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Open Source, Masochists, Friendly Puppies� Sounds Like Fun!

Open Source, Masochists, Friendly Puppies� Sounds Like Fun!

August 20, 2008
By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director
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Jim Van Meggelen has been working with PBXs since 1990.

He is one of the authors of O’Reilly’s Asterisk (News - Alert): The Future of Telephony.
 
Jim maintains a blog at http://www.coretel.ca/jb/.
 
Jim will present a session at the upcoming AstriCon in Glendale, AZ entitled Intro to Unified Communications (News - Alert): The Real Fun Has Barely Begun.
 


I try to keep these introductions more low key, but I was absolutely taken by Jim’s bio on the Astricon site. There, it says that he “…is probably a bit of a masochist, which would explain why he got into the telecom business in the first place, and why he now loves Asterisk. Jim is pretty friendly, kinda like a puppy that gets your shoes dirty. His enthusiasm is infectious, but also a little bit frightening if you stand too close.”
 
Anybody who in any way, shape, or form resembles a masochistic puppy probably possesses good presentation skills, and is someone whose session you wouldn’t want to miss. Incidentally the session takes place at 11:00am on Wednesday September 24.
 
Here are Jim’s responses to some questions I tossed his way regarding his session at Astricon and CoreTel’s place in the open source community.
 
 
GG: You are on the schedule to speak at the upcoming Astricon. What can conference goers expect to hear in your session?
JVM: I have been asked to talk about Unified Communications. This is a topic that has been of interest to the telecom industry since before the computer age. It is not a new concept, but new philosophies about the development of technology herald the possibility of achieving something that has thus far eluded us. I will talk a bit about the history of this concept, the current state of technologies in this space, and offer my opinions on the future.
 
GG: Where does your company fit in the current world of open source communications?
JVM: We provide organizations with both consulting and product-based services. We have based our current products on Asterisk, but we select technology based on how well it will serve our customers. We are open-minded, but have a strong preference for open-source software. We are very customer-centric; our core values speak to that. Our goal is to provide a level of service such that every one of our customers is willing to be a reference. Open Source products help us deliver on this goal and help us to solve the communications challenges our customers bring to us.
 
GG: What are the most important criteria organizations need consider when migrating to open source?
JVM: The solution team is critical. Open source software can be a disaster if it is not designed, managed, implemented and supported correctly. Research your solution provider carefully, plan meticulously, and your open source project can be a great experience and a rewarding investment. Do not buy open source based on price; the cheapest solution on paper may prove painfully expensive to your business.
 
GG: How would you define the value of Asterisk-based solutions to those organizations that have yet to adopt it?
JVM: Asterisk-based solutions are more flexible in delivering features and benefits, and provide a platform that can enable superior communications in a far more cost effective manner than proprietary systems.
 
GG: What do you think the biggest new trends in open source telephony will be in the next 12 months?
JVM: Lately I have been seeing some telecom heavyweights take an interest in open source telecom. Given that the market share for open source telecom is barely a thin line on the pie chart that represents the telecom industry as a whole, I am hopeful this interest is going to stimulate a new surge of innovation, as well as more support for the concepts of interoperability and commoditization, both things incumbent industries have traditionally had a hard time with.


Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications suite of products, including TMCnet.com. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Greg Galitzine

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