IBM’s Other Big Open Source Partnership
Sure, IBM partnered up with Canonical this week to promote Ubuntu Linux and open source desktops against Windows 7. But Big Blue’s other big open source move — a growing relationship with Digium — has caught The VAR Guy’s attention. Here’s why.
Fact is, desktops no longer sit at the center of the IT universe. VARs are looking for higher margin recurring revenue opportunities — many of which involve network-enabled applications. That’s where the IBM-Digium relationship enters the picture. Digium promotes Asterisk, the open source IP PBX that is turning heads in many IT departments.
Did You Get the Message?
In case you missed it, IBM and Digium have partnered to launch the Digium Asterisk For Smart Cube VoIP phone system. According to IBM:
“businesses can consolidate and centrally manage their telephony solutions through the Smart Cube Control Centers graphical user interface, eliminating the need for a separate phone system appliance to manage. It also seamlessly integrates with Lotus Sametime collaboration suite and provides a range of applications including auto attendant, voicemail, call recording, automatic call distribution and support for up to 40 concurrent calls.”
Sounds impressive. At first glance, the IBM-Digium relationship is limited to an on-premise, open source VoIP phone system. But take a look at where the Asterisk market is heading. Numerous VARs and managed service providers are trying to figure out whether to host Asterisk. At the same time, many VARs are integrating Asterisk with on-premise and SaaS-oriented CRM (customer relationship management) applications.
Plus, Digium is launching an AsteriskExchange online store to help promote more applications to VARs and end-customers. Digium founder and CTO Mark Spencer described the AsteriskExchange strategy in this FastChat Video.
The VAR Guy isn’t suggesting that Asterisk can rapidly displace traditional VoIP and unified communication systems. But Asterisk as a niche is growing super-fast. And IBM is working to accelerate Asterisk’s momentum. The VAR Guy wonders: Are IBM partners taking notice?