Feature Story

A Little Background on FreePBX

TMCnet News  |  July 08, 2014

FreePBX, the world’s most popular open source PBX (News - Alert) platform, like many technology powerhouses, had humble beginnings a decade ago as a hobbyist PBX platform. FreePBX has continued to grow into a fully evolved ecosystem and is now in use in millions of production systems in more than 210 countries and territories across the world. Today there is no other OSS PBX platform that even approaches its adoption. With this success an entire industry was reborn, as FreePBX now contributes to billions of dollars in hardware, software, and services sales globally.

FreePBX takes the Asterisk (News - Alert) telephony engine, adds PBX capabilities, dialplan logic, and extra features that turn it into a fully featured unified communications system, all managed from a web browser-based GUI. FreePBX can be installed on premises-based hardware, virtualized, distributed across multiple locations, or implemented in the cloud. FreePBX can also be utilized across multiple endpoints, ranging from hardware-based phones, software clients, mobile devices, and even fully supported WebRTC endpoints. Telephony connectivity options are just as versatile as the rest of the system, allowing you to utilize standards-compliant VoIP connections, fully supported legacy PSTN connections, or to enable integration with wireless networks.

FreePBX deployments range in size from small home office users to multi-location large enterprise customers, and even world-class contact centers. The included feature set allows system administrators to manage unlimited extensions, voice applications, endpoints, conferencing, instant messaging, integrated faxing, automated call distribution, interactive voice response, paging, time-based call management, ring groups, call accounting, call recording, music on hold, company directories and call queues, and more, plus all the standard features expected from a phone system – all from one location.

The open source development model drives the production of quality software with more relevant features. This is achieved through open collaboration with a huge base of community users. FreePBX gives its users the freedom to leverage and customize business communications systems to best fit their specific needs by choosing their own applications, solutions and suppliers, all while minimizing vendor lock-in.

New users to FreePBX can get started quickly by installing the FreePBX Distro. The Distro installs everything you need to build a phone system, and provides consistent upgrade paths to keep your entire system up-to-date with the latest features and software versions. The FreePBX GUI also has a modular design that allows you to add additional functionality as needed, when you need it.

The FreePBX ecosystem provides an all-encompassing solution that includes certified hardware and software solutions, as well as commercial add-ons that add enhanced functionality to the already feature-rich platform. Items like a commercially supported End Point Manager provide auto-provisioning and management of more than 200 different endpoints from more than 20 supported manufacturers such as Aastra, Algo, Advanced Network Devices, AudioCodes, Cisco, Cortelco, CyberData, Digium (News - Alert), Grandstream, Mitel, Mocet, Obihai, Panasonic, Phoenix Audio, Polycom, Sangoma, snom, Uniden, VTech,  Xorcom and Yealink.

To learn more about the FreePBX ecosystem, visit FreePBX.org, or make plans to attend this year’s FreePBX World Aug. 11-14, 2014, at The Rio in Las Vegas. FreePBX World will be a three-day event, co-located with ITEXPO (News - Alert), where attendees will learn about open source business communications solutions, technology trends, and FreePBX customer experiences. The agenda will be filled with an exciting array of guest speakers, FreePBX ecosystem leaders, and interactive demonstrations that will help you discover, connect and collaborate with FreePBX solutions.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi