Open Source Telephony: Hybrid gets Mainstream

Among the things the new FCC Chairman can do, Julius Genachowski might help open source telephony to become a more significant competitor in the business telephony market, not necessarily taking sides.

Chairing the “Open Source Software for the development of IP telephony” session – held in December at the Broadband Business Forum 2008 – panelists invited to share their visions about open source telephony trends reported about many hybrid case histories.

Doug Vilim, VP Marketing and Sales at Sangoma Technologies, gave a speech entitled “Building Best of Breed Telephony Solutions Requires Blending Open Source and Proprietary software” – bringing the hardware manufacturer point of view. Sangoma Technologies, a leading voice and data card supplier within the open source market, is a 15 million dollars public company based in Canada, with installations in 138 countries. Last year Sangoma invested 748,000 dollars in open source technologies, funding open source developments within the following projects: CalleWeaver, Yate, FreeSwitch, TreePad X, Trixbox and Elastix. Doug said that open source telephony is hybrid in nature, at least when you need to get your signaling certifications. In fact conformance testing is time and resource consuming.

Diego Gosmar – Italian entrepreneur and author of two Asterisk’s books – presented “OST Market – Hybrid Case Histories“. He started speaking about open source telephony’s standards compliance (RFC 3261, 3263, 3265), and how it increased business opportunities for a variety of open source firms. Diego told the audience about how Wildix and others (e.g. Vonage Softphone) mixing open source and proprietary software deliver value-added services requiring little or no tweaks.

Riccardo Tempesta – Italian entrepreneur and software developer – presented “Open Source Telephony and Skype Integrations“, a talk aimed at explaining why might makes sense to integrate your PBX with skype. The solution, a proprietary gateway named skyp2pb, is able to integrate OST and skype within a company.