Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Astricon 2009 - Open Source Maximus

I'm at Astricon 2009, the Asterisk Development conference. Asterisk is an internet based, free phone system. Quite an interesting crowd of open source developers, solution providers, VOIP resellers, and hardware manufacturers; about 500 persons in total.

Chris DiBona of Google gave the keynote this morning and focused on Open Source. He pointed out that the majority of time that Google is interested in a technology company that they fund/support the company to get to a stable build and then make it available to the entire Open Source community. There are somewhere around 32 billion lines of open source code; a code base that will outgrow and out-maneuver most proprietary software applications. Ironically Google does not use Asterisks; Google Voice is a proprietary application that is specifically works of off Google's core servers; which Asterisk will not. So much for embracing open source!

I've been hanging out in the Coders Zone most of the day. The breadmaker and soda's are keeping the me and the developers here happy. Half the people here seem to either work for Digium (the inventor of Asterisk) or are a reseller of Digium. Although I've been a customer of Digiums; they are too big these days to care for the little guy; nevertheless, in my quest to find a phone system consultant they referred me to Leif, a fellow that literally wrote the book on Asterisks, and hopefully he can build our custom solutions.

The exhibit hall has shown a few phone system solutions of interest:
  • - a whole customer service platform (really sweet/complete system)
  • - call center management system
  • - text to speech solutions
  • - contact center people
  • - Speech-to-text provider
All-in-all; It's been a successful days quest here in Glendale, AZ.

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