TMCnet Feature
October 24, 2011

Asterisk Gaining Mainstream Acceptance Outside of Open Source Community: AstriCon 2011 Speaker

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

With AstriCon 2011 just a day away, TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani reached out to a handful of this year's speakers to develop a stronger sense of the current Asterisk (News - Alert) community and to give prospective attendees a better idea of what they can expect at the show, which kicks off tomorrow, Oct. 25 at the Westin Westminster in Denver, Colorado.

In the below interview, Tehrani caught up with John Mertic, community manager at SugarCRM, a provider of open-source, web-based CRM solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. Mertic will be speaking at AstriCon 2011 on Oct. 26 about the benefits of connecting SugarCRM (News - Alert) with Asterisk, among other industry topics.

Mertic told Tehrani that technologies like Asterisk can complement open source solutions like those offered by SugarCRM, which, in turn, enable clients to leverage an open infrastructure to build their organizational processes on top of. He feels that Asterisk is making its presence felt in the telephony industry in particular, and believes the technology is beginning to achieve mainstream acceptance outside of the open source marketplace.

"It is definitely considered inline as a solution along with the many proprietary solutions on the market," he said, mostly due to its flexible and highly cost-effective nature.

Mertic also touched on the movement toward an increasingly workforce, and what developers need to do to provide distinct value in that marketplace.

AstriCon, a user conference and expo dedicated to expanding awareness and knowledge of the highly popular open source platform, is a three-day event sponsored by Digium (News - Alert) that will bring together current Asterisk software developers, Digium's channel and technology partners as well as business users from companies of all sizes.

Click here to learn more about the conference, and read below to check out the complete interview.

What market trends are you seeing with regards to Asterisk in the marketplace?

Telephony technologies are definitely one of the biggest integrations we are seeing implemented by our community of SugarCRM users within their organization to help streamline their workflows. Having an open source technology like Asterisk complements the open source CRM that SugarCRM delivers, which in the end provides an organization with an open infrastructure to build their organizational processes on top of.

What external trend has had the greatest influence on the Asterisk market?

Higher quality and lower cost bandwidth products, combined with vendors integrating with Asterisk for a unified solution.

There seems to be a growing number of “traditional” vendors showing up as AstriCon. What does this say about Asterisk in the communications landscape?

It’s definitely a sign of mainstream acceptance outside of the open source marketplace.

Where does Asterisk stand today in terms of market recognition compared to proprietary technologies?

It is definitely considered inline as a solution along with the many proprietary solutions on the market.

How does that compare to the reality of Asterisk-based systems compared to proprietary solutions?

The flexibility of Asterisk compared to proprietary solutions show the great value of an open source solution over a commercial one.

How has the growth of cloud computing impacted the market for Asterisk-based solutions?

With the interoperability of Asterisk with third party solutions, it sets Asterisk to be a key player with cloud based solutions.

How can vendors take advantage of the growing trend towards mobility?

I think vendors need to rethink their mobile strategy more in terms of how the mobile workflow works and how they can improve their product offering with a mobile offering, rather than just providing the same offering as their desktop version in a smaller form.

What are you looking forward to most at Asticon 2011? Why?

I’m looking at interfacing with the Asterisk community.

Why are you participating at AstriCon 2011?

To make people more aware of SugarCRM, as well as how CRM and telephony are two complementary technologies.

What can we expect from the Asterisk community in the coming year?

I would like to see integrations with other applications and services to further legitimize open source telephony.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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