Asterisk is certainly making waves in the VoIP space due to the fact that it is open source and I welcome third-parties offering solutions to Asterisk's platform.
I have no doubt that the old days of proprietary PBXs and complex integration (ala CTI) are nearly gone.
Standards in the PBX/telecom world are here to stay - they finally caught up with the data/network world. This means much easier integration by third parties to entend and enhance the functionality of PBXs/IP-PBXs.
EXpress2.0 can be used to create speech-rec directory assistance and other speech-rec applications that will work on the Asterisk platform.
See the full release here:
VoIP SIP VoiceXML Gateway Platform Integrates with Asterisk