Updated 7:56 PM EST, April 20, 2009
We are in what we may want to call an open-source friendly economy and in such a market companies are more likely than ever to be persuaded that free software is worth serious consideration. But what about support? Sure you can get it from your local reseller or consultant but what happens when he is on vacation in Alaska on that fishing trip where he doesn't take his phone? Even this economy may not be enough to convince that VAR with a solid customer base that he needs to communicate with you while wrangling that 25 pound Chinook salmon into the net.
If you are a self-respecting fisherman, would you give up this
To answer this?
By now we all know the Chinese symbol for crisis and opportunity is the same and as you worry about your next Asterisk crisis, I would like to present you with the opportunity to learn more about Digium's Support Services. Digium's Bill Miller and Leslie Conway took some time from their busy schedules to brief me on the new offering and were very excited to say it allows companies to get support on a subscription basis with discounts for multiple year sign-ups. Until now, support was on an incident basis and now you can have support for 12 hours a day, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in your local time for five days each week.
Found bugs will get entered in a bug tracker and yes, this is the first time Digium has chosen to provide support for open source Asterisk. And furthermore, even if you don't use the company's hardware, they will support you. This includes solutions such as Trixbox CE, Elastix, PBX in a Flash, etc. Of course this applies to the core Asterisk portion of such solutions. Also, if you happen to have Digium cards you get advanced replacement."Digium is showing industry leadership by offering a support plan for Open Source Asterisk." Says Robert Messer, President of ABP Technology a Distributor of IP Technology products that carriers the Digium line. "This can help many strong resellers creating open source solutions because Digium becomes a valid insurance option as a provider of service of last resort if their reseller disappears or fails. We don't know all the dynamics this initiative will have, however we are optimistic because we see it creating value for the entire supply chain. End users that became orphans will be protected and Digium resellers may be getting leads to up-sell and serve these accounts accounts."
From my perspective, Digium's Support Services is the perfect safety net which allows companies worldwide to take advantage of the best of the open source world while simultaneously giving them support with a predictable price. In a volatile world, this insurance policy may be the best solution for your open source support needs.
Prices start at $595/year and for more on this important news see comments from Tom Keating and Steve Sokol.