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January 23, 2008

Fonality and Dell Team Up for VoIP Initiative

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Fonality (News - Alert) has entered into a partnership with Dell to make available affordable VoIP phone systems to the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) market under a brand name that Dell has dubbed Fonality VoIP Phone System.

TMC President and Editor-in-Chief Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) broke the news on his VoIP blog earlier today. The announcement was made at Internet Telephony Conference and Expo East 2008, now underway in Miami, Fla.

After a year of careful vetting, Dell has selected Fonality as a go-to-market partner for offering VoIP phone systems to its small-to-mid-sized customer base, Chris Lyman (News - Alert), CEO at Fonality, wrote in his blog.

Fonality is a provider of unified communications and contact center solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. According to Lyman, Dell partnered with Fonality because it was looking for three things, must be high in value; must be super easy to use; must run on Dell.

He pointed out that telecom has always been high priced, and his company’s offerings come in way less than industry average -- up 40-80 percent savings over traditional systems.

Also, according to him, telecom has always been hard to use. He believes that Fonality’s patent-pending “hybrid-hosted” architecture reduces truck rolls. In addition, easy-to-use management software reduces support calls and training time.

He also wrote in his blog that Fonality’s open stanadards products were built to run on Dell’s standards-based platform from day one.

Indicating that Dell didn’t choose Fonality because it’s built on open source, Lyman said that Dell’s choice of Fonality is its hybrid-hosted model, which he claims is the most unique thing that Fonality presented over the competition.

“Our hybrid-hosted architecture was specifically designed to take the “hard” out of telecom,” he said. “This architecture of ours is a clever halfway-point between the old world of premise phone systems and the new world of hosted phone systems.”

IDC (News - Alert) reports that Dell has more than 28 percent market share in the SMB space in the US, with some 25M US businesses.

The latest partnership is expected to help Fonality deliver its PBX and unified communications software applications -- on Dell hardware -- to around 7,000,000 existing small-to-medium business customers.

Industry analysts believe that the partnership between Dell and Fonality is huge news for the VoIP industry, and also huge coup for Fonality.


Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Today’s featured White Paper (News - Alert) is titled VoIP Doesn’t Require Any Phone Equipment Investment, brought to you by Accessline.

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