As Jared Smith and Derek Palouquin continued to get into the basics of setting up an Asterisk-based phone system
this morning at AstriCon 2010
, across the hall, Michael Skopek from 2N Telecommunications discussed the impact of Asterisk in Latin America, claiming that most Latin American businesses are very interested in open source in general, and Asterisk, in particular.
Why shouldn't they be? It provides a low-cost alternative to more expensive proprietary solutions without sacrificing functionality. In fact, with a few skilled programmers, it increases flexibility of the communications system.
More specifically, he suggests that Asterisks' flexibility - and all the things that Asterisk can "be"
allow telecom providers like 2N to introduce new services to their existing customers.
"They buy a PBX system, and then come back for something more," he says. "The idea is to offer your existing clients a new solution every time."
Currently, one of the popular product 2N offers is its GSM gateway, which reduces costs for calling from fixed lines to GSM networks s well as sending and receiving SMS messages and fax transmissions. Eventually, it will also introduce an LTE gateway, which will allow businesses to use VoIP as a communications standard across wireless and wireline networks.
"This is a great solution for Asterisk
because the basic solution will not be going over a GSM network," says Skopek.
This is just one example of his theory that successful providers always be prepared to introduce new solutions that push the limits of existing capabilities and force developers to continually reinvent their solutions and allow providers to deliver full, integrated service packages.
One particular capability I found particularly interesting involves an entry door communications system, which 2N does have in its portfolio. It's a SIP-based system that can easily be integrated into an Asterisk environment. And, if you forget your key, you can unlock your door via SMS.