Fonality makes phone systems for businesses and recently announced a phone system that combines CRM and the customer’s phone system.
Fonality acquired Insightful Solutions Pty Ltd., one of the world’s largest SugarCRM development houses and a SugarCRM Gold partner for the Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific regions to help make this blend a reality.
In light of Microsoft’s big push into unified messaging I asked Fonality how their initiative should be viewed by small businesses.
What does this mean for small businesses in light of Microsoft and Cisco’s push for Unified Communication
Now small businesses have access to an inexpensive telephony solution that is integrated with CRM software. Cisco & Microsoft are two behemoths that have the greatest chance of unifying communications by dominating vs. integrating, but their price point is much above what most SMBs can afford.
Fonality’s solution is something they can actually afford with the feature-set they want to run like a larger enterprise. Not to mention, it will soon be fully integrated with SugarCRM’s Sugar Professional software – something you cannot get with Microsoft or Cisco.
For those evaluating Microsoft and Fonality – why choose Fonality?
As of now, Fonality is the only company (other than the big guys like Oracle or SAP) that will offer an integrated CRM & Telephony solution. Microsoft isn’t even there yet. They have response point and LCS, but those focus only unifying several disparate means of communicating. It doesn’t go as far to integrate a CRM solution, like we’ll see with Fonality’s “Unified Agent Edition”.
Is there a difference in price (is that one competitive difference you would tout) and features?
Yes, The FonalityCRM product will be $45 per user, per month, with no upfront cost and unlimited telephone support. Something you can’t get with SugarCRM’s offering. Also, if folks are interested they can try a 14 day trial!
Tell me about your reseller channel
Fonality is rapidly growing its reseller channel. Earlier in the year, they were primarily doing direct sales (70% direct, 30% channel), but now they are focusing on growing the channel in the North America and Europe. In fact, in September we announced that we signed on seven new partners in Europe.
I should also mention that Fonality really created its “trixboxPro” specifically for the channel. The trixbox Pro phone system software is a “hybrid-hosted” system, which means the free software is first downloaded by a business and installed on a local computer and local IP phones. After this step, the local computer connects to the Fonality network where server health, call quality and usage are constantly monitored. The hybrid-hosted nature of trixbox Pro also securely extends the phone system outside the corporate firewall, so an employee’s extension can follow them when they work from home, remotely on a laptop, or even on a mobile phone. Fonality’s hybrid-hosted services are market proven and have processed more than 120 million calls for 2,500 companies with 53,000 individual extensions worldwide.