Open Source VoIP

The title of this blog combines two of the most popular business technology buzz phrases today though some folks may view the intersection of open source and VoIP as two emerging technologies that aren’t proven. 

On the other side of the fence, there are many IT thought leaders who declare that they are the only path forward for enterprise-level PBX solutions. In today’s blog we’ll try to answer the question of who’s right.  

What’s Open Source & VoIP?

  • Open Source:  Open source software is developed in a public, collaborative manner, unlike commercial software which is created in a closed and centralized environment.  Open source is offered free to the public and is developed by independent entities. Commercial software is a licensed product that is sold and controlled by the developer.
  • VoIP:  (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the delivery of voice, video, fax and IM over Internet Protocol (IP).  Prior to VoIP, phone calls were handled by a separate voice network called the public switched telephone network (PSTN). VoIP allows both voice and data communications to be run over a single network.

In the past few years, both open source and VoIP have become viable solutions for business. Most, if not all, Fortune 100 companies, as well as governments around the world, use these technologies. Although these two concepts are wholly distinct from each other, it has been found by combining them together and creating business communications solutions, valuable new features, and substantial cost savings result.

Business telephone systems have always been proprietary in nature and as such, and have traditionally been very expensive.  The public telephone network also is proprietary with huge phone companies controlling it and limiting competition.  Along comes the twins of openness and VoIP to create standards, tear down the walls and create new ways of doing things.

Open Source & VoIP in Business Today

So, are these technologies ready for today’s business?  Not only are they ready, they are now the standard of business communications. The traditional business PBX has been replaced with Unified Communications solutions that combine the best attributes of open standards and VoIP. The traditional PBX manufacturers are doing their best to keep their extremely profitable proprietary gigs going by spreading serious fear, uncertainty and doubt while quietly developing their own open architecture systems in the back room.

So, who are players in open source VoIP? With 85% market share, the overwhelming leader of the open source industry is Digium with their Asterisk software and Switchvox Premise PBX. When it comes to VoIP, the industry standard is SIP (Session Initiated Protocol), with no close competitor.

In summary, the day of open source and VoiP has arrived – the wholesale change out of the proprietary PBX and the public switched telephone network is underway. Check out our offerings and tell me what you think!  

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