Fonality Releases Hybrid Cloud/On-Premise UC Platform

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.

July 5, 2011

2 Min Read
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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.Fonality's hybrid solution is for customers that want to leverage new UC and VoIP technology but "desire a phased approach as they transition to the cloud," said Rick Bushnell, Fonality's CTO in a prepared statement.

Key feature improvements in version 5.2. include proactive monitoring, which is a form of quality assurance that measures voice quality for call latency, jitter and packet loss. Also new is unified communications at multiple sites, to enable presence, secure chat, virtual conferencing and a unified contact center experience wherever participants may be.

Version 5.2. also offers advanced alert systems, which Fonality describes as built-in intelligence so IT managers can proactively monitor the system for performance and security. PBXtra 5.2. is managed by the Fonality Heads-Up Display dashboard to control and monitor the various features of the UC platform.

Fonality commissioned a user survey, conducted by Webtorials, that found that knowledge workers within small and midsize businesses spend 36% of their time doing routine tasks like contacting customers, partners or customers, searching for information, or scheduling meetings. Another 14% of their time is spent on busy work such as forwarding emails, seeking confirmation that an email was received or managing unnecessary emails.

Fonality claims PBXtra 5.2 combats such productivity drains with advanced features "to deliver the right information to the right person, every time."

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