Digium Asterisk: Partner Momentum Accelerates
Digium’s decision to engage channel partners seems to be paying dividends in the unified communications market. Nearly 70 percent of Digium’s revenue for Asterisk — the open source IP PBX — now involves partners, according to The VAR Guy’s second annual Open Source 50 survey. Here are deeper details about Digium’s partner momentum.
As of December 2009, Digium‘s partner program included roughly 840 partners — everyone from OEMs to ISVs and integrators. That’s a 70 percent jump from December 2008. True believers include EUS Networks, a New York-based solutions provider that promotes Asterisk-based IP telephony offerings to hedge funds. Also of note: Roughly 68 percent of Digium’s revenues involved channel partners in 2009, up from 60 percent in 2008.
The data points are from The VAR Guy’s second annual Open Source 50 survey, which tracks the open source industry’s most promising partner programs. (Complete survey results will be announced in May 2010.)
Digium has taken multiple steps to strengthen its partner program in recent months. Milestones include:
- CEO Danny Windham assuring partners in October 2009 that Digium was profitable and channel-driven
- The company in November 2009 expanded its Authorized Reseller Partner Program to include an Affiliate level
- Digium launched Asterisk Exchange in January 2010 to promote a range of third-party Asterisk solutions
- Synnex, a major distributor with more than 15,000 resellers, in March 2010 agreed to promote Asterisk to its partners
Of course, The VAR Guy needs to keep Digium’s progress in perspective.
Digium is a privately held company, so it’s impossible for outsiders like The VAR Guy to pinpoint the company’s profit margins, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and net income. Also, as a 144-person company, Digium remains a relatively small rival vs. entrenched giants like Cisco Systems, Avaya and Microsoft in the unified communications market.
But therein lies the rub: Many VARs are looking for something “different” or “disruptive” in the UC market. Digium’s Asterisk solutions seem to be catching on in certain niches, thanks to a growing partner program.