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Fonality Acquires Insightful and Offers Integrated CRM-VoIP Solution

Fonality, a maker of business phone systems, announced that it will create the industry’s first phone system that unifies both telephony and customer relationship management (CRM) for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

As part of the initiative, the company has acquired Insightful Solutions Pty Ltd., a leading hosted CRM solution provider and a SugarCRM Gold partner for the Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific regions.

Over the past two years, Insightful has made substantial enhancements to SugarCRM’s Sugar Professional product and hosts more than 1,000 seats, in 13 countries, at the company’s three global data centers.

By combining Insightful’s CRM expertise with Fonality’s awarding-winning telephony suite, small businesses will have an affordable solution that unifies employees with presence management, instant messaging, fixed and mobile calling, and provides a single 360-degree view of customers and business partners.

“Fonality has over 1,000 hybrid-hosted call centers deployed in 25 different countries and our hybrid-hosted platform is a powerful framework for delivering integrated applications directly to the SMB with no investment in premise equipment required,” said Chris Lyman, Fonality CEO.

“Telephony and CRM have a naturally concentric relationship, so this is a good place to leverage hybrid-hosted and we are thrilled that the great folks at Insightful have joined forces with us to accelerate our unified offering to the global SMB marketplace.”

As part of the deal, Fonality will also begin selling Insightful’s CRM managed service offering immediately.

Called FonalityCRM, it integrates Sugar Professional with Fonality’s PBXtra and trixbox Pro IP-PBX applications. FonalityCRM provides click-to-call dialling, agent screen pops, telephone campaign management for outbound sales teams, and more.

It is hosted at one of the six Fonality data centers and available immediately to PBXtra and trixbox Pro customers worldwide.

The underlying FonalityCRM managed service platform was developed by Insightful to provide a complete, on-demand offering that is updated, maintained, backed-up and always available.

Fonality will leverage Insightful’s knowledge and experience supporting Sugar Professional deployments, as well as its own world-class support infrastructure.

Marc Englaro, co-founder and CEO of Insightful, is now general manager of Fonality’s CRM Division. Before founding Insightful, Englaro was director and principal consultant with Si2, leading its open source consulting practice.

He will remain in his role as director of Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA), the country’s national industry body for open source adoption.

The Insightful team brings valuable CRM development and marketing expertise, and all employees will continue to work for Fonality. The Insightful offices in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore will remain open.

“In Fonality we found a like-minded team which values going beyond simple integration, and building fully conjoined products that expand the definition of what’s on the market today,” said Englaro. “Together we’re going to continue to raise the bar for what people expect from both VoIP and CRM.”

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.