Fonality, provider of a platform for delivering enterprise unified communications, has introduced a product update that combines the convenience of cloud computing with the control of on-premise UC. The company's Fonality PBXtra 5.2 combines phone, email and chat features, and makes it possible for users to transition from existing on-premise technology to more flexible and cost-effective cloud options.
In a PBXtra installation, cloud-delivered UC features--such as combining voice, email and messaging--would be layered on top of the existing on-premise PBX-based phone system, says Frank Stinson, a partner and senior analyst at the research firm Intellicom Analytics.
"A lot of people kind of look at the cloud or on-premise as an either/or proposition," Stinson says. "What is unique is that it's a blend of the two."
Fonality is likely to face competition from UC software platform vendors, primarily Microsoft Lync and Lync Online for cloud, but also IP telephony vendors such as Cisco Systems, Avaya and Mitel, Stinson says. However, Fonality still has some competitive advantages over those well-known names.
"One of the things that's unique about their approach is that it's a software-based architecture, and they've always delivered it on a third-party server, primarily Dell. The economics of that can be pretty attractive," he Stinson says.