” (a useful feature in today’s work from home environment!)
The really big difference between Scotty and a voice-over-data (VoIP) phone system is that Scotty uses pure GSM calls to connect you to the other party – which means your call quality is near-perfect every time, regardless of what your phone’s data connection may be like. It also means a quick and easy app installation that automatically authenticates against your cellphone number, without the need for any usernames, passwords, or other cumbersome and insecure VoIP security measures. This means literally hundreds of users can be rolled out in the time it takes them to download and install the app, with no IT support needed!
For a corporate, where Scotty lines are ideal to replace traditional cellphone allowances or call claim sheets, a real cost saving of over 50% is easily possible. This is because you will save in three areas: on VAT (if you are VAT registered), on employee fringe benefit tax, and on lower call rates. In addition your company gets a complete record of all business calls made from employees’ cellphones through Scotty, and your employees get real personal privacy because they no longer have to use their personal cellphone numbers for their business calls (and can automatically switch off their Scotty service after hours).
For a very small business or sole trader, the benefits include: low price and financial commitment (especially the zero monthly line rental), a professional outlook with a dedicated 087 number for your business calls, and always having your business line with you without the need for any expensive call-forwarding systems.
You can also port an existing business number to Scotty, which is ideal for businesses needing to downscale or work from home due to the current business restrictions.
Over and above all its feature benefits, Scotty is also a very compelling financial proposition: the Scotty smartphone app is free, billing is prepaid and in real time, there are no monthly line rentals or fixed charges at all, call rates are low (using pure per second billing with no call setup charge), and Scotty airtime credit never expires. For larger accounts, your administrator can set monthly call limits for each user, and restrict the Scotty lines to only be useable at certain times, eg. during business hours, and upload the company name and logo to show on the app.
New customers can sign up online at www.scottyapp.mobi, and their Scotty service will immediately be active and working. All account and user administration can be done online and is in real time.
With large parts of the SA work force still working from home for the foreseeable future, Scotty BusinessLine offers a fresh new approach to providing remote voice connectivity to employees, that does not depend on data connectivity or on staff having airtime of their own in hand, and solves all the existing problems of making business calls on cellphones.
About Trabel (Pty) Ltd and Scotty BusinessLine:
Trabel (Pty) Ltd is a South African technology development company founded in 2019 and based in Cape Town. Scotty BusinessLine is a telecommunications product of Trabel, fronted by an Android smartphone app. More information can be found at www.scottyapp.mobi.
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