The Other Open-Source IP PBX

The story has a familiar ring. A vendor offers powerful, reliable new appliances to go with the open-source IP PBX (Private Branch eXchange) software it provides and supports. The new boxes make it easier for users to turn the software into business phone systems that are significantly cheaper than proprietary solutions. Given the enthusiastic reception small companies have been giving similar efforts, it might seem this idea can hardly miss.

The difference is that in this case, the vendor isn't Fonality or Digium, and the software isn't even Asterisk. The appliances and IP PBX software come from Pingtel, and the software uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Since the enterprise IP telephony industry has pronounced SIP the technology of its future, the move should seemingly position Pingtel even better than the recent Asterisk appliances do their vendors. In reality, though, the Burlington, Mass. company has to negotiate a trickier road to success than do its fellow open-source travelers.