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Asterisk Saves European Businesses Thousands While Making UC Competitive
Netherlands-based Universal IT writes their own dial plan code using Asterisk to build customized hosted Unified Communications (UC) platforms from the ground up for over 200 businesses throughout Europe including The Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. According to Alex van der Stam, Director of Operations, Universal IT can provide any service the client requires from their data centers in the Netherlands using Asterisk, the world’s most powerful and flexible open source telecommunications software.
“Business people travel, and in Europe, they often find themselves on the road without reliable telecommunication services,” van der Stam says. “They stay in hotels with nothing but analog landline services that cost them money. With UC technology, it has become standard policy to be in constant touch with your office, and to be available at all times to your customers, whether it is via smartphone, fax, voicemail, email, text, or instant messaging (IM). Because of its versatility, we use Asterisk as a core SIP router in our hosted UC infrastructure. With database driven dial plans, we created a multi-tenant platform so customers benefit from integrated UC connectivity, no matter where they are.”
Sponsored by Digium, Asterisk open source software has the ability to turn a common computer into a communications server; and among software techs and telecom engineers worldwide, it is rapidly becoming the easiest and most adaptable VoIP-based telecommunications platform to implement.
Universal IT, located about an hour southeast of Amsterdam, started in 1995 as one of the first Internet providers. Nowadays, the company is dedicated to providing the most innovative communication and hosted Cloud services available from their privately owned and fully flexible Universal Cloud.
Van der Stam discovered Asterisk while teaching information sciences at a Dutch university. One of his class projects involved investigating the feasibility of open source software, when Asterisk showed up on the radar. He set a training period for his students to research Asterisk with the objective to find what kind of PBX system or appliance was available to power it. At that point in 1996, there was no doubt about his implementing Asterisk after experiencing firsthand its flexibility.
Universal IT uses Digium’s FAX solution and sell Digium licenses to their clients. They also like that clients can choose their own phones and desk sets, without restrictions to proprietary brands.
Van der Stam says that when both new and established companies move into new offices or decide to upgrade their current infrastructure from clumsy analog landlines to VoIP, Universal can do it all. “We are the perfect solution for any business, from call centers to retail and professional services, because we show them how we can become their telecom advisor, designer, builder, and host.” Universal assesses a company’s set-up and helps them order fiber optic lines for the IP infrastructure. They design a telephone system based on the number of users and UC capabilities they need. “SIP saves money, plain and simple and our clients can use all kinds of devices,” he says. Using Asterisk for SIP-based communication, Universal can set up a web-based GUI for their customers, and then build and load the source code, essentially building their telecom and UC from the ground up.
“When you look at how Universal IT implementing Asterisk can use worldwide technology for a wide range of UC products and services like transferring calls; how Asterisk is compliant with most SIP vendors so it is easy to integrate with other products including some proprietary systems like Call Manager; and then consider how flexible it is to customize it with almost any UC platform on the market like delivering voice calls to Skype via a bridge or a gateway; you can see how we are saving customers thousands of dollars with their own solutions using Asterisk.”