Digium Offers Subscription Support Plans for Asterisk
When it comes to open source telephony software, Asterisk has one of the longest, most illustrious backgrounds in the market. There's been a nagging issue that's been holding Asterisk back, however, especially in larger enterprises -- a lack of professional support. Digium, the corporate entity that sponsors Asterisk, began offering tiered subscription support services through its storefront this week.
Just as it has been for the previous ten years, the Asterisk telephony engine and toolkit is available for download (free of charge, licensed under the GPL) with support, advice, and discussion offered through the community forums. The subscription support plans are designed to complement the community-driven efforts while giving enterprises the option to call upon dedicated experts to help with deployment, maintenance and training.
In the past year, Asterisk was downloaded 1.5 million times from Digium's servers. It's an impressive number by itself, and once mirrors and repositories are factored in, it's apparent that many organizations and developers are already using (or at least testing) the Asterisk platform. It will be undoubtedly interesting to see how many companies opting for paid support were using Asterisk previously, and how many decided to make that leap because of the new support services. Digium states that its products and services have traditionally cost almost 80 percent less than proprietary offerings -- even if paid support halves that percentage, the savings (and potential returns) are significant enough to keep Asterisk looking competitive and attractive.