Schmooze the Yiddish Asterisk

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Schmooze the Yiddish Asterisk

SchmoozeOy vey! It appears we may have another Asterisk-based PBX in the mix. The chutzpah! The gall to launch an Asterisk-based system without telling me! I feel like such a schmuck for not knowing. After schleping some Aastra phones into the labs I sat my tush down and started munching on my kosher bagel (it's Bagel Friday). I was reading some dreck on the New York Times when I decide to check out the trixbox forums. It's then that I came across some threads that pointed towards a new Asterisk PBX called Schmooze (hence all the Yiddish ).

The threads were from Tony Lewis, Director of Business Development for Schmooze Communications. I noticed he had "FtOCCc" in his signature, which means that he has a Fonality trixbox Open Communication Certification. Hmm. Does that mean he sells an IP-PBX based on trixbox?

I did some more research on Schmooze and came across an October 2007 blog posting by Ethan Schroeder (also with Schmooze) which shed some light on what Schmooze is about: (BTW, Ethan recently came up with a cool add-on for FreePBX which adds a speech-rec button. I wrote about it here)
Schmooze Communications, a leading provider of IP-PBX solutions has designed a custom-manufactured wall-mount appliance for Asterisk® PBXs. One of the barriers of entry Asterisk integrators have in selling open standard PBXs is the "you're going to install a computer to run my phone system?" mentality. As a wall-mount PBX, the OpenAppliance appears as any legacy PBX does with the benefit of running an ultra-powerful Asterisk-based solution.

The wall-mount enclosure was designed specifically for Asterisk-based solutions and works with any Asterisk distribution, including Trixbox®, Elastix, AsteriskNOW, Elastix, CentPBX, and PBX-in-a-Flash (edit).

High quality, carefully chosen components work towards zero interrupt (IRQ) problems with TDM cards and standard RAID for redundancy, all while maintaining extremely low pricing. The motherboard is SuperMicro, power supply Antec, and memory from Crucial.

We have also struck up a deal with Sangoma, the manufacturer of (what we believe to be) the highest quality TDM cards available. The deal allows us to package Sangoma cards with the OpenAppliance for unbeatable pricing.

Schmooze PBXactSo it would appear that they offer a wall-mountable appliance that can run any of the various popular flavors of Asterisk and that Schmooze doesn't create their own flavor of Asterisk. Well, that may be true, but they apparently sell turnkey solutions and brand them with something called PBXact with no mention of Asterisk.

I checked out their website and couldn't find any mention of Asterisk. I'm not knocking them for this, I'm just trying to understand what their product is. Is it trixbox, Elastic, AsteriskNOW, PBX-in-a-Flash, or what? Also, did Schmooze add any additional features to the core Asterisk to make it better? Maybe Schmooze thinks the customer doesn't care what the underlying flavor of Asterisk is. I would still think most customers want to know if their phone system is "future proof" and not proprietary, which obviously Asterisk meets both criteria. So knowing it's Asterisk-based should be a selling point, not something that isn't mentioned at all on their website.

Well regardless, I'm happy to learn about an Asterisk player I wasn't familiar with. Mazal Tov to ya Schmooze and best wishes for success.

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