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Dave Michels
David Michels holds 20 years of telecom hands-on experience, starting with IVR systems to Fortune 100 operations. Currently President of...
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Dave Michels | August 25, 2010 |

 
   

A Dialogue with Digium's Danny

A Dialogue with Digium's Danny In a conversation with Dave Michels, Digium CEO Danny Windham talks about scaling Asterisk to the enterprise; whether he's the leader of a movement; whether Digium should go public; and how the company that introduced open source to the enterprise telephony world will continue to try and disrupt that world.

DM: Digium's hardware business is largely PSTN ports and standard servers--is there a future to this aspect of your business?
DW: Your assessment of the existing hardware family is correct. Our business in this area has been growing, but it is not the most strategic element of our company. SIP promises to reduce the need for hardware ports, and we are not likely to be a major server vendor. We have thoughts on how to evolve our hardware business to deliver more value than we do today. Asterisk must become much more multi-media capable. We need to do the same with video as we do with audio today. We will be announcing more on this.

DM: Regarding your channel, how are most of the dealers split between Asterisk and Switchvox and how is the new certification program working for Switchvox?
DW: Growth in the channel partners has been very satisfying, 50-75% per year for the past couple of years; we now have over 900 reseller organizations certified. We have three types of resellers; Switchvox only, Asterisk only, and both. A recent survey indicates about half our resellers now do both. Resellers are appreciating there is a right time and place for both products. We introduced a new Switchvox certification program in May, and already about 900 individuals have completed it. We are also getting great feedback on the certification program as well.

DM: Switchvox offers Extend, a unique API capability. Can you share the vision?
DW: We are committed to Extend--anytime we touch anything in the Switchvox code-base we "Extendify" it. The concept is that Switchvox can serve a customization need inside small businesses that don't have the skill to engineer within Asterisk, but do have the skill to write a short script to be able to integrate with other products. Or to enable third parties to integrate with Switchvox. Our long term goal is to expand the Asterisk Exchange marketplace to accommodate Switchvox API-oriented solutions. Today, Developer Central allows third party listings.

It was a great discussion. Danny was quick with responses, and is clearly excited about the future prospects of open source, Asterisk, and Digium.

Other recent interviews:

Jeff Rodman--CTO of Polycom
Chris Hummel--CMO of Siemens Enterprise

Dave Michels, principal of Verge1, personally blogs at PinDropSoup.com



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