Friday, August 31, 2007

Casual Day

When Mark Spencer sent out an email earlier this week announcing Friday was "casual day" there was quite a bit of buzz around. We had so many new folks this year, they had no idea what it really meant! A couple of folks from the marketing team knew exactly what it was: PJs, absolute casual; almost anything goes. Well, to our surprise, Mark showed up to a meeting in his penguin boxer shorts! Yet another day that falls into the category of, "you can't make this stuff up!" I love my job. I love this place. Work hard. Play hard. Laugh hard! I took cell phone pictures and sent them to one person who was in another location on the conference bridge. Response: SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you agree?

In this picture above, Mark is teaching a class in Huntsville. People love Mark's guest appearances in classes. He's touching, entertaining, and aloof all in one. Yes, really! Throughout the day, people from sales, marketing, tech support and other departments came out of the woodwork for this event to see who was wearing what. Here is a picture of some of the fun folks.

It makes each and every day a blast to come to the office. It is what makes Digium what it is. Innovative, fun, collaborative. Unpredictable.

For new folks, its enlightening. For students in training, it is eye popping.

That's it for tonight. It was a very nice ending to the week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Interesting Tradeshow Week

VoiceCon Fall 2007

The event put on by CMP and BCR under Fred Knight, GM, held as usual in SF was fun this past week. Digium has been there for the past 3 events positioning ourselves in the enterprise. This year Unified Communications has taken center stage over all else as Microsoft's entry to voice business systems continues to upset the applecart. Mark Spencer, our founder and CTO appeared on his first plenary panel. I hope to get a video of the panel, and if so, will try and post it here. Mark left his comfy leather seat during the session and walked the stage, sat down next to Eric Swift from Microsoft and had some fun with him. Put his arm around Eric and told him they were the enemy. Then got up and sat in between Cisco's panelist and Avaya's panelist and had some more fun with them. He told all that if we don't get it right from the PBX and networking sides, Skype, also on the panel, would eat all our lunches! First time ever in all my VoiceCon years I've ever seen anything like it.

In the locknote, which ends the conference, several folks referred to Mark's comments but not him by name. Mark was a hit and made all of us Digiumites proud. This is exactly why he is in my contact database as "Mark, there is no box" - this young man is different, bold, and smart.

This was also the first VoiceCon event for Digium that geeks did not search us out. We focused on business, business process, and operations for Open Source Telephony enterprises of all sizes. Very nice event.

Digium also had a celebration dinner with a new major license and OEM partner midweek at Bobo's in SF. Absolutely the best in-bone filet I and my colleagues have ever had. Watch for our announcement soon. We signed the contracts at the dinner. Plans are to launch in September. Digium will also announce some other exciting news in preparation for Q4 at Astricon (September 25-28 in PHX). Check out

So we had some fun this week. Excellent press, making Gartner's magic quadrant; excellent analyst meetings, and some strong promising customers sales.

See you next time and soon!

Astricon, IT Expo and Digium Asterisk World at VON are coming up!
Check them all out at

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Asterisk: Genuine and for the People!

Digium, The Asterisk Company.

I started using this tag line a bit over a year ago to clarify Digium is THE Asterisk owner.

Why do we care? Because Digium has invested millions over the years to build the Asterisk open source community. This community makes the engine go. The engine is so powerful that well over 3.5 million servers have been downloaded. We suspect these servers are deployed in everything from enterprises to homes. Users cover the globe: linux geeks to non-technical business users who can download a file and burn a CD and have a phone system.

But open source has rules based on the license you use. Digium uses GPLv2. Digium also commercially licenses Asterisk for people to modify and keep their modifications. Otherwise, to build a commercial business and redistribute derivative works, you are supposed to provide full source code or license it back to the community in our case through Digium. Among the more successful licensees: Aspect Software (IP Contact Centers), and NTT Software in Japan with a large growing base of licensees. Why? It saves significant development costs.

There are others who claim to be open source, openly modify and redistribute Asterisk-based solutions and even use several versions back. Some of these folks are hippocrates - they talk about Asterisk not being robust enough, but they are using software as old as version 1.09 where today version 1.2 and 1.4 are most recent. They say they have "hardened" Asterisk. Well, they modified code to make their own proprietary solution. Their is nothing wrong with this because thats one of the intents to proliferate Asterisk everywhere, but by following the rules. Some of you readers know who and what I am talking about. There are actually many, some are just more visible and public images than others.

We will continue to educate developers and users everywhere!

Tell you what, if you would like to discuss this, feel free to post here. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I missed an angle, but I can tell you we will continue to develop Asterisk and support the developer community. In the future, many companies and users will benefit. We at Digium do need to make money in areas where it makes sense - business class software, hardware, support, and consulting so we can continue to foster development and proliferate Asterisk and reduce the cost for users worldwide! Leveraging our partner ecosystem can generate sales and profits. Our web sites are well known for downloading our Asterisk versions well over 3000 times per day globally is no small achievement.

Yes, share your thoughts - here or on on the forums!

Genuine Asterisk.
Digium Asterisk

See you at Astricon (, and/or
See you at Digium Asterisk World (