Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Asterisk on the Horizon

I work with VoIP every day. My current employer sells a VoIP based contact center solution. The more I think about our business model the more concerned I get that open source is going to leapfrog us. Lately, my concern has been focused on the huge popularity behind Asterisk, the open source PBX solution from Digium Corp.

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My concern is this: we employ 20 engineers of average skill and ability to write and maintain code for our product. By last count, Asterisk developers number over 1000, most of whom are open source experts already. It is not going to take long for the Asterisk folks to tap into our market. Once they do, I believe they will be able to surpass the quality of code we are producing in fairly short order. From there, the rest of our system is fairly trivial, a backend database (MySQL anyone?), a mail server (take your pick), JBoss (already open source) and some web collaboration. This is really not such cutting edge technology and putting it together wouldn't be that hard at all.

Yep, Asterisk is troubling indeed.

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