Stop us if you've heard this one before: Once upon a time there was a VoIP Open Source (News
) implementation that swallowed up Grandma, Little Red Riding Hood and the entire enterprise, leaving them shivering, huddled wretches cowering before the mercy of pricey Linux and IP telephony consultants.
Gruesome, isn't it? But it doesn't have to be that way.
industry observer Jessica Scarpati, there are indeed few enough happy endings for enterprises that attempt to implement open source Voice over IP
, because the success of such ventures hinges on having 'that specialized expertise in-house -- or at least knowing when to suck it up and pay up for off-the-shelf systems that handle most of the configuration.'
She tells the story of Dan Peck, vice president of Illinois-based Diamond Tour Golf, an online retailer with about 25 users, which decided one day to go through the woods to take a basket of... uh, sorry:
Peck found that the 'flexibility and rich features of an IP telephony system based on Asterisk
, the most popular open source VoIP project, made retiring a 26-year-old Comdial public branch exchange in 2008 a lot easier,' Scarpati reports, noting that commercial IP telephony systems 'didn't have the call recording and reporting capabilities Peck had found in open source VoIP software, and commercial systems also lacked the ability to easily change dial plans on the fly.'
But - and tell us if you've ever heard this before - Diamond Golf 'only had one person who could run an Asterisk (News
)-based system: Its IT director, who had no experience using open source VoIP and with a slew of other priorities to juggle.'
They could've gutted it out, saved their pennies and dumped yet one more hassle on this poor overworked trusty woodsman, but instead Peck made the smart move, bringing in systems integrator EUS Corp.
to implement Switchvox (News
) - 'a hardware and software system that minimizes the heavy coding and configuration for open source VoIP deployments,' Scarpati says.
And they all lived happily ever after.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny