Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fonality vs. Nortel - David beats Goliath

Tom Keating published a great little story about a week ago, stating that Fonality had won a deal with a Nortel affiliate called Blade for the installation of their Asterisk based PBX solution - directly displacing a comparable solution from Nortel.

On the surface, not too terribly exciting, but in reality this is a pretty big win for a company like Fonality and Asterisk in general. You see, the Fonality solution essentially is 1/2 (if not less) the price and offers twice the functionality of the comparable Nortel solution. Having sold Nortel solutions in the past, this is absolutely the truth. The proprietary nature of closed PBX solutions, cost business generally twice that of a comparable solution from an open source vendor and with greatly reduced functionality.

Where the story gets really interesting, is how a Nortel executive responds to Tom Keating's blog post. To put it mildly, the guys from Fonality basically said the Blade CEO 'flipped out' demanded to return it and retract a press release that they issued saying it was cheaper, and easier to configure, after I assume getting a phone call from Nortel brass. This will go down in the annals of 'stupid executive moves' of 2007.

Kudo's to Fonality for winning the deal - the losers here are the guys at Blade, who will now not get a Fonality system, but an overpriced proprietary solution from Nortel. I am sure the shareholders of Blade will be happy to know they company is spending money for no reason whatsoever on communication costs twice!!

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