Open Source Unified Communications: Asterisk and Beyond, a Chat with Diego Gosmar

Having chaired for two years the open source telephony sessions at the VON Europe conference and at the Broadband Business Forum, I am sorry I missed the last event recently held in Rome. I asked Diego Gosmar - Marketing Director at Xenialab and frequent speaker at these events - to share his vision about the present and the future of hybrid open source communications.

What is the role of open source development in telephony?

It is evident as the Open Source Community have significantly contributed  to change the paradigms, not just in the IT-Like world, but, overall in the last 3 years, affecting all the Telecommunication market.
Asterisk opened the way since the early 2004, reaching the 1,5 Million worldwide downloads in 2008.
OpenSER [now OpenSIPS] followed and many other open projects are approaching the Unified Communication market.

Microsoft keeps looking into the unified communication market, what is your vision in this regard?
(Disclosure: two years ago Microsoft Italy asked me to help them to find a VOiP open source vendor interested in put in place interoperability tests with them, and I introduced them to each other).

We appreciated very much your idea Roberto. Playing your “open source hub” role you created indeed a link beetween our open source firm and a proprietary market leader. Since that time we analyzed the possible integrations between the Asterisk market and the Microsoft OCS platform, also thanks to some of the Microsoft team.

We strongly believe in the potential synergies, so we have built a special Xenia Labs at the TopIX data center, where we have interconnected the Open Communication Platforms Asterisk based with the other open tools, for instance Yahoo Zimbra Zimlets, VTiger CRM and the Microsoft OCS Platform. In the unified communication ecosystem the integration among the different tools is really important, especially looking at the end user customer services.

Unified collaboration seems a key component of your present strategy. Are you considerating any other collaboration?

Looking at the unified collaboration world, we are even more open to the synergies with the sector players. We are evaluating right now the Google Wave, XMPP and VXML protocols, testing them and deploying them integrated with our framework in order to create a real value added market proposition.

Thank you Diego, and let me know when your Sip Web Phone Plug-in for WordPress will be available for download.