If your not sure what Asterisk or FreePBX is, you may want to take a look at www.asterisk.org for more details. If you want the short version,
Asterisk is a free and open source framework for building communications applications and is sponsored by Digium.
There are millions of phone systems powered by Asterisk every day. It has become the de-facto standard for open source communications across the globe.
|We employee Digium Certified Engineers, in both Asterisk, and their commercial offering Switchvox. If you are in the market for a new PBX phone system, or are just tired of having to ‘manage’ your existing Asterisk based phone system, we are here to lend a hand.|
We provide custom built Asterisk based appliances, provide fully managed services, integration tools, and awesome support.
When Asterisk is a good fit
There are many instances where Asterisk is not only a good fit, but is the right fit. Custom call center applications, complex integration needs, high volume of concurrent calls. In these situations Asterisk is usually the best choice.
We also deploy asterisk only systems for many fully managed solutions as it provided the greatest flexibility to meet growing needs of call centric offices.
If you have spent any time reading on line, you have no doubt come across FreePBX. Over the years it has become one of the most popular open source interfaces to manage Asterisk based PBX systems with. And for many small business, this product fits their needs.
Hidden costs of FreePBX
FreePBX has many wonderful features, modules, and has a rich community driven development. FreePBX is a product that is under constant development, improving and refining the user experience. Under the hood, it is still the tried and true asterisk tool kit.
However FreePBX for all of its strengths, flex-ability, and extendibility, comes with many hidden costs.
FreePBX has hundreds of updates regularly throughout the year. Many of these are security and bug fixes, for the very modules that make it flexible. Sometimes these updates may interfere with other modules or change the functionality of your system altogether. There are typically weekly updates and fixes that need to be applied to the system, making owning a FreePBX based solution maintenance intensive. FreePBX did introduce an “Edge Mode” option to address this, allowing regular release cycles.
If you have a reasonably knowledgeable IT staff or personal, that feels comfortable with the Linux Operating System, and has experience using software that might not be finished. Are capable of performing regular Linux system maintenance, troubleshooting software problems, and managing multiple different software packages, and security updates. Then FreePBX might be a good option for your team. After all FreePBX is “Free”… sort of.
As mentioned before FreePBX relies on ‘modules’ to provide functionality. Some of these modules, require an annual license for just that module. Keep this in mind when considering FreePBX, because based on your individual needs, you may still end up with annual licenses, and still have the regular maintenance.
Don’t worry, we provide support services agreements for FreePBX so you’re not far from a knowledgeable professionals.
For many SMB you do not want another system with high hidden maintenance costs. Especially if you do not have knowledgable staff in Linux, advanced networking or telephony in general. For those companies that want a stable solid solution we typically recommend Digium Switchvox products as a better solution. Digium Switchvox offers a very stable system with a 100% web driven interface. No need for linux, and a simplified maintenance. With simplicity, comes reliability.
Not sure what the right choice is? Give us a call or submit a request on line and we will evaluate your situation and help you determine what the best option is for your business needs. Absolutely 100% free of charge!