Small Company, Fonality, Gives Dell A Big VoIP Boost
Dell. Resellers. Unified communications. Open source. A small software company has found a way to roll up those four ingredients into a very successful IP PBX solution that’s now going global. Here’s the improbable story of Fonality, which is selling its IP telephony software on Dell servers by the truckload.
Chris Lyman, CEO of Fonality, is a former reseller who knows traditional phone systems have been too complex and too expensive for many small businesses. So he set out to change the world. His company, Fonality, develops and sells IP PBX software on hardened Dell servers. In many ways, the servers are like single-purpose appliances, designed to ensure highly reliable phone communications.
Fonality leveraged Asterisk, an open source IP PBX platform, for its early work. But Lyman is quick to note that Fonality’s Asterisk foundation contains fewer than 200,000 lines of code, and Fonality has since written 2 million lines of additional code for its IP-PBX.
At a time when many VARs openly question Dell’s channel strategy, Fonality seems to be living in harmony with Dell. In fact, hundreds of resellers and manged service providers are lining up to promote and support Fonality’s efforts. Plus, Dell itself now promotes Fonality to small business customers.
The latest Fonality release for small business, announced today, could allow VARs and MSPs to generate recurring revenue from small business IP telephony systems.
With fewer than 150 employees, Fonality has lined up more than 5,000 customers and 100,000 end users for its IP PBXes. That effort has given resellers — and Dell’s own server business — quite a boost.