Fonality is a simple VoIP solution that works.
Updated October 14, 2016

Fonality is a simple VoIP solution that works.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Fonality

Fonality is being used across the whole organization. It meets our VoIP requirements. We are able to create new users, set up extensions, and menus through the web interface. The system, as well as the phones, have worked with limited interruptions. If I ever have any issues, they are available via chat or a phone call.
  • Web interface is easy to use.
  • Setting up new phones and users is quick.
  • Fonality provides good support if there are ever any issues.
  • Quality service and easy to work with.
  • Sometimes the account managers take longer to respond when dealing with account issues.
  • Should have access to add a new phone directly through the web, but Fonality needs the MAC address to do that.
  • Setting up the company directory could be more straightforward.
Yes - I use the Heads Up Display portal online - Makes it easy to see when users are online and the ability to check voicemails directly from the HUD.
Also, we can send text messages between eachother which is convenient when we dont have time for a phone call.
Overall, it is a nice feature to have that complements the phone system.
Fonality makes it easy to expand the business because users and phones are quite simple to add to our system.
That certainly helps when planning to upgrade and add additional office space.
It's good knowing that this is one aspect that we don't have to worry about when scaling the business in the future.
  • Pricing is good for our company with the amount of users we have.
  • Relatively low maintenance costs.
  • Hardware and software support is available when needed.
I have used Nortel systems in the past, and those interfaces were more cumbersome and not as easy to use. Fonality is more straightforward with their web interface and set up of phones. It is easier to use and quicker for users to learn how to maneuver around the system, as well as the phones.
Fonality would work for organizations of any size. It simply requires a PBX and VoIP phones, so it's relatively easy to get started. Setup and use are straightforward, and you don't have to be tech savvy to use the system. Overall it is a clean system and is well suited for any VoIP implementation.

NetFortris Feature Ratings

Hosted PBX
8
Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
8
Call reports
8
Directory of employee names
8
Answering rules
8
Call recording
8
Call park
8
Call screening
8
Message alerts
8
Audio conferencing
8
Mobile app for iOS
5
Mobile app for Android
5

Using Fonality

30 - We have various departments in our organization and the majority of them use the phone system.
This includes: management, accounting, IT, marketing, and human resources.
Everyone that needs the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently has access to the phone system.
It is important that it is readily available and assists them in their daily functions.
1 - In order to support the phone system you need a technical background.
Since this is a VoIP based system, you need to know how to configure firewalls and switches to pass phone traffic to the SIP provider.
In addition, the ability to set up VLANs is important since network segmentation is key when it comes to voice traffic.
  • Dealing with customers on a daily basis.
  • Setting up conference calls and taking part in meetings.
  • Working with internal employees to achieve the quickest response times.
  • Using HUD to message employees when they are not available.
  • Conference calls are quick and easy.
  • Menu system setup is straightforward via the web interface.
  • Using conference calls when employees are on the road.
  • Sending messages to mobile phones.
  • Voicemail to email is convenient.
The phone system has been easy to use, with little to no downtime in the 5 plus years we have had it.
Adding additional users and phones is straightforward and quick.
The support is always available when we need it which is important for a 24/7 business that relies on quick communication.

Evaluating Fonality and Competitors

Yes - Replaced an older POTS. We needed a VoIP system that was easy to use and configure.
The older system was cumbersome and difficult to add new users and phones.
It was also not as cost effective due to higher phone and operating costs.
Fonality made sense both on a technical and financial level.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
The most important factor was features and usability.
We needed a straightforward system, both from an admin and user perspective.
The ability to add new users and phones was important, as well as users being to able to learn the system quickly.
All the features that the system has were important to us (voicemail to email, conference calls, directory).
The process would stay the same when choosing the system.
We knew the features that we wanted in the system and we chose the best system based on them.
Being able to use various phones was important, rather than being forced to use one provider so that was key in the evaluation process.

Fonality Implementation

Implementation was smooth throughout the entire process.
The hardest part was getting the network configured properly to pass voice traffic.
It helps having a network administrator who has had experience with these types of installations.
Although Fonality support is available, having on-site assistance is always beneficial when issues do arise after the install.
  • No major issues but just assisting users with the daily usage of the phones.
  • No major issues but just assisting users with the daily usage of the phones.
  • No major issues but just assisting users with the daily usage of the phones.

Fonality Training

  • Online training
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
Training was provided by the in-house IT administrator. Fonality was able to provide support to the admin, who then assisted the users.
It went smoothly and all the details and functions of the system were made available to the office staff.
Any questions were answered promptly and if any issues did arise, Fonality was available to answer them.
Online training was available via PDF's and manuals. They were well written and the various phone functions were outlined in all the chapters.
Everything from placing calls to checking voicemails were detailed in the online training. It made learning and using the phones easy because all the details were outlined in an easy to read fashion.
For people who have used business phone systems before, the phones were easy to use. There was nothing unique in this aspect.
The menu system for each individual phone was a little different, depending on the phones that people used in the past.
But overall, most people did not need training and the self-taught approach worked.

Configuring Fonality

The phone system is not complex and has many options to configure various settings, both to the administrative interface and the individual phones.
It was the right amount and updates were available if more changes were needed.
The phones have the ability to change ringtones, backgrounds, and other unique options that are not available on other systems.
Since the system is relatively easy to set up and use, there are no best practices for configuring it.
I would recommend to read the online manuals if you have any issues.
However, if you have had experience with VoIP systems then you know that you can experiment with configuring various options without any issues.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - The main customizations that were done to the user interface were menu related.
We have various menus set up when someone calls in to the main extension.
It was straightforward to set up and Fonality was able to assist in this.
It did take some learning to figure it out but overall not difficult with their assistance.
Some - we have added small pieces of custom code - We have had some custom code added in order to forward older phone extensions.
Fonality was able to assist in this and test the process after the initial install.
It did take a little work and testing, however they were readily available to assist.
Overall, they were patient and it worked out adding this feature.
We also added the ability to forward desk phones to mobile phones.
This was a nice feature that allowed staff to be away from their desk and still receive calls.
It was easy to set up as well, and convenient for employees who were out in the field and could still communicate with office staff.

Fonality Support

We pay for yearly technical support and maintenance. This includes phone and chat support.
If an issue ever arises, I can place a call and open a trouble ticket.
This
is typically resolved the same day since the support staff is available
during regular business hours and helps with any and all issues.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - We pay for yearly technical support and maintenance. This includes phone and chat support.
If an issue ever arises, I can place a call and open a trouble ticket.
This is typically resolved the same day since the support staff is available during regular business hours and helps with any and all issues.
We recently purchased new phones for a new office setup. Fonality was available to assist in the configuration and setup throughout the entire process.
There were specific changes that needed to be made to the phones in order to gain access to the network.
They assisted in a quick and helpful manner.

Using Fonality

The system is straightforward and easy to use.
Whether you are a user or an admin, you can learn very quickly how to use the phones.
It does not require much technical knowledge on how to use various functions, as they are well implemented and easy to find.
The usability is a big plus of this system.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Dialing and company directory.
  • Conference calls and meetings.
  • Voicemail to email interface.
  • Nothing is difficult or cumbersome.
  • Nothing is difficult or cumbersome.
  • Nothing is difficult or cumbersome.

Fonality Reliability

It is easy to scale this system, as long as you have the proper technical staff available to support it.
Adding users and phones is straightforward. The main work involves having the physical network in place and configuring the networking equipment.
Overall, it is not that difficult as long as all of this is in place.
Fonality has been available to us 99% of the time. There have rarely been any lengthy outages.
If any issues do occur, their support staff is available around the clock to help.
This is important, since communication is a big part in our company and availability of the phone system is important in maintaining this reliability.
Fonality's performance is excellent. The phones work flawlessly and the calls are clear.
It is a well put-together system that does not need daily support.
It is not complex from a user standpoint, as most of our staff are quick to learn how to use the phones.
More systems should strive to work as well as Fonality's.

Integrating Fonality

Integration with Microsoft Outlook is relatively straightforward.
Fonality provides a plug-in that allows users to dial directly from the Outlook interface.
It integrates well with the address book and picks up numbers and names.
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Windows OS
  • HUD Web
Integration with Microsoft Outlook is relatively straightforward.
Fonality provides a plug-in that allows users to dial directly from the Outlook interface.
It integrates well with the address book and picks up numbers and names.
  • Revenue Control System
  • HR system
  • Access Control System
We have not looked into the integration of this system with other vendors.
  • File import/export
  • Single Signon
Most of the integration technologies have been covered here.
Fonality support is available if any integration needs to take place.
It is never an issue with getting their technical support staff to assist.
Even if it is a new concept, they will still look into and attempt to assist in the implementation.
It is a configurable system if you are looking for added functionality.

Relationship with Fonality

The vendor is relatively easy to work with on the sales side.
We were able to communicate to them the amount of users we needed, as well as the maintenance contract.
They provided in-depth information on the up-front costs, as well as future expenditures, which made it easy to understand the overall investment.
They were available after the sale to provide additional support when necessary via email or phone.
It was never an issue to get a hold of the account manager or other support staff.
More companies should strive to provide this type of post sales support, because it helps in retaining future business.
Our main terms were server and phone costs, as well as the maintenance contract.
They were able to provide detailed information on all of this, which made it easy to see all the costs.
The negotiating was relatively straightforward, and it was not difficult to receive the service and cost that we wanted.
Dealing with the vendor is easy when you know exactly what you want.
As long as you have all your numbers in front of you and present them in a clear and concise manner than the rest will work itself out.
In this case, the number of users as well as features that we expected were important in the overall sales process.

Upgrading Fonality

Yes - We have upgraded to a new release of Fonality several times through the past 5 years.
It was a quick process (typically less than 15 minutes).
There is a web interface that has an upgrade option and it takes care of the update automatically and provides a log through the entire process.
  • Server stability improvements
  • Phone feature improvements
  • Call quality improvements
  • Added phone features
  • Added server functionality
  • Added user features