Digium Announces Keynote Speakers for AstriCon 2018, the 15th Annual Asterisk User Conference & EXPO

Keynote Speakers Include Deb Bryant, Senior Director of Open Source and Standards, Red Hat; and Simon Woodhead, CEO, Simwood

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., August, 15, 2017 -- Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, today announced the keynote presenters for the AstriCon Open Source User Conference and Exhibition to be held October 9 - 11, 2018, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Keynote speakers include Deb Bryant, senior director of open source and standards at Red Hat, and Simon Woodhead, founder and CEO of Simwood, Inc.

Celebrating its 15th year, AstriCon remains the longest-running conference devoted to Asterisk, the most widely used open source communications platform in the world. AstriCon brings together the world's open source enthusiasts – from code developers and Asterisk integrators to service providers and enterprise IT professionals – who all share an interest in Asterisk.

Woodhead will present “Default Distrust - Why we must prioritize privacy!” on Wednesday, October 10th at 9.00am. This keynote will address why privacy seems to be very low on solution providers’ priority lists. Woodhead will discuss how security exists for selfish ends and why the privacy of users is often overlooked. He will also explore why privacy is often freely sacrificed with the popular mindset of “we have nothing to hide.”

Woodhead's early career was in finance as a fund manager, within what became Deutsche Bank and Barclays Wealth. Simon had the discretion to manage over 40m+ of funds before age 21, becoming the youngest qualified member of the Securities Institute. Simwood was founded in 1996 (as eSMS: the world's first global gateway between the Internet and mobile phones) and Woodhead left finance in 1999 to focus on it and a number of other startups, eventually exiting all of them except Simwood by 2005.

As CEO and architect, Woodhead shaped the current business of Simwood to be the wholesale voice and mobile operator it is today. In 2016 he was elected a director of the London Internet Exchange (LINX), the world's largest member-owned peering exchange operator. LINX operates peering exchanges across the UK and in North Virginia, USA. In that role, he speaks widely at industry events, often around the company's extensive research on voice fraud and infrastructure.

Bryant’s presentation, “Open Source in Telecom: What a Difference a Decade Makes,” will take place on Thursday, October 11th at 9.00am. Following the huge impact made by Asterisk, traditional telecoms find themselves evaluating the case for open source, which has now arguably become the norm for much infrastructure. This keynote will address how businesses will employ modern practices at scale, such as DevOps, and how they will manage continuous improvement and integration (CI/CD). Bryant’s presentation will answer the question of how security will be addressed with the significant changes in operation and increased exposure to public networks. She will also look forward to exploring some of the implications for the industry with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Bryant is the senior director of open source and standards at Red Hat, where she leads a team of global stewards responsible for supporting the success of the company’s strategic upstream communities. Bryant is an acknowledged international expert in the adoption and use of open source software and open development models as well as open source community health. Her personal interests include the ethical use of artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as industry accountability for use of personal information.

The AstriCon conference contains multiple tracks with more than 50 sessions, offering attendees a variety of options during the three-day event. Topics include network function virtualization, voice biometrics, deployment with applications like Kubernetes, machine learning, artificial intelligence, scaling and hardening SIP infrastructure, security, and case studies for a number of different Asterisk deployments - including a very large one at CERN. Sessions also include a focus on other related open source projects, such as Kamailio, FreeSWITCH, Homer, CGRates, and OpenSIPS.

“AstriCon is an Asterisk Community family reunion, a technology update, and an opportunity to exchange best practices in the realm of deploying, configuring, and troubleshooting sophisticated communications solutions,” said David Duffett, worldwide community director for the Asterisk project. “This year we are delighted to have both Red Hat and Simwood represented in our keynote speeches. The topics of open source in telecoms and privacy are two very pertinent subjects for the AstriCon audience, and we are looking forward to the expertise Deb Bryant and Simon Woodhead have to share. The Asterisk Community delivers the vast majority of content for AstriCon, and, once again, we have a stellar line up of world-class presenters.”

AstriCon 2018 is presented by Digium as well as Platinum Sponsor Telynyx; and by Gold Sponsors Grandstream, Sangoma, VTech|SNOM, and Bicom Systems. Additional sponsors include Simwood, Inc., Lumenvox, Jenne, Teledynamics, Voyant, TelcoBridges, NETXUSA, Khomp, Yealink, and OrecX. Dangerous Demos is presented by Cloudonix. 

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About Digium

Digium®, Inc. provides Asterisk® software, telephony hardware, and on-premises and hosted Switchvox business phone systems that deliver enterprise-class Unified Communications (UC) and UC as a Service (UCaaS) solutions at an affordable price. Digium is the creator, primary developer and sponsor of the Asterisk project; the world’s most widely used open source communications software. Asterisk turns an ordinary computer into a feature-rich communications server. A community of more than 80,000 developers and users worldwide uses Asterisk to create VoIP communication solutions in more than 170 countries. Since 1999, Digium has empowered developers to create innovative communications solutions based on open standards and open source software, providing an alternative to proprietary phone systems. Digium Switchvox Cloud and other cloud-based products and services are offered through Digium Cloud Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Digium, Inc. Digium’s business communications products are sold through a worldwide network of reseller partners. More information is available at www.digium.com and www.asterisk.org.



Julie Webb
Digium, Inc.
+1 (256) 428-6203
[email protected]