Fonality Serves up 1 Billion Cloud VoIP Calls?

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Fonality Serves up 1 Billion Cloud VoIP Calls?

Today, Fonality announced it has served up its 1 billionth cloud call on their hosted VoIP platform called UNBOUND. UNBOUND is Fonality's fully hosted cloud phone system and VoIP service solution and starts at $24.99/mo. Of course, Fonality also offers fully premise-based IP-PBX solutions as well.

I like Fonality and the Fonality team, including Chris Lyman, Samy Kamkar, etc. but I can't help but be a little skeptical over 1 billion calls. How long has UNBOUND been around? About 6 months from what I see. That means 5.48 million calls in one year. Assuming the average company is 10 employees making 5 calls each that's 109,589 total customers in 6 months. For context, Packet8 posted 10,000 hosted VoIP customers in 2008 and they've been doing hosted VoIP a lot longer.

I must be missing something.

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For clarification, Fonality's "1.3 Billion calls" number is the sum of all calls between our fully cloud product, UNBOUND, and our hybrid-cloud products, PBXtra & trixbox Pro. Each of these products are very similar (100% same code base). They each store all their calls in the cloud and they each have all their management in the cloud.

The only difference is that, while UNBOUND is 100% VoIP and has no premise server, PBXtra/trixbox Pro are protocol agnostic (PSTN, PRI, T1/E1, BRI/ISDN, *or* VoIP) and, while using the cloud for control & some storage, *do* have a premise server to increase scale, privacy, and allow for fixed line calling. That's why we called UNBOUND "cloud" and PBXtra/trixbox Pro "hybrid-cloud" in our press release.

So, for all our products, we use the same Fonality technology, the same Fonality cloud management (MACs) and the same Fonality cloud for monitoring, deployment, and ongoing support assistance. Heck, even the calls for all products go into the same Fonality cloud database for routing and processing. As such, we lump these highly similar products together for a single press release.

As for customer count, we are now over 6,000 paid customers during our six year (err seven, it's 2010) history. And unlike Packet8, who is forced to serve mainly smaller customers, our 'wide-net' strategy of cloud + hybrid-cloud allows us to serve customers from 5 to 500 employees per location. In fact, we even have some customers well over 1,000 seats!

Thus, because of our mix of small + large customers we are racking up the call volume pretty quickly here: 1.3 billion! You used to call us the "McDonald's of telephony" back in the day because our "xx calls served" styled press releases. Well, now that we have a "b" before "served" is that moniker official at this point? :)

Sorry for the confusion and a happy 2010 to you and yours.

Chris Lyman
Fonality CEO/Janitor


Fair counterpoint.

To clarify: at Fonality, our cloud strategy (and thus the intended thrust of our release) is more about cloud architecture, cloud management, and cloud storage than specific cloud trunking. We actually feel the "minutes" portion of cloud-based telephony is the easy part and is commoditizing at a rapid rate. To us, the cloud telephony movement is quickly moving beyond it's early "toll bypass" days of Skype/Vonage and the winners of this next phase are those that have focused on building true business telephony apps in the sky -- apps that do more than make cheap calls to China.

As you know, when you purchase a Fonality phone system, whether or not you choose to trunk with SIP or PSTN, a good chunk of what we deliver you lives in the sky where the future is quickly becoming the present. We spent years preaching this and it sure is exciting to see it finally gaining some traction.

That being said, we already have quite a few SIP trunking calls and I guess someday we will have to go through our cloud database and figure out exactly which ones were fully originated in the cloud vs which ones simply registered (IP Phone) and were stored in the happy blue sky.

Maybe we should start a dual press release policy. Would that get us twice the pickup? :)


Hi Guys,
Yes Of course Fonality providing round the clock support as well as having the best technology solutions.

Somewhere on this thread, it should ready, "Cloud, over 1 billion mentions". Did I actually read a reference to the "sky" as well? Here's our video take on cloud computing.

Somewhere on this thread, it should ready, "Cloud, over 1 billion mentions". Did I actually read a reference to the "sky" as well?

In all seriousness, I am curious to know exactly what Unbound is. Yes, I am one of the founders of OnSIP; thus the curiosity. Is Unbound simply an instance of PBXtra in a data center with a VoIP connection? How many connections? How many Internet providers? Is it a scalable Internet service? OnSIP was built as a scalable Internet service with no single customer, app, service, module limited to a piece of hardware or software. Is this true for Unbound?

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