IP Telephony solutions provider Sangoma, offers voice cards, gateways and connectivity software.
The company’s solutions can be seamlessly integrated with IP Telephony applications to help power innovative PBX (News - Alert), IVR, contact center and carrier solutions.
Since the company’s inception in 1984, officials said they have been involved in Open Source and have contributed to, supported, and embraced numerous projects. The company’s digital and analog cards and VoIP gateways are connectivity enablers for open source telephony and open source data networking platforms and applications.
This week, the company is attending AstriCon 2010, the world's premier Asterisk (News - Alert) user conference and Expo taking place Oct. 26 - 28, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor. The company will be located at booth 313.
TMC recently caught up with Moises Silva, Software Developer at Sangoma Technologies (News - Alert) to find out more about the company’s involvement with Asterisk and Silva's thoughts on open source technology.
The full exchange follows.
How has the Asterisk market changed over the past year?
I believe the Asterisk market has become wider. There are people that have zero knowledge of telephony installing it who are using it and there are tons of Web developers without telephony knowledge writing VoIP applications. Telephony is not just for hackers anymore – there’s really been an explosion of Asterisk use over the last year.
What influence has open source had on the overall communications space over the past 12 months from a product and/or competitive perspective?
It’s been hard to overcome all the “FUD” fear, uncertainty and doubt that proprietary software companies tend to spread about open source software. However, I think customers are realizing open source can deliver quality software at lower cost and increased flexibility. This has forced some proprietary companies to also be more competitive - which in the end is a win for customers.
Is open source still primarily an SMB phenomenon or has it seen increased acceptance in the large enterprise space?
Open source in general has been in large enterprises for many years, I don’t think anybody can deny that. The Linux kernel, Apache web server, PostgreSQL, PERL, PHP, etc, are just some examples of open source projects that are in use in the large enterprise. From an open source telephony perspective however, I think is still primarily an SMB phenomenon – but is being more accepted by large enterprises lately. Projects like FreeSWITCH, for example, are doing particularly well targeting large enterprises. Asterisk is also improving a lot, and many of the fears that some people tend to have towards Asterisk are now baseless.
What has been the key driver of open source adoption?
I don’t think there is a unique key driver, and that’s good. Open source provides different advantages to different companies. High technology innovations, flexibility and cost are probably the most popular.
What barriers remain to the continued growth of Asterisk and open source?
Probably the very same characteristics that make Asterisk so attractive are keeping it from growing in the large enterprise and some other equally demanding markets. Fast paced development and low cost. Some companies are just afraid of low-cost solutions, thinking they are also low-quality solutions. On the other hand, fast paced development is great for entrepreneurs, but not so great for companies used to the static telephony systems they have or users that have already covered their telephony needs and do not need new cutting edge features. Digium and the Asterisk development community have an interesting challenge trying to keep both types of users happy.
Has the success of Google’s (News - Alert) Android mobile platform helped Increase awareness and interest in open source?
It has definitely helped, however, I believe Asterisk has done much more to increase awareness and interest in open source in the telephony space. On the other hand, Android (News - Alert) is fairly new, so we are yet to see how much Android helps in that matter.
How can the Asterisk community capitalize on the growth of mobile communications?
There is a lot of space for integration between mobile communications and Asterisk. chan_mobile is just an example of it. Using Asterisk + chan_mobile one can write all kind of applications to provide services to mobile users, it’s up to developers to come up with innovative ideas to take advantages of these tools. You can for example, use Asterisk as a small home PBX with bluetooth capabilities, so whenever you get home, the small PBX sees your phone and knows that you’re home, any incoming calls to your cell phone can now be routed through your pbx to your home line or provide any PBX-like services.
What are you hoping to see at AstriCon 2010?
A lot of smart people and old friends. I am also looking forward to see new ways in which Asterisk is being used. Asterisk is so flexible and powerful that you never know what you’re going to see.
You are speaking at AstriCon 2010. What is your session about and why is it a must-attend session for attendees?
My session is about passive call recording in PRI (primary rate interface) telephony links, also known as wire-tapping. It is a new and interesting way to use Asterisk that can be the base of a whole new application market for Asterisk. Attendees will learn about Asterisk recording and wire tapping lines to receive live calls from other Telco-PBX links into Asterisk. In this mode, Asterisk works as a sort of “PRI wireshark” - monitoring the telephony line and creating fake calls so you can get the audio, CDR and just about everything about the calls that are being placed and received to/from a third party PBX, or any other type of PBX for that matter.
Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi