Fonality - great features on paper, marred by substandard support
September 06, 2016

Fonality - great features on paper, marred by substandard support

Randy Carpenter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Fonality

We use Fonality as the phone system for our whole company. This includes our administrative [offices], IT Services, and our call center. In general, we like the idea that it is built on open source Asterisk and that it is very configurable. We have fairly complex call routing requirements, which is handled great by the interface (albeit excruciatingly slowly).
  • Ease of configuration
  • Proper handling of software updates (particularly security fixes). In the ~9 years that we had our original servers, there was *never* an update to the underlying Linux system. We were running a very old Linux kernel, with numerous available exploits.
  • Speed of configuration changes. Any configuration changes take a very long time to complete. When you change a single item, the whole page needs to reload, which takes between 10 and 30 seconds. This is quite unusable when you have hundreds of changes to make. This would be fixed by having the configuration be done on the local server rather than have to rely on Fonality's overloaded servers that they refuse to upgrade.
  • Stability. We have had issues in functionality that could never really be explained by Fonality's support. They would poke around in the config for a while and eventually fix the issue, but no one ever would know exactly what the fix was. We have had several issues recur multiple times.
  • Choice of hardware. For the servers, we were given a choice of a woefully underpowered server, or one that was grossly overkill. Nothing in the middle. These are standard Dell servers, so I do not understand why there is no option for something in the middle. We were forced to pay for the high-end server.
  • This is hard for us to measure. We absolutely require a system with the configuration complexity that Fonality offers. This is, however, balanced by the difficulty we have in interacting with it.
  • Fonality has been simultaneously indispensable and unbearable.
Cisco was unusable due to the limitations of the voicemail system. SwitchVox has serious hardware limitations (no network redundancy) and very unsavory licensing. Fonality, while having some drawbacks, meets our needs in those required areas.
If you want easy configuration and fairly complex call routing structure, Fonality is great. Pricing is also fairly good compared to alternatives.

The main issues I see are lackluster support and lack of proper engineering to support updating the software components. The biggest problem with that is that the Fonality employees do not seem to be concerned with these major issues.

NetFortris Feature Ratings

Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Call reports
Directory of employee names
Answering rules
Call park
Call screening
Message alerts
Mobile app for iOS