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VoIP Developer Keynote: Digium's Mark Spencer
[August 04, 2005]

VoIP Developer Keynote: Digium's Mark Spencer

Editorial Director, Internet Telephony Magazine
[Editor's Note: Word on the street is that Mark Spencer's keynote today at the VoIP Developer Conference was standing-room-only. Following is Greg Galitzine's report on Spencer's presentation.]

According to Mark Spencer, President of Digium, “Digium is the smallest telecom company in the world that matters.”

As anyone knows, Mark Spencer is not only the president of Digium, he also created Asterisk. For those that may not know, Asterisk is an open source PBX. In Spencer’s words, Asterisk is an “open source, hybrid TDM and packet voice PBX and IVR platform with ACD functionality.”
The platform is:
  • Fully open source
  • Supports TDM
  • Supports VoIP (SIP, H.323, SCCP, etc…)
  • Supports PBX features
  • Supports IVR
  • Supports ACD call queuing; and
  • Supports basic call features as well as advanced call features.
In explaining why people might consider open source in general -- and Asterisk specifically --  for telecom Spencer explained that there are a number of reasons to do so:
“Lower cost; large market of highly technical people who can contribute to the project; high demand for customization of phone systems; biz models that facilitate the adoption of open source solutions,” he said.
Open source also allows resellers and integrators the ability to add value to existing phone systems. This enables better branding opportunities, more margin for reseller, etc.
Spencer went on to describe a whole series of different development strategies for developers who wish to use the Asterisk platform to deliver interesting new communications applications.
According to Spencer, Asterisk development is driven by contributed development, in-house development, and development done in reponse to a paying third party. “In any case,” he said “Asterisk development is driven by developers.”
The VoIP Developer Conference Web site gives the conference schedule, list of speakers and exhibitors, and other details.
Greg Galitzine is editorial director for Internet Telephony Magazine. To see more articles by Greg Galitzine, please visit:

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