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What is Asterisk®?

What is Asterisk®?

Asterisk is an open-source software framework for building communication applications. It provides the foundation for creating various communication systems, such as private branch exchanges (PBXs), VoIP gateways, call centers, and unified communication platforms. Developed by Digium (now part of Sangoma Technologies), Asterisk is highly flexible and customizable, making it a popular choice for businesses and developers.

Key aspects and features of Asterisk
  • Telephony Features: Asterisk supports a wide range of telephony features, including call routing, call forwarding, call waiting, call transfer, conference calling, call recording, voicemail, interactive voice response (IVR), and automatic call distribution (ACD). These features allow businesses to build sophisticated communication systems.
  • Protocol Support: Asterisk supports various communication protocols, including Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), H.323, Inter-Asterisk eXchange (IAX), and others. This flexibility enables seamless integration with different types of telephony devices and services.
    IVR and Call Center Functionality: Asterisk provides robust IVR capabilities, allowing businesses to create interactive voice menus, collect user input, and automate call routing and information retrieval. It also offers features specific to call centers, such as call queuing, agent login/logout, and real-time monitoring.
  • Scalability and High Availability: Asterisk is designed to scale from small deployments to large enterprise-grade systems. It supports load balancing, failover mechanisms, and clustering to ensure high availability and reliability of the communication infrastructure.
  • Customization and Integration: Asterisk is highly customizable, allowing developers to extend its functionality with custom applications and dial plans. It provides APIs and interfaces to integrate with external systems, databases, web services, and other business applications.
  • Open-Source Community: Asterisk benefits from a large and active open-source community. This community contributes to ongoing development, provides support, and creates additional modules and applications that enhance the capabilities of Asterisk.
  • Cost Savings: As an open-source solution, Asterisk offers significant cost savings compared to proprietary communication systems. It eliminates the need for expensive licensing fees and allows businesses to leverage affordable hardware and telephony services.

Asterisk’s flexibility and extensive feature set make it a versatile platform for building communication solutions. Whether it’s a small business looking for a basic phone system or a large enterprise requiring complex call center functionality, Asterisk provides the tools and resources to create tailored and cost-effective communication systems.

Businesses can leverage Asterisk to streamline their telephony infrastructure, improve communication efficiency, and integrate voice services with other business applications. With its open-source nature and active community, Asterisk continues to evolve and adapt to the changing communication needs of businesses worldwide.