|Find high paying job. It's quick! It's Free!!||Earn some quick money by spending just 5 minutes!!|
|No license fee||Seat or site license|
|Change as you wish||Strict limitation on code|
|Community of programmers||Vendor's core team|
|No dedicated support from developers||Vendor offers support|
|Documentation from community||Professionally written documentation|
|Software releases driven by community and needs||Software releases driven by customer input and vendor investment|
|No vendor lock-in||Vendor lock-in|
Pluses and minuses
The plus side of the open source debate has these elements:
- Opening up multivendor possibilities
- Many system integrators gearing up to support open source VoIP
- Interoperability among the products that is higher than that found with proprietary solutions
- Many choices with reusable code
- Many vendors that have entered the market with multiple products
There are counterarguments to the open source PBX solution. All this innovation by a large community of developers can and does cause confusion. Some points on the minus side are:
- Procuring an open source PBX will require modification to most enterprises' bid solicitation and contracting procedures.
- The internal staff will require training, and the staff may have to be expanded.
- Poorly controlled developers can create odd and ill-conceived software.
- Low-cost devices to connect to the open source PBX may really mean cheap.
- Echo-cancellation technology can be a problem.
- DTMF support can be in five different implementations. The phone call will be connected, but IVR access to voicemail or call centers may not work.
Advice and best practices
The best practices and considerations for moving to an open source PBX are as follows:
- Ensure that the upper IT or telecom management is committed to the implementation, not just an experiment.
- Limit the number of operating systems used. One open source PBX has its own version of Linux.
- Internet RFC standards compliance does not equal universal operation.
- If more than one vendor's products are to be mixed together, make the vendors demonstrate interoperability.
- Don't let the techies make the open source decision. They should be recommenders, not decision makers.
- If proceeding, test, test, then test. Do not make any assumptions.
There are and will be successes with open source PBX implementations. Be cautious. Your organization may not be able to support the PBX, and the open source PBX may not scale to the size you eventually want to reach.