With Sangoma now the primary developer and sponsor of the world’s two most widely used open source communication software programs (Asterisk and FreePBX), I find myself working for the largest open-source communications company in the world! And with AstriCon two weeks away, this is as good a time to reflect on that journey as any.
I’m not sure I saw this coming, especially coming from the UNIX System V world where I saw Linux totally disintermediate what we had built there. And when I went to Dialogic from that world, I latched onto Linux drivers immediately for my products. So I saw both sides of the disruption in the UNIX/Linux atmosphere. Ultimately Linux ended up being better for the customers and the industry, and it’s now in more places than UNIX ever could have imagined.
Here at Sangoma, with Asterisk and FreePBX, the disruption caused by those products is somewhat mature. It has changed the industry, but there is still more to do. Voice obviously isn’t as central to enterprise communications as it used to be. But it is still important. And Asterisk is still an open-source communications platform. So it is still there for creative-minded people to build on. As such, we continue to grow and will continue to grow.
And now that Sangoma is at the helm of both of these products, we are still getting questions about whether Asterisk and FreePBX will be merged. Before I answer that question, I want to make a point that we at Sangoma take the “stewardship” of these open source platforms seriously. We’re not going to do anything rash. Both Asterisk and FreePBX will continue. They serve two different purposes. Asterisk is a development platform for many different kinds of communication solutions. The most widely known, of course, is a PBX. FreePBX is an example of such a PBX. FreePBX is built on Asterisk, so they don’t compete at all. They are complementary and have always been complementary.
Yes, developer teams can share ideas and new features as applicable, given that a PBX is an important end result of Asterisk, but that doesn’t mean they’ll merge.