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March 7th, 2012 by The Modulis Team

Asterisk vs. Traditional PSTN-based PBX Systems

These days with the proliferation of voice-over-IP technologies and affordable switching you no longer need to be a slave to the switch manufacturers and their subscriptions for updates. Using free software or affordable cloud-based platforms running the Asterisk PBX software you can build carrier-grade PBX solutions without being locked into any one system, configuration, or feature set.

Don”t pay extra for features you don”t use

With Asterisk you can build a PBX system that fits the needs of your organization exactly without paying for features that you have no use for and without having to buy add-on modules for the features that you need.

Affordable and easy integration with existing systems

If you want to integrate your phone system with a CRM, no problem; integrate with your ticketing system, no problem; provide after-hours call escalation, no problem. Flexibility is the key reason for ditching proprietary hardware-based PBX systems and going with an open, modular, flexible, and community-supported software solution.

Reduced total cost of ownership over proprietary solutions

Asterisk and systems build on top of it afford you with all of the features of traditional systems at a small fraction of the cost and with a much lower total cost of ownership. Another key reason for choosing Asterisk is business continuity. Let”s examine a common scenario; you”ve paid for a proprietary PBX system, paid for setup, and bought some add-on modules for extra features and now the company went under.

You now have to pay to have another system setup to replace it and to be configured in a way that”s compatible with your phones and dialplan so you don”t have to retrain everyone. Why put the fate of your company and your ability to do business over the phone in the hands of a single manufacturer? With Asterisk you have the community of volunteer (and paid) engineers to support and maintain the system regardless of which telecommunications businesses close their doors.

Bolt-on additional functionality with AGI scripts

Another great thing about Asterisk is the ability to extend your PBX system as the need arises and include new functionality and integrations with Asterisk Gateway Interface scripts (AGI). You can use community-developed scripts, hire an Asterisk consultant, or have your IT guys develop custom scripts to add new features to your phone system.

Solutions such as multi-tenant billing, calling card services, over-the-phone account balance checks, etc are already available as scripts and modules that allow your phone system to grow with your business without adding on tons of additional costs and hassles.

Asterisk: the secret sauce for new and growing businesses

Asterisk is really the “secret sauce” when it comes to new businesses being able to adapt to new conditions and to provide required features quickly and with a minimal setup cost. Ongoing maintenance is much easier and virtual free when compared to traditional subscriptions that you”d have to pay with a company like NEC, Avaya or Cisco.

And if you don”t have dedicated telephony experts or software developers you can still benefit from Asterisk using cloud-hosted PBX solutions with easy-to-use graphical setup and configuration interfaces.

If you”re not using a software PBX you”re being taken advantage of and giving up valuable opportunities to be agile and to develop new and innovative systems to better provide for your customers.