The Asterisk (News - Alert) market is going strong and growing even during this economic downturn, an official with a Greenville, S.C.-based company with a distribution channel of more than 5,000 independent resellers throughout the United States and foreign nations told TMCnet during an interview.
Eric Todd, chief technology officer at NETXUSA, Inc, said that his company is seeing several new dealers sign up with interest in the solutions around Asterisk every week.
“A lot of the growth has been driven by a large commitment from the open source community in developing a wide range of useful features and an increasing acceptance,” Todd told TMC Editorial Director Erik Linask in an interview that’s printed in full below, “from the business community of open source solutions as a standard in today’s workplace that is making it a good alternative to Cisco, Avaya and other PBX (News - Alert) solutions while being cost-effective.”
Todd – who is speaking on “Simplifying Asterisk & Switchvox Installations” during AstriCon 2009, to be held Oct. 13 to 15 in Glendale, Ariz. – also said that Digium (News - Alert), the company that created and develops the open source telephony platform Asterisk, is one of NETXUSA’s “top solution partners.”
“They are providing a solution that is easy to support and enjoys great margins for our dealers while also be very complementary to our solution offerings to round out our total package; including solutions from Polycom (News - Alert), Adtran and Edgewater,” Todd said.
Their full exchange follows.
Erik Linask: Why have you chosen to leverage the Asterisk platform in your product(s)?
Eric Todd (pictured left): We choose to distribute Asterisk-based solutions as they provide an excellent product offering to our VAR customer base to compete against Cisco, Avaya, Mitel (News - Alert), and so on, with the same or more features and at a fraction of the cost.
EL: What advantages does an Asterisk-based product offer for your customers?
ET: Our VARs are able to provide almost unlimited options for their customer’s requests including special features, a variety of supported hardware types vs. proprietary solutions.It also gives them the chance to do something different in the market and make it their own original and not have to sell a “me too” product.
EL: What are the key differentiators of your product over others on the market?
ET: Our key separation point has been our expert support services, automated back in office systems, one stop shop for complete solutions and personal touches we provide to ensure that the VAR is able to be successful in the markets they serve.
EL: Who is your target customer and how are you adapting your approach to selling to them under current economic conditions?
ET: Dealers that are servicing customers with installations of less than 100 users and that service any vertical market. We are focusing on more tools to simplify installations of solutions that ultimately lower the cost of the total installation removing several obstacles including the amount of time per installation and common support issues that may arise through configuration.
EL: How does working with Digium help increase the value and awareness of your product?
ET: Digium has been one of our top solution partners as they are providing a solution that is easy to support and enjoys great margins for our dealers while also be very complementary to our solution offerings to round out our total package; including solutions from Polycom, Adtran and Edgewater.
EL: What is the state of the Asterisk market, from your perspective?
ET: The Asterisk market is still going strong and growing even during the economic downturn, we are seeing several new dealers sign up with interest in the solutions around Asterisk every week.
EL: This year marks the 10th birthday of Asterisk. What has driven its growth over a decade?
ET: A lot of the growth has been driven by a large commitment from the open source community in developing a wide range of useful features and an increasing acceptance from the business community of open source solutions as a standard in today’s workplace that is making it a good alternative to Cisco, Avaya and other PBX solutions while being cost effective.
EL: Why are you participating in AstriCon 2009?
ET: We are Digium’s largest Distribution Partner worldwide and are a big supporter of open source based solutions.
EL: What do you expect to see at the event this year?
ET: I expect to see a record number of attendees at the show this year with even more ideas exchanged through various meetings and sessions that will provide even more ways for dealers to capitalize on the markets that they serve.
EL: Why should attendees make sure they visit you at your booth?
ET: We will be presenting several solutions on how attendees – dealers – can lower the cost of doing business through automation tools, professional services and providing them the ability to present a total solution to their customers with our multiple complimenting partners that will showcasing with us including Polycom and Adtran.
EL: Where do you see the Asterisk market in five years?
ET: I believe that Asterisk will be adopted by a larger number of business worldwide in some shape or form weather they know it or not from PBX solutions, IVRs, recording apps, call centers etc and will be see as one of the top selling PBX solutions in the market once the economy recovers.
Learn more about NETXUSA 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, 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