Asterisk LogoAsterisk is an open-source software based telephone Private Branch eXchange (PBX) system. Asterisk was created in 1999 by Mark Spencer of Digium. Like any PBX, Asterisk allows attached telephones to make calls to one another, and to connect to other telephone services. Asterisk includes many advanced features previously available only in the higher end, and thus, higher cost proprietary business telephone systems.

There are many various implementations of Asterisk, called distributions. Most support the same basic feature set found in traditional business telephone systems.  These features include, but are not limited to:

  • Extension to Extension calling
  • Voicemail
  • Automated Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Analog Lines (with supported hardware)
  • T1/PRI Trunks (with supported hardware)
  • SIP Trunking
  • IAX2 Trunking
  • Conference Calls
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Paging and Intercom
  • Music on Hold
  • Call Detail Records (SMDR in the traditional telephony world)
  • Call Recording
  • Fax Handling
  • Busy Lamp Field (BLF, monitor the status of another extension)
  • Automated Attendant (Interactive Menus via Touch Tones)
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • And more…

Asterisk can be run on many platforms, NetBSDOpenBSDFreeBSDMac OS X, and Solaris, though it was originally designed for Linux. There are Asterisk Powered By Linuxeven versions of Asterisk designed to run on small form factor, embedded devices.

With Asterisk, the possibilities are quite literally, endless. If the PBX can’t do what you need out of the box, a custom script or program can be written to enable the PBX to perform just about any task. Some examples are:

  • Check a customer’s account balance in a database such as MySQL
  • Route calls based on the incoming caller ID (Customers call one number, and route to the correct location based on what area code/prefix they are calling from)
  • Place a call to a person or list of persons for after hours emergency service
  • Route callers to the correct associate based on caller ID (The customer could always deal with the same representative)
  • For Hotels/Motels the guests could schedule their own “wake up calls”
  • And much, much more…

Managed Datacomm can provide you with a customized, highly scaleable and versatile Asterisk solution. Such a powerful business telephone system can give your organization a technological edge over your competition. Asterisk systems are very secure investments due to the fact that the system can be continually upgraded as new technologies emerge, without losing the initial investment in programming. Your configuration can be moved from system to system with relative ease. Call us today to see how Managed Datacomm can implement such a powerful tool to help your business succeed.