Saturday, June 28, 2008

Balancing Act: Open Source Asterisk

Not a day goes by when a choice or discussion occurs that encompasses open source Asterisk vs. proprietary elements of a complete solution. Not all portions of "free and open" source are available in pure open source. Components like codecs (i.e. G.729) may be patent encumbered and we have to learn new ways to effectively provide these to the world at large in the best possible manner.

Mark Spencer's brainchild Asterisk has become a key core element of telephony solutions these days meaning a large number of people and companies have built their immediate future on Asterisk. As Asterisk matures, and attention moves to scalability and reliability, Digium has moved with it and enables others to build valuable solutions and components.

Some folks understand and appreciate the community vs. commercial elements and accept and work with them, others just don't however some certainly like to chastise the balancing act choices we deploy.

Being an executive on this team I get to see and hear about virtually all elements of the positive and negative surrounding our choices. Well, we are in business to grow a business, make money and to support Mark Spencer's vision and philosophy: provide an always open version of Asterisk compliant with GPLv2. We have both commercial and community priorities at play daily for precious resources. Choices abound.

All in all, "Digium Days" are among the most exciting in my 25+ year product management oriented career. The core elements (product strategy planning, market segmentation, roadmaps, product requirements, features, pricing models, packaging, etc) are the same, but the "Digium Difference" and "The Digium Way" are the most fun,interesting, hair raising and exhilarating. After over two years following my 3Com stint, this by far has been most interesting in the current pinnacle of my long career.

I've been thinking of which of those moments to write about in upcoming blogs. For those that think it's always an easy decision you are missing the more interesting part of working with Mark.

See you again soon! Off to the Huntsville Air Show with the Blue Angels!

1 comment:

Connie Bensen said...

"We have both commercial and community priorities at play daily for precious resources. Choices abound."

But the community's input can shorten your product dev't cycle & save on product research costs. So draw on their input.