FonAngle: Feature-rich VoIP for the 30 and under business.
Part 40 of Phone for Rent: Understanding Hosted PBX Services FonAngle's HoPs service is well suited to organizations in which sales and/or customer service are critical.
FonAngle Communications, with international headquarters in New York City, and Canadian headquarters in Vancouver, B.C., is a privately held firm that was established by industry veterans with a vision for offering a better phone solution for small and medium-size businesses.
FonAngles system is named HoPs, an acronym for Hosted Office Phone System., which is available with any high-speed Internet connection worldwide. The system can provide local service (with either a new or ported existing telephone number) in virtually every rate center in the continental United States and Canada.
The company targets businesses with 1 to 30 employees, and prides itself on a simple installationwith pre-configured hardware shipped to the customer that just needs to be plugged in to be operational.
The Basic HoPs system includes a long list of standard PBX features, including caller ID; call forwarding/routing/transfers/groups/queues/reports/recording; intercom/paging capabilities; dial-by-name directory; find me/follow me; and so on. More specialized features include: cell and home-based extensions; music/messages on hold, professional customized greetings, voicemail-to-e-mail conversion; and softphone use.
The Advanced HoPs, which is available with the more expensive pricing plans, includes call queueing, which can answer multiple calls and distribute them to call agents using sophisticated algorithms. This feature is typically used by sales, customer service, and support organizations to maximize the companys resource utilization, while improving customer support and satisfaction.
FonAngles online customer support is provided via their ONLINE-ANYTIME Web interface, which they claim is one of the most powerful in the industry. The interface also provides a number of configuration capabilities, including: adding sounds such as a welcome greeting, recorded messages, or custom on-hold music; establishing incoming call rules such as call forwarding, ring-alls, find-me/follow-me, hunt groups, and so on; determining call routing sequences, such as out-of-office messages; setting up the interactive voice response (IVR) system, including caller options, departmental groups, and call screening; hardware provisioning and call reporting by extension, numbers, time and date, etc.
This Web interface includes seven functions. The Add Extension function is used to create a new user account, including the initial extension, name, contact information, type of extension (phone, conference center, voicemail center, intercom, etc.), charging, and outgoing call filtering.
The Edit Client tool allows users to edit their name, password, contact information, and time zone. Outgoing Routing Groups Management allows a search of existing groups, or the addition of new groups. The Phone Number Collections tool lists the users collection numbers, with the ability to add, remove, search, and export telephone numbers.
The Charging Plan Management lists the charging plans available for each user, with the Charging Limits specifying the charging credits for a particular user, identifying both outgoing and incoming monetary limits.
Finally, the Reports Tool, allows a wide variety of management reports to be initiated, including those that summarize system-level information, such as the total length of incoming and outgoing calls; Call Reports with details on a monthly basis; and Call Flows, which identify currently active calls on the system.
FonAngle offers four different pricing plans: The Micro plan is designed as an economical system for small offices, providing two lines, up to eight extensions, one local number, and Basic HoPs, at a cost of $49.95 per line per month. The Professional plan costs $46.95 per line per month, and is targeted at the midsize office, providing four lines, up to 14 extensions, one local number, and Advanced HoPs. The Corporate plan at $43.95 per line per month per line is billed as a complete solution for medium to large companies with multiple offices, and includes six lines, up to 20 extensions, two local numbers, one toll free number with 100 minutes per month, Advanced HoPs, virtual calling card, and FonAngle Fax. The Enterprise Plus plan costs $40.95 per line per month, and is designed for larger companies that require maximum flexibility. This plan includes eight lines and 30 extensions, two local numbers, one toll free number with 200 minutes per month, Advanced HoPs, virtual calling card, and FonAngle Fax. All of these plans include free long distance calling in the Continental United States and Canada, and have the provision to increase the number of lines.
Further information on the FonAngle solutions can be found www.fonangle.com. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers hosted voice solutions.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2009 DigiNet Corporation®, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.