by acls us

Day 3 - AstriCon 2009. 13-15 October 2009. Glendale Arizona USA


First, again, more MS bashing, even from the CEO of Digium, really now.

The Key Note speaker today was introduced by the CEO of Digium, Danny Windham. And again I was dissapointed by Mike Smith of IBM who's presentation was IBM Smart Business. Admittedly he did a better job of presenting this than the attempt I saw on Day 1 and it was relevant to Asterisk, as Asterisk is one of the applications you can use in this environment but really not what I expect from a Key Note. Still no insight into the bright light in the future. However, what Mr Windham had to say was far more interesting and related to the growth of the VOIP market and the increased willingness of businesses to use Open Source solutions. The economic downturn has provoked this trend and Open Source has stepped in due to the lower costs involved compared with traditional solutions. He also talked about the move to Unified Communications and the lack of an adiquate definition for "UC". This seems to suggest that a PBX should be a hub for "UC" that could be used from many different environments such as Smart Phones. My experience of "UC" so far has been that manufacturers will use it as a means of locking customers into their offerings. Unifying what their customers can do rather the opening up their options. Perhaps we need an OpenUC framework that can be used to build "UC" without closing down options.

Spent most of the day in sessions that related, in some way, to "UC" and additional connectivity options for Asterisk such as Skype For Asterisk, OpenSIPS and messaging options with OpenFire and Kamailio. All very interesting.

After spending three days at AstriCon, the overwhemling view I get is one of a market nearing a tipping point. The traditional PBX market is now unbalanced but has not tipped over to Open Source yet. The old school big boys are still running the market and are possibly leaving it too late to embrace the world of Open Source without being forced to take drastic action. This has happened many times before, if you need to to produce some product that you are not in a possition to make yourself, you buy a company that is already making it and you buy a leader. Pity Digium isn't public, I'd buy shares in them.

Overall 4 out of 5.