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CFO Buy-In Critical To Open Source Success


August 20, 2008

CFO Buy-In Critical To Open Source Success

By Greg Galitzine
Group Editorial Director


Russell Clarkson is CIO of Matrix Business Technologies, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier that offers voice and data services to the residential, small and mid-size business markets. Clarkson, who has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunication and information technology industries, will be presenting a session at the upcoming Astricon entitled Asterisk (News - Alert) at the Heart of the Enterprise.

Clarkson is a published author, whose articles have appeared in numerous magazines, and he has also co-authored the book After the Merger, The Authoritative Guide to Integration Success.
I had the chance to ask Clarkson to respond to several questions about his session and his company’s position in Open Source.
GG: You are on the schedule to speak at the upcoming Astricon. What can conference goers expect to hear in your session?
RC: The ability to get the CFOs attention will define whether an open source initiative will succeed or fail. When you are preparing to rebuild your core processes around open source software, you must be able to prove the benefit to the business before you begin. Speaking about risk management and aligning the corporate infrastructure with the goals of the business, will improve the chances of receiving the funding you need to move forward.
GG: Where does your company fit in the current world of open source communications?
RC: As a communications service provider we understand the importance of using the software architecture internally before we ask our customers to do the same. Successful deployment of these applications internally, will provide the foundation for external growth.
GG: What are the most important criteria organizations need consider when migrating to open source?
RC: Having the skill sets in-house to deploy and maintain open source software will be critical in successfully building enterprise systems. The good news is that the ability to build this skill base is easily done by tapping into the resources provided by the open source community and creativity of your internal development team.
GG: How would you define the value of Asterisk-based solutions to those organizations that have yet to adopt it?
RC: Asterisk-based solutions allow you to take control of the functional requirements of your specific business. You are no longer at the mercy of a supplier who must juggle multiple requests from different clients in different lines of business.
GG: What do you think the biggest new trends in open source telephony will be in the next 12 months?
RC: Changes in open source telephony never cease to amaze me. We are limited only by the imagination of the community of open source developers who don’t seem to understand the phrase, “That can’t be done.” I look forward to many surprises that will allow me continue to improve the performance of my own organization.

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.

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