Why is the combination of Digium Asterisk and Cisco Systems so powerful?

Posted by Chris on February 19th, 2011

The Cisco FutureLine Hosted Voice system is based on Digium Asterisk at the core and uses Cisco Systems networking and endpoint ( voip phones, video over ip equipment etc etc ) hardware.

Whilst some people might view Cisco and Digium as unlikely partners I believe that they represent one of the most powerful combinations in the telephony world.

I regard Digium and Asterisk respectively as a company and a solution whose time has come. I am not alone in this view. If you doubt my opinion then perhaps you may consider the involvement of David Skok of Matrix Partners


in Digium. He is one of the investors.

David is specifically focused on the areas of cloud computing, Open Source, Software as a Service (SaaS), marketing automation, virtualization, storage, and data center automation.

Consider also the references in the book ” Asterisk: the future of telephony ” :

” In the book ” Paradigm Shift ” Tim O’Reilly talks about a paradigm shift that is occurring in the way technology ( both hardware and software ) is delivered. O’Reilly identifies three trends:

– the commoditisation of software

– network enabled collaboration

– software customisability ( software as a service – SaaS )

These three concepts provide evidence to suggest that open source technology is an idea whose time has come. ”

In this blog here


I have highlighted a number of general benefits of  a Digium Asterisk based Hosted Voice platform. ( These benefits also apply to premises based or managed solutions ).

In the same way that a Digium Asterisk based pbx like the Switchvox can be compared favourably to other premises based alternatives e.g. Avaya/Nortel or Panasonic a Digium Asterisk based Hosted Voice solution can be compared favourably to other proprietary Hosted Voice solutions e.g. Broadsoft or Mitel.

Without going through all the general benefits highlighted in my earlier blog it is reasonable to assume that the advantages are scaled up in line with the scaling of the system from one that serves a single customer to one that serves multiple customers.

If you are a reseller, distributer or small telco or cloud services company looking to provide Hosted Voice services to your customers ( and perhaps the customers of your customers ) then you are going to be looking at an investment in the order of £100’s of thousands ( albeit financed over a period of time ) in order to acquire a proprietary Hosted solution from e.g. Broadsoft or Mitel.

I highlight proprietary solution because it seems to me that the very last thing you want to do is to spend £100’s of thousands on a solution that is not “open”, standards based, easily upgradeable, customisable and flexible.

For an in depth appreciation of the problem being faced we can turn to David Skok again and a series of posts such as


David starts:

” This post provides SaaS entrepreneurs with an Excel spreadsheet model and graphs that show the cash flow trough that happens to SaaS, or other subscription/recurring revenue businesses that use a sales organization. These kinds of SaaS businesses face a cash flow problem in the early days, because they have to invest up front in sales and marketing expenses to acquire customers, and only get payments from those customers over a delayed period of time. I refer to this phenomenon as the the SaaS Cash Flow Trough. ”

The cash flow problem in the early days is only going to be worse if you have to spend £100’s of thousands on your Hosted Voice platform !!

So, for many reasons, even though there have been successful models around the world based on proprietary Hosted Voice systems – I think there are a lot of failures in the Hosted Voice world based on such platforms – I believe that an investment in a Digium Asterisk based platform is going to help a Hosted Voice business model massively ( because it is going to be far less up front cost, more scalable, upgradeable etc etc ).

Evidently, if you are going to be supplying a total voice solution to a customer, you are going to need things like networking hardware ( routers, firewalls etc ), end points ( phones, video cameras etc ), possibly storage solutions, virtualisation hardware and software, broadband, SIP trunks etc etc

Who better to partner with than Cisco ??

As I have mentioned before there are millions of Cisco endpoints and routers attached to Digium Asterisk systems – particularly systems that have been supplied to small and medium sized businesses.

A quick review of  established and experienced Digium Asterisk value added resellers proves that they typically have Cisco and Microsoft skills and accreditations aswell as Digium Asterisk. They have to have really – don’t they !

Clearly Cisco have products and services that compete with Digium Asterisk products and services.

However Cisco also partner with e.g. Broadsoft and it could easily be argued that Broadsoft based solutions are preventing sales of e.g. Cisco UC 500 systems.

In the S.M.B. space particularly ( and here I mean S.M.B. end user customers and S.M.B. resellers, distributers and telco’s ) I believe the combination of Cisco and Asterisk is unbeatable and this is the combination that FutureLine provides.

Digium Asterisk based FutureLine at UC Expo 2011

Posted by Chris on February 19th, 2011

FutureLine  is one of the few Hosted Voice Solutions available that combines the power of Digium Asterisk with Cisco Systems amazing technology. A large percentage of Cisco’s networking equipment and end points are attached to Asterisk based voip pbx systems around the world, especially in the SMB sector ( around 30% ).

Digium sponsors, maintains and owns the Asterisk platform and devotes around 50% of its resources  to supporting the Asterisk project and ecosystem.

Digium was founded by Mark Spencer  in 1999  whilst still a computer engineering student.When faced with the high cost of buying a PBX for his company, Spencer used his Linux PC and knowledge of C code to develop his own PBX. This was the beginning of the worldwide open source phenomenon known as Asterisk.

As Asterisk gained in popularity, Spencer shifted his business focus from Linux support to supporting Asterisk and opening up the telecom market.

Mark renamed the company Digium and transformed the fledgling start-up into the leading open source telecommunications provider in the world that it is today.

Digium is also now the leading provider of commercially supported open source phone systems, as well as manufacturer of the hardware that supports Asterisk.

Digium’s Asterisk is fast becoming a major competitor to proprietary alternatives because of its compelling benefits, which include:

Asterisk Hosted Voice Benefits

There are a number of reasons why an  Asterisk-based  Hosted Voice system is a good choice.

It is  based on the world’s largest open source platform

Asterisk is the world’s leading open source telephony platform and the InfoWorld 2008 Technology of the Year.

Asterisk holds a 17% share of the global telephony market and offers a credible and proven alternative to proprietary systems.

Digium, the owner of Asterisk, is highlighted in Gartner’s prestigious visionary quadrant for the third year in a row.

It scales easily to suit your business needs

Our Asterisk based Hosted Voice systems are built on a scalable platform that can be easily modified to meet changing requirements.
Whether increasing, reducing, changing or moving your business, Asterisk Hosted Voice systems accommodate your business plans rather than your business adapting its plans. The flexibility to do what you want it to do is inbuilt.
Asterisk provides complete access and visibility to the system development. If there is something you need your system to do or something you don’t like, it can easily be incorporated.

FutureLine has the flexibility to meet any business requirement – the system can be altered at any stage to support changes in your business operation – even when you’re up and running.

It is great value for money

Our Asterisk based Hosted Voice systems provide incredible value for money compared to proprietary Hosted Voice systems. The reason for this is the reduced licensing development and marketing cost of the open source based business model.

The system comes complete. Unlike proprietary systems, there is no increment for each additional feature.

The freedom of choice of hardware and architecture

Asterisk is committed to open standards development ensuring seamless integration with a wide variety of vendor technologies and ability to expand using technologies not normally associated with most Hosted Voice platforms.

This allows you the most diverse choice of architecture and hardware options without restricting functionality.

FutureLine uses Cisco routers and telephones and video equipment but is able to connect to many other manufacturers equipment.

It is feature-rich and subject to constant innovation.

With Asterisk Hosted Voice systems, you can take advantage of the constant innovations of the open source community. The system comes fully equipped with every future requirement that you are likely to want and no “enhanced-version” add on charges.

For more information on FutureLine please go to


Cisco phone systems are the future in Dorset

Posted by Chris on March 24th, 2010

Cisco phone systems provider Poundbury Systems ( http://www.poundbury.com/ Telephone – 01305 259849  ) is providing futuristic phone and video conferencing systems for Dorset based Small and Medium Businesses under the banner ” Futureline “.

Awareness of the installation of High Speed Fibre Optic networks in Dorset has been raised by eg http://www.dorsetforyou.com/broadband and http://www.teamdorset.org.uk/Business/Broadband-Survey?pgid=153 and Poundbury Systems is building on this awareness by offering local businesses low entry cost phone and video conferencing systems from Cisco Systems
( N.B. BT and Cisco are sponsors of the 2012 Olympics ).

Poundbury Systems are offering a package that will provide Small and Medium Businesses with a phone and web conferencing facility starting at

only £99 per month.

Cisco and Poundbury are thinking ahead to the time when Dorsets roads will be full of people heading to and from Weymouth and Portland and the Sailing Olympics and also thinking back to the recent winter months when snow prevented travel around Dorset.

For many reasons we need to ensure that we can conduct business irrespective of whether we are physically at a place or not. Of course there is always a need to meet people in person but many of the business discussions that we have can be conducted via email, phone, video conferencing and the Internet.

If we prepare for extreme road or weather conditions then this is a basis for a high speed, resilient, reliable communications system.

It is also the basis for a ” Digital Dorset ” which will encourage inward investment and migration.

Poundbury Systems phone and video conferencing systems is flexible and scalable – phones can be added incrementally – one or two at a time and at very low cost.

Call Clare on 01305 259849

to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Dorsets Global Production defies snow with Asterisk Phone System and Microsoft SBS

Posted by Chris on January 8th, 2010

Dorsets Global Production company IPP Joules defies the snow with an Asterisk based Phone System from Poundbury Systems and Microsoft Small Business Server


That was the news from Poundbury Systems this week. With most of Dorset (and the UK) hit by snow and ice, what was the impact on local businesses?

Poundbury Systems have long understood the benefits of flexible working solutions for their customers and this week the foresight in this approach showed its true value.

‘Many of our customers had issues in getting some or all of their staff to their offices. The solution was simple. The Microsoft Small Business Server based remote working facilities that we had set up allowed staff to use their home PC’s to have quick, easy and secure access to their work files. No time was wasted and no business was lost. The picture was completed by diverting the Asterisk based phones to home and mobile numbers, something that is quick and easy to do.’ commented Clare Jenkins, Director at PSL.

Bob Cottell of ipp agreed “At ipp, much of our work is time critical and, as we deal with our clients around the world, guess what – they don’t care what the weather is like in the UK and they expect us to have contingency plans in place. During the current weather, we are able to work equally well from home as we can in the office, thanks to PSL putting ‘remote access’ in place. We can access information and documents on our servers as normal, maintain email contact with clients and use ‘instant messenging’ as an effective way to maintain internal communication.

PSL has given us the flexibility to allow staff to work from home, delay coming into the office until the roads are less icy or even leave early to avoid congested roads. We are able to spend less time worrying about the weather and road conditions and more time maintaining service levels for your clients, during these chilly times.

Many thanks to PSL”

With more snow predicted, if you would like any advice on how you can minimise business disruption, contact Clare and her team on 01305 259849 or enquiries@poundbury.com.

For Global Production and Distribution Solutions contact IPP Joules at http://www.ippjoules.com/

Asterisk based phone systems in Dorchester Dorset

Posted by Chris on December 22nd, 2009

If you are looking for Asterisk based phone systems in Dorchester Dorset then please give my friends at Poundbury Systems in Dorchester a call.

They  provide computer and Asterisk based telephone systems and related software, hardware and networks to small and medium sized businesses. They have many years of experience of doing so and  are technically very competent. 

They  use plain English wherever possible rather than technical jargon and  focus on what technology can do for your business rather than bits and bytes.

Many of thier customers have confirmed that they live up to thier philosophy and objectives and you will find customer testimonials in the news section on thier website.

Please contact Clare at Poundbury for clear, simple advice on how to make technology work for you.


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