In the November 2001 issue of Communications Solutions Magazine I wrote about my quest to find an open-source Linux-based PBX. I actually wrote the article in August 2001 (magazine lead time), so it is exactly 3 years ago that I wrote that article.
I remember thinking "Linux is taking off everywhere, why hasn't it taken off in telephony?" I did find a few companies such as Picazo (which was bought by Dialogic and then acquired by Telecor). Where they are today is anyone's guess. I actually wanted to install a Linux-based PBX in our corporate offices, but wound up installing Artisoft's TeleVantage instead. (a good product even if it does run on Windows)
I then found another company called Bayonne which is a telecommunications application server of the GNU Project and supports a few telephony boards. But I haveb't heard much from them lately.
Quicknet Technologies was another company offering telephony boards for the Linux platform, but not a full-fledged PBX. They've had their own issues and problems.
I discovered several more "pretenders" trying to capture the hearts and minds of Linux developers all wishing to leverage the strong Linux developer community to build a full-fledged IP-PBX.
I even discovered and wrote about Asterisk which most people had never even heard of. Asterisk is the first open-source PBX (IP-PBX) ever developed. Who knew that out of the plethora of Linux telephony companies I found, that the true "hidden gem", Asterisk would be one of the few left standing. In just three short years, Asterisk has built a rabid and loyal fan base. Asterisk along with Digium's hardware are making a strong case for a feature-rich, practical, open-source IP-PBX!
In fact, I got some nasty emails from some Asterisk fans when I "lightly" critiqued Asterisk in Internet Telephony Magazine for not having full-SIP support. Sheesh! I'll try and post some of those emails over the next few days.
Check out my original "In Search Of A Linux-Based PBX" article from November 2001.
Or this link:
Communications Solutions (TM) Magazine's CC:, By Tom Keating