Sunday, June 24, 2007


We exhibited at this service provider event (Formerly SuperComm, Global Comm, and a few others) this past week in Chicago. We were on a mission. You see, Digium's Asterisk is being used by about 200 service providers globally in some fashion. Some provision services, some use it for voice mail, some for IVRs, some combine it with OpenSER and use it as a VoIP gateway. We announced a partnership with, who provisions Asterisk-based solutions using Digium hardware to over 48,000 phones and recognize revenues for over 1.2 BILLION minutes! Who says Asterisk is not ready for prime time? Thats one customer! We have many large deployments like this!

Our goal is to grow these partners, build stronger relationships, and expand our offerings jointly.

We enjoyed a busy booth regardless of location. We also attended three parties - TMC's early event at Soldier Field, Jeff Pulver's always wild event with "The Herding Cats" an incredibly fun band, and Adtran from where our CEO Danny Windham, and VP Sales Steve Harvey just recently joined us. Lot's of fun mixed with very successful business!

Watch for more interesting news this next few weeks as we reinforce our global training position with some new announcements, broaden our support for Asterisk users around the world, and lastly expand our product line!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Quite a Week so far

This week took us on a private flight to North Carolina to a soon-to-be announced partner. We flew two private planes, me as a passenger as I am not a pilot. Mark Spencer was also a passenger but in the other plane. As we flew over the skies of southeastern US, Mark tackled the radio. He was the voice of one of our planes as it was his first ever flight doing this extracurricular activity. It was actually quite comical and funny but he did great. Mark's Pilot, our VP Sales, had to basically battle Mark to take ownership back in order to land. For those who are not pilots or don't get to ride shotgun in one, it's a little nerve racking with air traffic all over the place and you need to have full control to land in case of emergency arising. It was interesting. I loved the trip. It is my second time recently.

After great team meetings, we returned to Huntsville and upon arrival, the Osspry Helicopter was just arriving as well for demonstrations at Space Camp this week. What a marvelous machine. We did get to see it close up, as our plane landed just before the Osspry and we parked right next to it in the small General Aviation plane lot.

Back to seriousness. Digium is getting ready for NxtComm next week in Chicago. We have lots going on as we begin strategic movement in service provider networks.
We are also getting ready for a summer of very strong announcements from OEM relationships, to our new building, to organization to products. Very exciting times.

The glass in our new building is close to all in. It looks great. The picture here shows the artists conception. I will show actual picture soon.

Lots of customers and press talking about Avaya being sold to private equity for $8.2B. Certainly validates our markets. For Digium, we are well-prepared for the next wave of telephony because our model is superior to that of Avaya. Why would private equity over pay? Because the sum of the parts is worth more than the whole. We do believe customers will be uneasy for some time.

Off for now. back again soon!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Just what is open source telephony?

Asterisk(r) is the defacto standard and leader in open source telephony. There are imitators who always want to be considered in the same breath as Digium's Genuine Asterisk(tm). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Published under the GPL V2, Asterisk has mullions of downloads. You see, is THE open source site for the technically astute and is maintained by Digium(r), the creator and primary maintainer of Asterisk software but is populated by the worlds greatest community of developers, contributors and interested parties . Others build their own distribution of this same open source Asterisk, insert their software in or around Asterisk (call them company A) and call it their own asterisk solution. Upon analysis, this now means Digium's Asterisk installed base is downloaded from and the Asterisk installed base is Digium's plus company A. Digium is in a unique position where all open source Asterisk-based products are really Asterisk-based contributing to Asterisk's installed base, and Digium creates their own commercial offerings and others create their own Asterisk-based offering. They include Switchvox, Intuitive Voice, Fonality, Trixbox (does use open source, but I believe do not make source code available) and literally dozens of others worldwide. These are ALL based on Asterisk. Some folks modify Asterisk and include it in their distribution and resale of their solution. But do not lose sight of the fact that these are only possible with Asterisk. BUT here is the CATCH: THEY are NOT open source products - they are open source BASED products. They offer CLOSED PROPRIETARY solutions that give customers the benefits of open source such as low cost, fast feature development, flexibility but these products are closed. This subtly goes unnoticed by some folks who blog, are analysts, press and even venture capitalists.

Digium continues to lead the way in open source maintaining Asterisk, managing and hosting the Developers Conference, driving Asterisk everywhere possible to enable the ecosystem to grow and flourish. Digium removes the barriers to entry for new companies to enter the ecosystem and if they have a great idea, they can benefit and provide benefits to business customers.

Digium knows for a fact over 2 million servers are running asterisk today. There are a couple of other million we know about from competitors boasting of their downloads that encapsulate a version of Asterisk in their distribution. That makes over 4 million known servers. If one assumes an average of even 5 users per server, which is very conservative number, that means we know of at least 20 million users running on Asterisk.

Now it gets better. We can find about 200 service providers globally that offer IAX and SIP VoIP service. Why does this matter? IAX and IAX2 IS Asterisk! Make no mistakes, some of these service providers handle millions of calls and minutes per month. Digium will publish some data from some of the partners shortly, but these numbers are incredible.

With Digium's new Asterisk Appliance(tm), many service providers will offer a customized version of the appliance running Asterisk Business Edition, Digium's commercial and fully supported software, to offer businesses the best of both worlds: Open source + fully supported + SIP and/or IAX trunking to provide cost effective interoperable connections and service.

Yes folks, Asterisk is permeating the world. The ecosystem is growing. If you are not yet familiar with Asterisk, it's time to investigate. Not a Linux guru? Download AsteriskNOW (tm) a free distribution that can get you started.

I hope this helps clarify a bit about Asterisk, Digium, the Asterisk Community, the Ecosystem, offers based on Asterisk, and if you visit Astricon ( and Digium Asterisk World ( at VON later this year, you can learn a lot more!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cbeyond+Digium+Polycom Seminar

Last night we did a joint seminar in Atlanta, with keynotes by both Chris Gatch, CTO of CBeyond and Mark Spencer CTO and founder of Digium. The unique twist was we drive from Huntsville to Atlanta in the Monday, and back this morning - Tuesday. Of course, Atlanta freeway system did not disappoint: 25,000 pounds of frozen food spread out on side of I75. Ugly.

At the event, great crowd, very solid audience, and we gave away 3 of our appliances in a raffle. of course, they are in beta, so we will send later. Great BBQ. Beer, Iced Tea, BBQ and good friends.

Today, Avaya was acquired by a private equity firm for $8.2B. With revenues of $5.2B, and a strong market position, it reminds me of Digital equipment. Will Digium and other open source based companies enabled by Digium's Asterisk penetrate Avaya's markets and terminate their growth? Sure will be fun at Digium. Disruption in Motion. Cisco, NT, Avaya.....Digium and Asterisk enjoy talking to your customers!

Watch out for our growth in services, training, events, and appliances that scale.

Watch out for our upcoming partnership announcements.

Watch out for the re-birth of our ecosystem growth.

We are targeting new growing markets, turning Mark Spencer loose on Asterisk innovation, and we are on a mission.

One funny story to end with. The last question of the night last night to Mark, "What will your revenues be this year?" After minutes of laughter, Mark told his questioner, "You can't have that on a 1st date!" The room broke out in laughter and the CBeyond moderator ended it right then and there. If I only had a video for uTube!

We had two major partners here in Huntsville tonight that we are moving into deeper partnerships with and had a great dinner tonight.

Yes, activity is at a high point.

Just another day at Digium. You really can't make this stuff up!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Kickoff Posting

It's been just about one year now. The experiences are beyond your wildest dreams. At times, I need to pinch myself. The place is a different culture than anything I've ever experienced in many many years in technology in many parts of the country. I feel like a kid again.

Working for Mark Spencer and getting to know him will lead you to one of my favorite sayings, "You can't make this stuff up!" Although I did not create that saying, it best describes a day in the life of Digium. Digium, in case you may now know, is the entity behind Asterisk, the world's leading open source IP Telephony Platform. Try it. If you are a geek, Linux type, visit if you are not a geek, go to and download it and use the GUI to configure your server.

In the future, I will publish some of those more interesting items here. You will in the future, get to read all the details in my book. More on that later.

Today we started executive meetings at 7:30 AM. Yes, Mark was on time. For that, he basically took $20 from another exec who did not think he'd be there on time for the international conf call! Oh yes, Mark will really focus on delivery and execution for $20!

Mark is a renowned Keynote Speaker, and Monday he will do a keynote in Atlanta with the CTO of CBeyond as they present to 150 people interested in SIP Trunking and the Asterisk Appliance!

Today, we discussed two of our younger employees: 19 year old Business Development person who will be attending university in Paris this year; and a 17 year old home-schooled genius who can write code like no tomorrow! Being around these young men makes me feel young!

As unreal stories unfold, you will hear them on this blog. Enjoy........bill