Digium Launches Framework for Asterisk Open Source Telephony

Digium is helping advance open source communications development with its latest offering, Asterisk Scalable Communications Framework (SCF), designed to enable developers to create real-time communications applications for myriad applications.

The communications technology company, whose products are based on the Asterisk open source voice platform, made the announcement at Astricon 2010, held this week in Washington, D.C.

Steve Sokol, Digium’s director of Asterisk Advocacy, believes SCF will push Asterisk and open source communications technology beyond the small-business space, where it has seen the most traction.

“Open source is a ruthless meritocracy, and oftentimes the product with the most eyeballs translates into the largest user base. “But now we have the opportunity to speak to a much broader group of people. Asterisk spoke most to the SMB space, but with SCF see us moving into a lot of markets.”

Asterisk SCF is a framework that will allow developers to move beyond voice and also create open source video and text that can be used for anything from embedded applications to enterprise and carrier solutions, according to Digium. It is delivered as a system of distributed components that can be deployed in clusters on a single system or on many systems, and will support pretty much all real-time IP communications including video, wideband audio, chat and desktop sharing.

Digium’s announcement comes at a time when open-source communications is coming into its own as an alternative to proprietary or even standards-based communication systems. A number of well-known communications vendors including Polycom and Snom, for instance, support Asterisk technology in their own products.

Sokol noted also that the veil is starting to lift on the perceived mystery that is Asterisk. “People may think that open-source communication doesn’t fit into the enterprise, but then if you talk to Orbitz or Yahoo! that have done Asterisk implementations, they have credence.”

“We are still in the early days of the next generation of communications solutions, but will see Digium and other companies building large communications platforms,” he added. “If someone wanted to be the next large-scale communications player using Asterisk, there is nothing stopping them.”

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