Digium, 451 Group Launch Open Source Adoption Survey
Digium — which promotes Asterisk, the open source IP PBX — is gathering data to help accelerate the company’s push into corporate enterprises. The effort includes a comprehensive survey, conducted with the 451 Group, about the potential financial benefits of open source. Here’s the scoop.
First, a little background. Digium, which ranked near the top of last year’s Open Source 50 survey results, has showed considerable momentum in recent weeks. The company’s Astricon conference, held Oct. 14-16 in Arizona, attracted more than 600 customers, developers and channel partners. During the event:
- CEO Danny Windham disclosed that the company is profitable, growing and channel partner driven.
- Pundits like Google Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBona essentially endorsed Asterisk.
- Digium CTO and founder Mark Spencer disclosed plans for an Asterisk applications store (AsteriskExchange), an overhauled community site (Asterisk.org) and a new developer site (AsteriskForge).
- And IBM provided the icing on the cake, announcing a VoIP phone system based on Digium’s code.
Dialing for More Dollars
Still, challenges remain. Many open source offerings — Linux, Apache, MySQL, FireFox, etc. — have gained critical mass in enterprises. But if you poll the typical CIO, The VAR Guy bets most have yet to learn about Asterisk.
That’s where the Digium-451 Group open source survey comes into play. The so-called 451 CAOS (Commercial Adoption of Open Source) survey doesn’t mention Digium by name. But you can bet Digium will use the high-level survey results as a marketing tool to help Digium’s sales force and channel partners score meetings with corporate executives and IT decision makers.
With any luck (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) the data will show how open source increased a company’s performance and flexibility or reduced ongoing business costs. Not by coincidence, Digium can surely talk up its own price benefits over traditional IP PBXes during customer meetings.
Frankly, The VAR Guy is surprised more open source companies don’t participate in customer-benefit type surveys. Survey participants essentially become qualified leads for open source business solutions. And the data often provides great anecdotal information that vendors can share over and over again with target partners and customers.