Devasia Kurian, managing director, *astTECS gets into a freewheeling chat with Team OSFY and talks about Asterisk and its pace of adoption in India.
Q Why should one go in for Asterisk and not the conventional telephony systems?
Asterisk is undoubtedly the most feature-rich and open system available
for enterprises today. It has advanced integrated features like video
conferencing, voicemail, email, etc. Above all, the basic product is
available for free, and the overall deployment cost will still be very much
less than conventional telephony systems.
Q How do you see Asterisk-based systems being adopted in India?
18 per cent of shipped lines in North America in 2012 were Asterisk-based
systems. India is also following the same trend, though we do not
currently have any statistics.
The inherent appeal of open source is lower cost, and with the advent of
tailor-made solutions for organisations of all sizes, the addressable market opportunity is substantial. The enterprise telecom market is huge, and the revenue opportunities for open source telecom solution vendors are immense. IP-based alternatives exist for this market and both vendors and carriers are developing strong channels to penetrate the market, and to educate and support today’s businesses with IP. These conditions have set the stage for the rapid deployment of Asterisk-based telephony in India.
Q Describe the target audience for your solution, (enterprises, SMEs or SMBs) and how do you reach out to them?
Asterisk solutions can be tailored for enterprises across all categories and these can be easily scaled up. The target audience we address includes the following sectors: IT & ITES, large enterprises, BFSI, hospitality, railways, airlines, logistics, retail and manufacturing, apart from small and mid-sized companies. Apart from our presence in all the major cities in India, we have a massive reach through local representatives and customers in all the Tier I and II cities.
Q Do you see cloud telephony as a competitor and if yes, how do you plan to face the competition?
We feel both the technologies are complementary and can offer tremendous advantages as companies would work towards offering telephony as a service in the cloud. Asterisk and the cloud can create endless opportunities, right from offering superior performances to huge savings. Developments are on, related to leveraging Asterisk capabilities for cloud service delivery and we may see a lot of work happening in the area of VoIP and cloud computing.
Q There are many low-cost multi-purpose EPBAX solutions. How do you compete with them?
We do not compete with them. Asterisk is a feature-rich IP PBX suited for customers who would like to operate at a higher level of business efficiency by making use of features like video-conferencing, voicemail, email, mobile clients, etc. The amount of savings gained by higher business efficiency would compensate for the higher cost, compared to the old technology multi-purpose EPAXs. Also, in future, when NTP 2012 is completely implemented in India, the IP PBX will also bring in direct savings on telecom bills, every month.