Digium Launches Support Services for Asterisk

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Randy Savicky
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Digium Launches Support Services for Asterisk

Some big news from Digium. Rich Tehrani met with them yesterday to get the inside scoop. Rich takes copious notes on his iPhone, which he sent off to me to try and write up this news. Alas, I've been pretty busy myself, but I wanted to share Rich's notes below, since there are some good "nuggets" in there.

For instance, from Rich's notes I see that Switchvox 4.0 is on the verge of shipping. But the really big news is that Asterisk has announced the general availability of technical support subscriptions for open source Asterisk. Before if you wanted support from Digium, you had to purchase Asterisk Business Edition. Well, no longer. Now, all of you Asterisk fans out there that try Asterisk tim-toolman-taylor-asterisk.jpg(and think you know what the heck you're doing) but get stuck, can now contact Digium and get some support. No more relying on the Asterisk community to answer your questions. Not that asking the Asterisk community is a bad thing, but if your phone system is down, you can't wait hours for someone to respond to an online posting. This could be a huge revenue-generating opportunity for Digium, which can now monetize the open source version of Asterisk with support subscriptions. I'm surprised they didn't offer it sooner. Maybe they were afraid it would upset channel partners?

Rich's notes:
  • Open Source Subscriptions
  • 2 smb subs
  • And 2 enterprise class
  • Incident based
  • Problem: up to today needed community support or consultant with hourly rate
  • Now annual sub - 3 year 10% discount
  • Can call Digium based
  • Level one - support local hours 12 hours - starting at your 8:00 - 7:00
  • For 5 days a week
  • Buys sub online
  • Available in a month through the channel
  • Get a key, name contact and get details when you call
  • Get incident/case handled
  • Can open via we or phone
  • Find a bug - gets entered in bug tracker
  • Gets handled like any biz edition type of bug
  • Not really SLA like a commercial licensed product
  • Biz edition - now only available as OEM or commercially licensed product
  • They want people to buy the open source - engineering opens up 1.4 and 1.6 - first time Digium provides support for open source asterisk
  • Up till now consultants, etc
  • Open source - people buying business edition for support reasons
  • Now getting open source subs
  • Can now support enterprise class apps
  • In the past - anyone who built a large network - 2 levels of enterprise class support
  • 24x7 - server based
  • Unlimited users
  • Up to 3 names contacts
  • First foray into enterprise from server side
  • Up to 24x7 support
  • Switchvox 4.0 on the verge of shipping
The new Asterisk support services enable companies to leverage the power of open source Asterisk with the confidence that their system will be supported by the very founders of the Asterisk movement. According to the news release, "The support subscriptions provide technical support, hardware replacements and substantial discounts on training programs to enable users to take full advantage of the power of the Asterisk platform."

mark-spencer.jpg "Digium's new subscription services give Asterisk users the best of both worlds--they can download and use Asterisk free of charge, as always, and now they can also call on Digium for technical support when needed," said Spencer. "We think the combo of free and open, with support, is going to appeal to many of our most technical users. The Asterisk community has long been a source of great expertise through online forums, and now we're supplementing that with the ability to call us, 24x7, for access to our Asterisk experts."

danny-windham.jpg Danny Windham, CEO of Digium, said: "As Asterisk gains traction within large businesses, demand for professional support is on the rise. Our deep knowledge of open source Asterisk and total commitment to its development makes us ideally suited to offer these new services. Companies that purchase subscriptions will receive support from the most knowledgeable group of Asterisk experts in the industry. We see this offering as a substantial step forward for Asterisk in the enterprise and a valuable service for companies of all sizes."

Asterisk support subscriptions are bundles of services sold on an annual basis. They include technical and engineering support, consultative services, advance hardware replacement, and discounts on Asterisk training and conference passes. 

Asterisk support subscriptions are available immediately from the Digium webstore at http://store.digium.com and will be available through Digium channel partners in Q2. SMB pricing begins at U.S. $595 per year for support during the subscriber's business hours (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday); 24x7 support for an SMB begins at U.S. $1,995 per year. Enterprise subscriptions, including 24x7 support, begin at U.S. $3,995 per year. Pricing includes a defined number of servers supported and cases opened per year.

You can read the official news announcement here.


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