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Fonality Phone Systems Review

June 20, 2018

11:15 am

Fonality logo

Fonality was acquired by NetFortris in 2017. If you’re looking for a business phone supplier, read our review of NetFortris, which has folded many of the Fonality offerings into its packages.

Serving up to 25,000 businesses, Fonality specializes in IP voice and telecom solutions for small to mid-size companies, or as they define it, any business with 5 or more employees.

Rather than offering complicated features that you may never need, they focus on the fundamentals of IP phone systems, and emphasize an appealing customer service benefit: no long-term commitments.

If an issue arises within 12 months that Fonality can’t fix to your satisfaction, then you can return any hardware or equipment and part ways without penalty.

As for phone features, they provide what many customers expect form from a modern system, such as unlimited international VoIP calling and conferencing (a desktop IP phone is included with all cloud bundles).

Additionally, by integrating the voice plan with their Heads Up collaboration tool, Fonality claims employees can increase their productivity by up to 2 hours per day. Users can take advantage of chat, HD video conferencing, voicemail to email or text, and more.

Heads Up puts all of your telecom needs in one easy-to-use place.

Fonality Product, Service and Solutions Overviews

Fonality offers these options:

Phone Plans

Fonality App Intergration

Fonality offers wide app intergration

Fonality offers 3 major plans addressing a range of needs.

Fonality Essentials covers your small business basics. It emphasizes voice features such as voice mail and call forwarding, installation assistance, and a contact center queue, which distributes calls to your staff even if you lack a dedicated call center.

The Essentials service is good for any business that wants a VoIP plan without the Heads Up Display (i.e., no enhanced collaborative features such as instant messaging, HD video, etc.).

For a more feature-rich service, you might consider Fonality Professional. Unlike the Essentials platform, Professional includes the basics, collaborative tools, and a variety of hosting options as well.

You can choose to host the service from their cloud, or incorporate their hardware with your own SIP trunk or analog lines at your work site.

Furthermore, private hosting allows for customers to have special access or connectivity with their own Fonality-hosted server.

Fonality Ultimate includes all of the user and hosting options of the other 2 plans, but adds some additional sophisticated features.

By including Advanced Call Center Agents to the plan, you can access log in / log out functions for your agents, and generate analytics reports.

Ultimate also comes with voicemail transcription and HD screen sharing for desktop and mobile.

Contact Center

Fonality’s Contact Center lets any business have a professional, dedicated answering service.

Unlimited call queues can be created for any department, and employees can be added to any queue to reduce wait times and maximize customer satisfaction.

Additionally, the Contact Center offers skills-based routing, so you can route calls to specific agents based not just on availability, but on skillset as well; more complex questions can go to more experienced employees.

To monitor the performance, the Contact Center also offers real-time metrics. Management can review call volume and availability, and with its Barge, Monitor and Whisper functions, privately assist agents.

Phones and Servers

Fonality’s IP phones are provided by Polycom and Yealink, while offering servers by Dell.
To accommodate the needs of all businesses, the hardware is available to buy, rent, or if you have specific preferences, you can use your own supported equipment.

Standard desktop phones through Fonality meet the needs of everyday office use. Their clear audio and easy-to-use interface make them easy to customize and set up.
Plus, they can be integrated with Fonality’s Heads Up Display to add even more collaborative features.

Meanwhile, the Polycom 5000 and 6000 conference phones provide crystal-clear audio, and help employees, vendors and remote workers collaborate as if being in the same room.

As for servers, Fonality offers Dell’s Optiplex XE2 among other options. The XE2 is purpose-built and ideal for small business storage spaces. Additionally, it offers stability, customized integration, and overall is an affordable option for ownership.

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What Benefits Are You Looking For?

Cost Savings

Easy to Scale

Custom Features

Fonality Case Studies

  • B21 Wines
  • Overland Storage

B21 Wines

B21 Wines is a Florida-based wine retailer that operates primarily from their online shop, though they have a storefront as well.

Selling domestic and international wines at every price point, B21 prides themselves on new and unique selections, and appeals to both industry leaders and consumers.
The company has 30 employees and 6 buyers around the world, and given the competition of the wine industry, profitability depends on how fast B21 can deliver new varieties to retailers and customers.

However, their original phone system was disjointed and bogged down with solicitor calls. The company needed to enhance communications between its employees while using their time on the phone more effectively.

As a result, B21 adopted Fonality’s mobile app for their collaborative Heads Up Display, which connects employees through a centralized telecom application.
Their buyers have used the mobile app in 6 countries, avoided non-essential calls, and seamlessly connected with their dispersed colleagues and clients through voice, text, email and chat.

Additionally, through the chat feature in the mobile Heads Up Display, one of B21’s buyers shared info about a wine to add to their selection.

Within a day, the company was able to process the information, add the wine to their inventory, and begin making sales.

Overland Storage

Based in San Diego, Overland Storage provides streamlined solutions for complex data management systems.

After using complex Nortel/Shortel PBX systems, they decided to simplify while still maintaining certain enterprise-grade PBX features.

Fonality provided real-time presence info to employees in the office and out in the field, improved their call center capabilities, and generated more enhanced data about phone agent performance.

Plus, through Fonality’s Heads Up Display, Overland Storage was able to manage their new system with the easy-to-use web-based control panel.

The new system not only improved reporting and integrated into their existing CRM, it saved the company more than $14,000 a year in system maintenance.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Fonality

Fonality Call Screen

The Fonality call screen interface

Fonality is a good choice for any small to medium-size business.

Whether you run an exclusively online company or have hundreds of reps or store locations spread out across the country, their phone systems can keep your workforce connected.

The Heads Up Display, in particular, stands out for its easy-to-use interface. Other telecom companies offer similar applications, but Fonality’s focuses on the fundamental features of web-based communication.

Fonality may not offer as many bells and whistles as larger companies, but it stands by its service. While its call center doesn’t necessarily offer a robust suite of customizable options, the company’s limited contracts imply confidence in their services.

Review – Hosted PBX

Perhaps the best benefit of Fonality’s Hosted PBX system is the Heads Up Display, or HUD. It lets department admins monitor and manage the activity of employees in a simple interface.

When used, the chat feature has also proven helpful and efficient. If you’re on a call and are faced with a question that you don’t know how to answer, you can quickly type it to a colleague and get real-time help.

In addition, the find me / follow me feature is great when you need to route a call to a rep who may be working remotely.

The audio quality and stability of the internet connection have also been generally reliable. Occasionally, the internet “hiccups”, causing a bump in service, but that’s to be expected with any IP-based phone system.

Hosted PBX is best suited for any business that needs streamlined, effective telecom solutions.

Fonality was acquired by NetFortris in 2017. If you’re looking for a business phone supplier, read our review of NetFortris, which has folded many of the Fonality offerings into its packages.

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Jack is a senior writer at with over a decade's experience researching and writing about consumer technology, from security and privacy to product reviews and tech news.