Asterisk Events: a Highlight of 2014 and a Preview of the New Year

By David Duffett

With 2014 officially behind us, and as 2015 starts, I want to take a moment to share a highlight from some of my exciting travels through Asia in 2014, and to look forward to our first event – Asterisk World – in 2015.

Looking back at a highlight of 2014: The Asterisk tour of Asia – Conferences, Courses and Community Meet-ups!

To say Asterisk is popular in Asia would be a massive understatement. The world’s most flexible and powerful IP communications engine and application development environment has found its way into the daily life of many, many people here. When I left the UK in August, my intent was to meet a wide variety of Asterisk users – and that I did! I had the pleasure of meeting some of the people already using Asterisk in Asia, some who want to learn more about it, some who are pushing it to new capacities, and some who have been using Asterisk and talking about it for years.

First stop: Myanmar. Also known as Burma, the country was hosting AsterConference Asia 2014 (the long-running annual conference about all things Asterisk – put on by SEC Training & Expo Sdn Bhd, and supported in Myanmar by local partner InyaLand).

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Myanmar is very much an emerging market for communications, and the AsterConference created quite a stir – with several TV crews showing up to cover the event.

I was privileged to deliver both the first and last sessions of the day. The first being an overview of Asterisk and the Community, along with some information about Asterisk 12 and 13. The last session being a little more technical, it was all about localising Asterisk for deployment in regions outside North America.

Next stop: Malaysia. It was in Malaysia that I ran an Asterisk Advanced class near Kuala Lumpur at a place called Petaling Jaya. This class was facilitated by local partner SEC Training & Expo Sdn Bhd.

Advanced-Class-KL-August-2014

The class typically runs Monday to Friday, with an opportunity to take the dCAP test on the Friday.

The following Saturday, I was on another plane: to the Philippines! Here, I had the opportunity to meet up with Gerry Amisola and his team at Glyph Studios. They work with mobile carriers in the Philippines to provide network services like ‘Missed Call Alert’, games and music advertising and downloads. Some of their Asterisk-based systems are handling tens of millions of calls each week!

We had a mini-Asterisk Community meet up one evening, and went out for dinner:

Some Asterisk Community members from Manila meet for dinner... L-R: Me, JP Loh, Gerry Amisola, Demian Biscocho

Some Asterisk Community members from Manila meet for dinner…
L-R: Me, JP Loh, Gerry Amisola, Demian Biscocho

The last leg of the journey: Japan. I had the great honor to speak at the 100th Asterisk Lounge meeting in Tokyo, organised by Denphone. If you click the Asterisk Lounge link, you will see that they have their 105th meeting coming up on January 15th. So, if you’re in Tokyo, make sure you get there…

Denphone are the Digium Authorised Partner in Tokyo that organise the Asterisk Lounge events.

Denphone are the Digium Authorised Partner in Tokyo that organise the Asterisk Lounge events.

The 100th Asterisk Lounge was a fantastic event, with a number of presentations, including my own. The event included a fascinating look at the IP phones that show up on TV and in the movies – which I enjoyed immensely (even though I did not understand a word of it!).

Also participating and supporting the Asterisk Lounge meeting were the guys from QLOOG, with whom I had an excellent dinner after the event. They have contributed a set of Japanese prompts for distribution with Asterisk – which is much appreciated by the local community.

Kazuhiro and Kevin from QLOOG had been at Asterisk World in Miami earlier in the year, where we managed to get a quick photo

Kazuhiro (L) and Kevin (R) of QLOOG!

Kazuhiro (L) and Kevin (R) of QLOOG!

[That reminds me, see below in this post for details of Asterisk World 2015 – coming up real soon in Miami Beach!]

Here is a selection of photos from the 100th Asterisk Lounge (August 27th, 2014 in Tokyo):

One of the great speakers at the 100th Asterisk Lounge meeting.

One of the great speakers at the 100th Asterisk Lounge meeting.

I was privileged to present to the 100th Asterisk Lounge audience.

I was privileged to present to the 100th Asterisk Lounge audience.

A pic grabbed from a BBC shows a certain brand of Conference IP Phone...

A pic grabbed from a BBC shows a certain brand of Conference IP Phone…

Attendees celebrate the 100th Asterisk Lounge meeting in Tokyo.

Attendees celebrate the 100th Asterisk Lounge meeting in Tokyo.

The event was held in the well-known Akihabara district of Tokyo, famous for the number and size of its electronics shops. You can buy just about anything – from phones, tablets, cameras, radios, etc., all the way down to individual electronic components to build your own projects.

I was fortunate to have some time to look around Akihabara. In the evening it was great to spend some time with the guys from Denphone.

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Hanging with Huw - top man at Denphone!

Hanging with Huw – top man at Denphone!

We had a traditional Japanese dinner…

A little after dinner clap - with the guys from Denphone.

A little after dinner clap – with the guys from Denphone.

Followed by a much anticipated visit to a traditional Karaoke Lounge:

At the Karaoke Lounge with the Denphone guys...

At the Karaoke Lounge with the Denphone guys…

All in all, the visit to Japan was amazing, and a great conclusion to the tour of Asia. I would like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to all the people that made it possible, that put on the events, hosted the training, and – most of all – that are supporting the Asterisk project in the region!

2015 Preview: Asterisk World in Miami Beach (co-located with ITExpo), January 27-30

Yes, we’re back in Miami Beach for the 2015 Asterisk World (certainly not the worst place to be in late January) – with a string of grrrrr-eat sessions!

Starting with ‘Asterisk from Scratch’ (a terrific intro from the Digium training team), and including such popular Asterisk figures as Allison Smith, along with a good number of the FreePBX team and folk from the Elastix project.

Be sure to check out the full schedule and make sure you come along to get all that Asterisk goodness

Until next time…

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About the Author

David Duffett

David works with the Worldwide Asterisk Community for Digium, and is an Asterisk enthusiast in addition to being a Chartered Engineer, globally experienced trainer and public speaker. His experience includes Air Traffic Control communications, Wireless Local Loop, Mobile Networks, Computer Telephony, Voice over IP and Asterisk specifically. In addition to many web articles, David's publications include Asterisk 1.4: The Professional's Guide (Packt, co-author) and the contribution of a chapter (on Internationalisation) to Asterisk: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly). David is editorially responsible for AstriCon (THE annual global Asterisk event) where he also introduced the 'Fastest Dude to the Dialtone' contest some years ago. He is a frequent speaker at AsterConference Asia (David has also MC'd at this event), IT Expo (East and West) and a number of corporate events. He has also spoken at numerous other conferences - VoIP Developer, Speech World, CT Expo and UC Expo to name a few.

See All of David's Articles