Open-source PBX vendor Fonality announced Tuesday the launch of PBXtra Unified Agent, which combines its phone and call center capabilities with Salesforce.com CRM to provide contact center functions for a fraction of the cost for custom integration required to achieve equivalent functionality.
“It’s more than putting our phone system info in Salesforce.com,” said Corey Brundage, vice president of product and marketing for Fonality. “We are able to associate the phone system agent and the CRM agent.”
The result is real-time and historical reporting that links data, such as lead follow-up time and close rates, without manual (e.g. unreliable) logs, Brundage explained. In all there are more than 20 canned reports and users can create or modify reports to their needs.
Another useful feature is an incoming call screen pop that indicates deal size, so agents know the relative importance of calls. And, by associating caller ID with prospects or customer and their call center reps, the system can cut down on queue pollution (misdirected calls) by delivering calls to the right queue or agent.
These are just a few of the capabilities of the system, which is an upgrade for more than 3,000 users of Fonality’s PBXtra Call Center Edition with Heads Up Display, a desktop app that allows point-and-click monitoring of call center activity. More than 95 percent of these customers use CRM, and a majority use Salesforce.com, said Brundage.
For existing customers of Fonality and Salesforce.com, the upgrade costs $4,000. (A perk for these companies is that the solution will map historical data in the systems to provide a snapshot into past activity.) A new system is $7,000, not including the agent phone sets or the CRM subscription. There are no per-seat charges. Fonality sells IP phones from Polycom, Aastra, Grandstream and Cisco that include special firmware; they range from $80-$350 each.
The Unified Agent was 18 months and one acquisition (Fonality bought a CRM company) in the making. It was in beta testing with 15 users during November.
“It’s really a game changer; it’s never been done before,” said Brundage. “Unified Agent delivers on the broken promise of CRM.”
The product will be sold by Fonality’s direct sales force, PBXtra resellers and Salesforce.com resellers. A software-only version of the product will be available to Fonality’s developer partners in about 60 days, Brundage said.
Presently, the Unified Agent is only compatible with Salesforce.com, but Fonality also is considering a similar integration with SugarCRM down the line, Brundage said.