Asterisk to Drive Integration of Telephony Devices, Larger Online Experience: AstriCon 2009 Speaker
October 12, 2009
In five years, all telephony devices will be associated with the online experience, and Asterisk (News
) – the open source telephony platform created and developed by Digium – will help facilitate the change, the head of a Manchester, England-based software company told TMCnet in an interview.
“Westhawk Ltd/PhoneFromHere (News
).com’s involvement in the continuing evolution of Asterisk has included contributions to the IAX2 RFC, beta testing – for example, Skype (News
) for Asterisk – and some small bug fixes,” Panton told TMC Editorial Director Erik Linask in an interview, printed in full below.
“And in order to complete their room booking they want speak with the hotel to ask some specific questions and be reassured about the product offering,” Panton told Linask. “Our target customer’s biggest pain point is having to get up to find the phone.”
Their full exchange follows.
Erik Linask (News - Alert): This year marks the 10th birthday of Asterisk. What has driven its growth over a decade?
Tim Panton (pictured left): Asterisk has continued to evolve by adding protocols every few months, each protocol supporting another possible market segment and increasing and growing the user group.
EL: What is your company’s involvement with Asterisk?
TP: Westhawk Ltd/PhoneFromHere.com’s involvement in the continuing evolution of Asterisk has included contributions to the IAX2 RFC, beta testing (for example, Skype for Asterisk) and some small bug fixes.
EL: Who is your target customer and what are their biggest pain points?
TP: Our target customer is sitting on their sofa with a netbook, browsing Accommodation on the Internet for an upcoming trip, and in order to complete their room booking they want speak with the hotel to ask some specific questions and be reassured about the product offering.
Our target customer’s biggest pain point is having to get up to find the phone.
EL: How does Asterisk help address your customers’ pain points?
TP: Asterisk helps us to enable the Web page to become a handset.
EL: What are the key differentiators of your product over others on the market?
TP: PhoneFromHere.com is not:
- Not Skype - no install, not a phone replacement
- Not Live Text Chat - it is instant but speech gives more opportunities for negotiation, close and up-sell
- Not Click to Call - no need to use a phone, no need to surrender personal data
- Not an 0800 number - no need for a phone, no need to dial, nor give away your number
- Is integrated with the host Web site
- Is instant and direct, person-to-person speech
- Is a seamless user experience
- Is for casual user, low barriers to use
- Is embedded, user remains in front of the website
- Is enabling the Web site owner to retain control of user experience
EL: You are speaking at AstriCon 2009 – describe your session and tell our readers why they should attend it.
TP: Conference attendees will receive a free license for Skype for Asterisk. In the session “A year of Skype for Asterisk – What you can do,” I will demonstrate how the audience can make the best and most relevant use of this, the latest Asterisk protocol.
EL: What else do you expect to see or hear at AstriCon that will be particularly interesting or innovative?
TP: We look forward to hearing how the open BTS project went at this year’s The Burning Man Festival.
EL: Where do you see the Asterisk market in five years?
TP: In five years we anticipate that all telephony devices will be associated with your online experience, that is, calls bound up with the Web and we believe that Asterisk will help to facilitate this change.
Learn more about Westhawk Ltd and PhoneFromHere.com at AstriCon 2009, to be held Oct. 13 to 15 in Glendale, Ariz. The conference’s mission is to expand awareness and knowledge of Asterisk, the world’s leading open source PBX (News - Alert), telephony engine, and telephony applications toolkit, over the course of a three-day conference and exhibition. AstriCon includes a wealth of information for every Asterisk user, whether you are getting started or have already discovered the power of Asterisk. Register now.
Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan