Fonality Reviews



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The Fonality Review

With a main focus on delivering business VoIP solutions, the company Fonality is recognized as a top notch provider by major publications such as TMC, IP Contact Center and Golden Business Bridge. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Plano, TX, the company has since globally expanded to include offices in California, the Philippines and Australia.

The Good

Fonality is specifically geared toward provisioning small to enterprise business sizes with a rich featured VoIP platform. The service models essentially break down into two categories: one being an on premise solution and the other a cloud hosted system. This can be considered an advantage over companies that offer one solution or the other, providing the customer the opportunity to select the best option for their particular business scenario.

For either system, a quote must first be acquired so the company can tailor an individualized solution to your business. Cloud based services can start as low as $30 a month while the on premise solution starts at $25 a month after a $125 dollar down payment, unless equipment costs are paid up front. Solutions can quickly scale in most cases to accommodate additional or (fewer users) just as additional features can be added to the system or dropped if unused.

The cloud hosting service includes IP phones to connect to office switches for the required internet access. A web administration portal is provided to access and manipulate the features of the platform. The communication system can be easily modified through the GUI (graphical user interface) without any kind of involved scripting or complex installation processes.

With either deployment option, features can be added from any of its package sets, whether Business Phone, Collaboration or Contact Center, for a unique communication solution. Altogether, there are close to 40 features that include call queue monitoring with drag and drop capabilities, visual voicemail, call forwarding to mobile devices, SMS and many more. A mobile app is available on for both Android and iOS but a special license is required to use these apps.

For an even more customizable solution, the Fonality system can be installed to an onsite IP PBX. This gives access to all the Fonality features plus added control. For companies that cannot rely heavily on Internet resources because of reasons such as geo-location related restrictions that limit a business to T1 internet, this grants the ability to integrate PRI and analog phones.

The Bad

If you are looking for a set price (i.e. a flat rate) you will have a difficult time uncovering this information by simply browsing the company website. Though the company gives base line starting points, rates will increase when adding equipment or connections (e.g. adding additional users or lines.) There is no way of knowing exactly how much one will pay when assessing features for a custom phone solution.

Because of the dynamic feature set and highly configurable options, it is not advisable to use the on premise system without someone available who at least understands simple networking. For example, if you have a small business that does not utilize much computing besides book keeping, email and word processing, this may not be the most ideal solution on the market, especially if looking for a calling plan with a few extra features.

Some of information encountered on the site may be a little too generic while some is too technical. If browsing the support section, you will notice some product manuals are available for the equipment Fonality resells, which is nice, but such guides have a tendency to be too lengthy for users who are resourceful but not necessarily computer technicians. It is also somewhat alarming that customer service can take a lengthy amount of call back when requesting information (in our case, we did not receive a call after submitting a form to request a quote.)

The Bottom Line

  • No clear cut pricing available - you will need to request a quote to uncover exactly how much your needs will cost.
  • Huge feature set that can support nearly every type of popular Unified Communications application on the market.
  • Customer service may take a significant time to respond to a request.
  • Lengthy documentation available under the support section of the Fonality website.
  • Two types of deployment - one is purely cloud based while the on premise solution can interface with analog and PRI devices.
  • Three solutions are available: Business phone, collaboration and contact center.

Overall Thoughts

For a business that requires several different ways to communicate with every individual on a team, regardless of location, Fonality has a ton of features and various ways to implement the solutions. The main problem is that is difficult to tell how much it will cost as there are no fixed service rates.

The solutions offered have a lot of potential for a business that has a very high call volume. With the ability to connect, exchange and monitor calls, their solutions are very comprehensive. For businesses that do not require heavily on modern communications, there are simpler solutions available.

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