According to a study by The Eastern Management Group, 42% of all businesses will send their toll traffic on SIP trunks by 2018. Why? Because businesses have learned that SIP trunking is an easy way to make huge reductions in communications costs without any loss of reliability or functionality. SIP trunking does not eliminate the need for PBX technology, of course, so even those who switch to SIP need to think about what kind of a call management system they need. Luckily for the cost conscious, there are several terrific, open source PBX solutions in the market that can be paired with SIP to make communications costs negligible.
Here are a few of our favorites:
There are more than one million Asterisk-based communications systems deployed in more than 170 countries. It ranks among the most prevalent PBX systems of any type. Asterisk is a free, open source platform for building communications systems. It is very often deployed with SIP networking. It only requires an ordinary computer to run. It can be a complete, multi-function business phone system, or it can be used to add features to an existing PBX. The Asterisk open source project is sponsored by Digium.
The Asterisk platform was built to be used by developers who understand communications networks. To build a custom solution you’d need a working knowledge of Linux, telephony, and script programming. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it if you don’t have someone with these technical skills. Integrators and consultants are happy to help. There are also a number of pre-built solutions that you can buy at low prices.
FreePBX is an open source graphical user interface that manages and controls Asterisk. It can be configured and installed alone or as part of a distribution that includes the OS, Asterisk the GUI and other dependent software. FreePBX is simple to configure and can run in the cloud or on-premises. Small home-based businesses and large multi-site enterprises and businesses of all sized in between love FreePBX.
If you want an instance that is pre-configured, there are commercial models available from the sponsor Schmooze Com Inc. You can also get paid support, integration, and other services. FreePBX plays great with SIP trunking.
FreeSWITCH is a telephony platform that uses common communications protocols to support audio, voice, text, and other media. It serves as a foundation on which many telecommunications applications can be developed using available free tools. It supports of a variety of audio codecs, making it ideal for SIP trunking. It has a modular design that simplifies the development effort required. FreeSWITCH comes loaded with a set of modules to enable basic functionality. Others can be added to meet additional requirements.
These are just a few of the available open source PBX projects out there. You might also consider Elastix and PBX in a Flash. If you go the open source route be sure to verify that your SIP trunk provider is compatible with these types of solutions. (SIP.US supports all of the applications mentioned along with many others.)
SIP trunking and open source PBX systems are smart ways to keep your costs low while getting all of the features you need for your business.