With Asterisk® World just around the corner, this may come as a surprise to some of you. The Asterisk community that has championed open source software development for the past decade now has only one open source distro still standing. All the rest have morphed into closed source or commercial products. Can you guess which one is still carrying the Asterisk 14 open source banner? AsteriskNOW®? Nope. The FreePBX Distro®? Nope. Ombutel™? Nope. PBX in a Flash™? Nope. Elastix™? Nope. The answer is Wazo 17.01, and the latest Incredible PBX installer makes it a turnkey install in less than 15 minutes. If continuing the FOSS tradition is important to you, you really should take Wazo for a spin.

What Went Wrong? The answer is probably nothing. Reality simply set in. We all have to eat. As someone who has been involved in both the shareware and open source revolutions for more than 30 years, I can tell you that earning a living with open source software development is mostly a pipe dream. You can love open source software development and starve. Will some folks donate to the cause? Absolutely. Can you pay your mortgage from the proceeds? Not a chance. So you either find a "real job" that will pay the bills, or you change your business model and develop some sort of recurring revenue stream either through maintenance and support contracts, consulting, or hardware sales. Or you can write a technology blog and hope to find enough advertisers to keep the lights on. 🙂

We don’t mean to suggest that there’s anything wrong with commercial products per se. When it comes to VoIP telephony, commercial solutions make perfect sense. Businesses want their phones to ring when customers call. And the best way to achieve that is with commercially proven software and a support network that stands behind their products 24×7. So then it becomes a matter of comparison shopping for the best price and feature set. With this week’s release of the 3CX commercial product at zero cost to all PIAF users that participate in the PIAF Forum, that really should be a no-brainer. With a network of thousands of 3CX dealers worldwide for support, what have you got to lose? Zero.

Our New Year’s Resolution goes like this. For Nerd Vittles readers and for members of the PIAF community, we want you to have the best of both worlds. So we’ll be pushing our commercial provider to further enhance 3CX with features such as voice recognition and text-to-speech plus a robust API and programming language that makes expandability both simple and participatory. On the open source front, we will continue to work with the Wazo developers to make their platform even more flexible and feature rich than any FOSS product on the market. Please join us on both platforms as we continue our VoIP adventure.

In the meantime, come explore Wazo

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.


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