Need a New IP Phone for your Asterisk IP PBX? Find it and more at AstriCon 2009
October 13, 2009
More often than not, when people talk about Asterisk, they think of software developers and an open source IP PBX (News
) platform – and for good reason. Asterisk, since its birth a decade ago, has been the key driver of a movement that has taken open source software from taboo to mainstream. In fact, today, open source PBXs outnumber any single proprietary vendor’s installations.
But, what most people don’t immediately think about is handset, though a PBX – open source or not, does little good without handsets. With the growth of the open source user base – and the Asterisk community
, in particular – the prudent handset vendor will look to ensure interoperability between its products and Asterisk.
But – and this is where the ecosystem of developers that has evolved around Asterisk comes in – the added benefit is that, by proving easy integration with Asterisk-based IP PBXs, handset vendors are increasing the flexibility of their phones by making them easily adaptable to unique applications and use cases
. According to Aastra’s (News
) senior vice president and general manager Tim Whittington, that flexibility is among the keys to working with Asterisk.
“Customers benefit from the ecosystem of developers who continually provide new applications to the marketplace,” explained Whittington in an interview with TMC’s group editorial director Erik Linask (News
). “Our standards-based products allow interoperability with both premises-based and hosted solutions, providing choice for customers.”
The full interview follows.
EL: Why have you chosen to leverage the Asterisk platform in your product(s)?
TW: Developing standards-based products is one of Aastra’s core tenets. Asterisk is recognized by many as a benchmark for SIP interoperability testing, so it was a natural choice. Additionally, the Asterisk platform provides a rapidly evolving open source call manager with a healthy complement of features
we are easily able to leverage with our SIP endpoints.
EL: What advantages does an Asterisk-based product offer for your customers?
TW: The script-based architecture facilitates customization and integration. Customers can also benefit from the ecosystem of developers who continually provide new applications to the marketplace. Our standards-based products allow interoperability with both premises-based and hosted solutions, providing choice for customers.
EL: What are the key differentiators of your product over others on the market?
TW: Aastra has a broad portfolio of standards-based IP endpoints
to meet the functionality and budgetary needs of all customers, from very small businesses to large enterprises. Reliability, quality, value, and openness are the cornerstones of our product development. In addition to all the standard telephony features, our SIP phones offer additional features such our Hi-Q wideband audio, available on all of our new and existing 67xi series phones, optional wireless capability and an XML interface that many of our customers have used to build features that tie into their business processes. Many of the carriers and resellers we work with consider the XML capabilities to be a key differentiator to offer productivity for their customers.
EL: Who is your target customer and how are you adapting your approach to selling to them under current economic conditions?
TW: Aastra is 100 percent focused on enterprise communications solutions. Our broad portfolio of products delivers the quality, reliability and value customers are demanding in difficult economic times.
EL: How does working with Digium help increase the value and awareness of your product?
TW: Aastra has been a Digium
Premier Interoperability Partner for several years and we continue to value our close relationship. Partnering with Digium provides access to a global community of open source developers and customers.
EL: This year marks the 10th birthday of Asterisk. What has driven its growth over a decade?
TW: We believe the relatively inexpensive price of open source systems, compared to proprietary ones (up to 40 percent less, according to a recent report by Eastern Management (News
) Group), as well as the flexibility for custom development and integration makes Asterisk an attractive value proposition.
EL: Why are you participating in AstriCon 2009?
TW: AstriCon has grown to be the premier event for open source telephony buyers and we recognize the tremendous opportunity it provides to showcase our standards-based IP solutions.
EL: Why should attendees make sure they visit you at your booth?
TW: Aastra will be demonstrating its broad portfolio of SIP telephones, as well as the latest SIP-DECT (News
) mobile handsets. Attendees can also enter a drawing to win one of two MBU400 DECT solutions for small business or one of two 6757i CT SIP phones with an integrated cordless handset.
EL: Where do you see the Asterisk market in five years?
TW: Based on a recent study by the Eastern Management Group, “2009 Open Source PBX Market Forecast,” there was a 40 percent growth in the open source PBX market in the last year. The report goes on to say that 55 percent of the year’s new sales were to returning customers who were acquiring larger systems or buying for additional locations. This customer loyalty is another indication of the recognized value provided by Asterisk and in today’s economy, we see anticipate continued positive momentum.
Follow all the news from AstriCon 2009, taking place October 13-15 in Glendale, Ariz., on TMCnet. AstriCon’s mission is to expand awareness and knowledge of Asterisk, the world's leading open source PBX, 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.
Erik Linask is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erik Linask