Last year at LinuxWorld Expo in London, Jon “maddog” Hall predicted
that “over the next three years, VoIP using an open-source solution, such as Asterisk,
will generate more business than the entire Linux marketplace today.” Of course only time will tell whether that happens. But the open source Asterisk project clearly presents new opportunities for developers interested in computer telephony integration. At a minimum, Asterisk is a classic example of Clayton Christensen’s principle of “creative disruption,”
aptly fitting his description of being “cheaper, simpler, smaller, and more convenient to use.”
Asterisk is an open source, Linux software-based PBX, offering features found in high-end proprietary PBXs from companies such as Nortel and Lucent. Mark Spencer is the author and maintainer of Asterisk, and CEO of Digium, a hardware OEM. But as Spencer and the Asterisk community have made continuous improvements to the code over the last six years, the Asterisk project has evolved into more than just a PBX.