TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



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

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
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 To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Greg Galitzine

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Asterisk Articles

Technology Marketing Corporation

2 Trap Falls Road Suite 106, Shelton, CT 06484 USA
Ph: +1-203-852-6800, 800-243-6002

General comments: [email protected].
Comments about this site: [email protected].


© 2022 Technology Marketing Corporation. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy