Back in September I wrote about Fonality's trixbox Unified Agent Edition (UAE) and how it can automatically match all inbound and outbound calls with the corresponding record in salesforce.com's AppExchange, and call data is captured and logged. Apparently, this was still a yet-to-be-announced product I wrote about that resulted in a call from Fonality's CEO Chris Lyman asking how I found out about it. Woops, my bad, Chris.
Well, today, Fonality has officially launched UAE. I spoke with Chris Lyman to learn more about this product. Chris told me, "What we've done is allow managers and agents using CRM and a phone system to make some pretty serious decisions about how they run their business and what we consider some major cost savings."
Chris explained that they pumped the CDR (call data records) from Fonality's PBXtra into Salesforce.com. Once the CDR data is housed in Salesforce.com obvious business benefits can be realized. You can for instance know when customers called you or when you last called a particular customer. Importantly, with the reporting mechanisms you can understand how long it takes to call a lead or opportunity and how that affects your close rate. The reports allow you to for example easily see "neglected opportunities" such as 'opportunities that have not been contacted in XX minutes'. This lets you see how long does it takes an agent to make a first contact for a lead/customer/opportunity that been created inside the CRM system. Here's a screenshot of some of the reports:
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Fonality UAE brings a whole new level of CRM integration with PBXtra, an Asterisk-based system. This tight-level of integration with an Asterisk-based system with the popular Salesforce.com hosted CRM platform is great news for the Asterisk community. While Asterisk-based systems have made in-roads in the contact center space, heavyweights like Nortel and Avaya still win a huge share of the contact center space because of their advanced CRM integration. So the more Asterisk-based solutions offer advanced CRM applications, the better for the Asterisk ecosystem. We'll see more Asterisk deployments in contact centers as a result.
It's worth mentioning that Digium's Switchvox IP-PBX also offers integration with CRM apps, including Salesforce.com and SugarCRM. I saw a demo of Switchvox's web-based panels down in Huntsville, Alabama. I remember it supported querying Salesforce.com on an inbound call (screenpop), but don't recall if it supported querying Salesforce.com on an outbound call. I'm also not sure to what level Switchvox offers reporting on inbound & outbound calls tied to the CRM contact records. I don't believe Switchvox offers contact-based reporting based on CDR information. I've actually been meaning to do a full-review of Switchvox.
In any event, getting back to UAE, I should point out that Fonality queries a local cache of the Salesforce.com database for it's instant when it performs a contact record lookup and is not affected by any sort of Internet outage or Salesforce.com outage. Importantly, inbound calls can be automatically directed to the contact or opportunity owner. This prevents sales personnel from 'stealing' a lead.
"The Frankenstein, bolt-on products from other telephony vendors provide only basic screen pops or click-to-call features. Fonality has a much more sophisticated approach for delivering feature-rich, end-to-end contact center solutions," said Corey Brundage, vice president of marketing and product management at Fonality. "PBXtra Unified Agent is the only offering available today that immediately impacts a contact center's top and bottom line without the need for professional services or a six-figure capital expenditure."
- PBXtra Unified Agent from Fonality combines phone system, call center, and CRM capabilities to provide a complete view of contact center operations. With Salesforce CRM and PBXtra Unified Agent, companies can increase close rates, revenue and profits, while providing much better customer service and dramatically reducing sales and support costs.
- For less than $20/user per month, PBXtra Unified Agent delivers an immediate return on investment. Agents benefit from productivity enhancements and timely access to more accurate and complete information so they can do a better job selling to and supporting customers. Managers gain deep visibility into real-time and historical agent call activity within Salesforce CRM so they can make more intelligent business decisions based on accurate data.
With PBXtra Unified Agent managers can easily measure, test, and improve sales and support processes, view the effectiveness of human resources, salvage opportunities or identify lapses in service level agreements. PBXtra Unified Agent includes the following features for managers:
- Track and record all call data in Salesforce CRM automatically
- View customer call histories
- Understand how call follow-up times impact profitability
- Find out the number of calls it takes to convert a lead to a sale
- Determine which agents are the most responsive
- Visually rank agent calling frequency and duration
- Instantly report all leads not called within a specified period
"PBXtra Unified Agent's deep integration with Salesforce gives our customers even more value from their CRM installations," said Clarence So, CMO, salesforce.com. "Thousands of customers have installed applications from the Force.com AppExchange because partners like Fonality are offering innovative tools that expand the capabilities of Salesforce CRM."
Chris explained that one of reasons why they called it Unified Agent Edition is because they created a unified agent creation and logon. When you make an agent on PBXtra, it displays a drop-down box of your Salesforce.com agents allowing you to map your extension on Salesforce.com account. So it matches username and password across the two platforms. That's how you know the name of the person making a call as opposed to the extension number.
For current PBXtra customers it's a $4,000 upgrade for unlimited agents. New customers the pricing starts at $6,995 for server hardware and software. Interested parties may also participate in a Fonality-hosted informational webinar taking place on Friday, December 12 at 10 a.m. PT. To register for this webinar, head to www.fonality.com/UAEwebinar.