Asterisk- the new communications standard

Asterisk™ is an open source PBX (Private Branch eXchange) telephony platform that combines a suite of telecommunication applications. This open source software is very customizable and has many feature sets built right in, such as call queues, voicemail, call treatments, and music on hold. Because of its very nature it can be integrated with many other business applications to make for a customizable robust communications system. Usually sitting on a Linux core, Asterisk is very stable and has developers all over the world corroborating on upgrades and patches. Unlike traditional PBX software, Asterisk is highly flexible and can be made to achieve many end uses. It can even be installed onto Windows or a Macintosh operating system.

What's great about Asterisk based IP-PBX systems:

Asterisk™ is a PBX business phone system that does not require proprietary hardware to work, rather it can be installed on a regular PC and use telephony equipment from numerous manufacturers, which build to an open based standard. Combining this fact along with the knowledge that Asterisk is a free open source software dramatically lowers the cost to get a complete business phone system, which will have all of the features of an expensive traditional PBX, (probably more), at a fraction of the cost. Just about any major feature that you can think of will be included with Asterisk. Its robust feature set will suffice for most businesses and are alike to that of a enterprise PBX solution. And then there are many other software applications specifically written to integrate with Asterisk giving it more potential than any other telephony system around. These add-ons can include ACD systems with full reporting and metrics.

Traditional PBX companies have had a lock on their customers who have been trapped by a cycle of expensive original purchases and then spend more money for costly upgrades, just to receive new features or get any improved versions of the software that they already have.  In many cases a cycle of upgrades are a users only option just to get one new feature. And because hardware is proprietary, can find getting parts becoming increasingly difficult, with certain parts only working with certain software revisions. Add to these difficulties the fact that licensing fees get charged for certain feature sets, or the number of users who can use those features. Quickly the costs can become quite large.

The best business phone system has Asterisk.

Asterisk brings benefits:

Now finally business system PBX telephony is going to become better by open source technology, something that has been progressing slowly for the last ten years. And with this last piece of the integrated data convergence, Asterisk has taken the lead and should be the open source PBX software of choice for the time coming.
VoIP is revolutionizing the data network, and with this revolution is bringing the last piece of the converged network; voice as just another data application.  Asterisk has many benefits, some of which are:

  1. Being open source there are no license fees.
  2. Choice of hardware, you're no longer locked into only one vendor.
  3. You get numerous features, more than you might expect, and Asterisk has capabilities far beyond traditional PBXs.
  4. Add features, turn off features, your in control.
  5. Scalable, Asterisk is not limited by the number of users, just put in place the proper hardware and your system can handle hundreds of phones.
  6. Administration, most Asterisk versions have a web based control panel. (And some are very intuitive. @Home is a highly stable well crafted front end.)
  7. It integrates with your current network because telephony is all digital. It puts data and voice on the same network.

For more information about Asterisk phone systems:

So move to an Asterisk IP-PBX:

The two best small business Asterisk IP PBX phone systems.

The benefits of Asterisk are great and your next business phone system should be an Asterisk system, but there are caveats to consider. It is not an easy system to correctly configure or install for the first time. It requires some previous knowledge and in most cases a decent knowledge of Linux for a company who wants to customize it. And unless you have a person who can accomplish these items, you should consider a vendor who can deliver a system installed, preconfigured and ready to connect to your telephone provider. And by choosing this alternative will probably save more money than going solo and doing it from scratch themselves. You still get all the benefits of Asterisk and you should choose a vendor who will include some training on administering the system yourselves. This in itself will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of a year for. For by doing adds, or extension changes, or call treatment changes in house, you save time and money. 

If you're still wondering why anyone would still get a digital phone system, then read this.