Telecom firm turns to open source model for its VoIP platform

Companies are beginning to transition away from traditional phone lines towards voice over IP technology, but several price and support-related issues haven't made it as cost effective as it could be.

To help combat these growing cost and support issues, Fonality released a new program for validating other companies' components for use with its VoIP software platform, citing what it calls an "open source ecosystem." The interoperability program could potentially make it easier for companies to deploy a working VoIP system by giving them more choices.

A major problem facing open deployment of VoIP and similar phone services in the corporate world has been hardware issues and non-compliant software providers, but Fonality claims its FACE system should reassure customers about compliance issues. The company plans on working with IP phone manufacturers, communications service providers and connectivity hardware providers to ensure its FACE platform is able to be deployed successfully from the beginning.

The Asterisk@Home trixbox Community Edition (CE) telephony application platform, an open source Fonality telephony platform, focused on offering a viable IP Private Branch eXchange (PBX) phone system. PBX systems are private phone networks available to one company or office only, rather than a shared network used by many companies. IP-based PBX systems increase the functionality of a PBX system, allowing voice and data communications to be shared on the same network.

FACE will also certify trixbox Pro and PBXtra, which are two other solutions available in the company's open source communications platform.

The use of VoIP technology in companies has been increasing due to the lower costs and increasing need for converged data and voice networks. In turn, that has led to a growing number of IP platforms. Although both hardware and software have progressed over the years, similar progress in getting both parts to comply with one another's standards and requirements, has been lagging.

Networking powerhouse Cisco also offers a unified workspace designed to make it easy for companies to deploy VoIP software and hardware properly, so compliance will not be a lingering issue. Instead of waging war with Cisco and similar networking juggernauts, Fonality hopes its open Asterisk code base will make it an ideal choice for small and medium sized businesses looking to deploy low-cost business phone systems.

Another company working in the same field, Alianza, has a fully-integrated IP-based platform, the PowerPlatform, allowing companies to use Unified Communications Applications through software as a service, including VoIP, PBX, IVR, messaging and conferencing.

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