Fonality Calls In AcquisitionBy Sara Driscoll | Posted 2007-11-05 Email Print
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Open-source telephony vendor Fonality buys CRM vendor Insightful Solutions to merge the technology.Telephony vendor Fonality has made its first acquisition by purchasing open-source CRM provider Insightful Solutions.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Fonality embed Insightful's open-source customer resource management technology into its own open-source PBX telephony systems.
Chris Lyman, CEO at Fonality, in Los Angeles, said the company launched its first channel-only product, Trixbox, two months ago, and found that partners were looking for a CRM system alongside it. "The pain point wasn't telephony for the call center, it was CRM," he said. "We did use SugarCRM, an open-source CRM system, with our telephony, and then got to know Insightful."
Lyman said following the acquisition Fonality will launch an integrated product in two stages. "The first version, which comes out this month, will have Insightful's CRM technology lightly integrated with ours. The second launch, next quarter, will be a fully integrated CRM and phone system based on open source."
He said the products would ship through the channel and that Fonality's VARs would not need lots of training to sell it. "Most of our VARs are from the data side, so selling the telephony system is actually more of a challenge for them. CRM is a great product for the channel, because it's sticky and we'll be selling at 40 percent less than Salesforce.com," he said.