What is our primary use case?
It's for IP telephony. It has performed great.
We build our own servers, or sometimes we download a precompiled Asterisk like FreePBX or Elastix. If the client requires it for a call center and installed on his server, then we go with a custom-build. However, if the client wants 20 to 30 phones and it is a small office, then we go with Grandstream or any other ready-made Asterisk equipment like Digium Switchvox.
How has it helped my organization?
With Asterisk-based systems, we can even offer Cisco phones, unlike other IP systems, since there is a wide variety of IP phones that are compatible with Asterisk. That is an advantage of the Asterisk solution.
What is most valuable?
From my perspective as an integrator, the most valuable features are call recording, call logging, and the stability. Where we've installed call centers, it is used for customer experience improvement. And call the call logging can help with billing.
What needs improvement?
CTI, computer telephony integration, is a necessary component. It must be a part of the basic code. Currently, we need to use external connectors for call centers.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. I have tested this solution up to 1,000 endpoints. I don't know about 2,000 or 5,000, but I have tested it up to 1,000 and it is scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
I, myself, am a technical guy. I have gone through the source code and the technical documentation of Asterisk. If I'm stuck on something, I go to the Asterisk forums and look for help and most of the time I have found what I needed.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We mainly replace old telephony equipment. If, for instance, there is an old Alcatel telephone system (digital or analog), and the customer asks us for a new option for IP telephony, then we offer both the Cisco- and Asterisk-based systems. We know the billing, we know the pricing of the items and what we can offer with both solutions.
There are multiple factors involved when selecting a vendor
If the product is stable, the product has good support, and it has enough features which we can offer to our clients, then the product is under our consideration.
How was the initial setup?
It is a little complex. Not straightforward.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
If the client requires an economical solution with many features, we can offer them Digium Asterisk, where there is no licensing. It is a good, economical solution.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
For telephony, we considered Cisco, Avaya, and this Asterisk. For analog, we mostly go with Panasonic.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate this solution an eight because it is stable. However, it lacks some features like CTI. We need to depend on third-parties. It has not been open-source and it has not been a vital part of the system.