AsteriskExchange Attracts More Than 50 Partners
AsteriskExchange, an online marketplace for the open source IP PBX, has attracted more than 50 partner offerings since Digium launched the exchange in January 2010. In a quick Q&A, Digium Community Director Bryan Johns offers some updates on AsteriskExchange and some partner trends involving hardware providers, ISVs (independent software vendors) and VARs. Here’s what Johns told The VAR Guy.
First, a little background: Asterisk is an open source IP PBX that seeks to disrupt the traditional IP telephony market, much in the way that Linux disrupted the traditional operating system market. Digium is the best-known promoter of Asterisk, but scores of hardware and software companies have bet their businesses on Asterisk as well.
Now, the quick Q&A with Johns, plus some perspectives from The VAR Guy…
The VAR Guy: How is the AsteriskExchange performing so far? What are some of the key trends within the Exchange?
Johns: Currently, the AsteriskExchange has accumulated offerings from more than 50 companies marketing Asterisk-compatible products and services across nearly 45 different product categories. We are seeing growth in network services that are prefabricated to work with Asterisk platforms. Additionally, we are seeing a growth in the number of third-party application solutions being added to the AsteriskExchange.
The VAR Guy: Where are Asterisk developers focusing most of their efforts?
Johns: Asterisk has matured substantially over the last two years and has become a very well-rounded VoIP application framework that is rich in features and capabilities. Beyond the daily code maintenance efforts of bug fixing, we are seeing development effort allocated toward the improvement of performance and capability within the applications currently available in the Asterisk project.
The VAR Guy: Are any of the developers looking at cloud strategies for Asterisk?
Johns: There are numerous development efforts focused on expanding Asterisk’s capabilities to include cloud service delivery models. These take the form of traditional, virtualized and hosted Asterisk PBX platforms as well as specialty VoIP applications delivered exclusively via the cloud. The recent announcement of Asterisk SCF at AstriCon 2010 in DC brings scalability, extensibility and performance capabilities to the Asterisk family of projects that are very well suited to cloud business models.
The VAR Guy: Are any of the developers Asterisk resellers/VARs?
Johns: There is a small overlay between the developer community and the reseller / VAR community. Some Asterisk developers work within organizations that rely upon the Asterisk code base in some form to deliver their products or services. In this since, their contributions to the Asterisk project(s) serve a dual purpose of furthering the project while improving the product or service of their employer.
At first glance, 50 partners doesn’t sound all that impressive for an online exchange. But don’t forget: Digium is trying to succeed where many other open source companies failed. Red Hat, for one, had an online exchange for Linux applications, but it ultimately shut down because customers and partners preferred to source the applications directly from ISVs.
Also, communities like the Open Source Channel Alliance — launched by Red Hat and Synnex — haven’t really taken off because lots of Synnex VARs and MSPs don’t see clear opportunities to promote open source ERP, CRM and the like.
In stark contrast, AsteriskExchange has attracted a healthy number of hardware and software partners. But The VAR Guy will be watching to see if more channel partners begin to tap the exchange for VoIP and PBX solutions.