What is Asterisk? The open source IP telephony program

Asterisk, what is it

You are surely wondering what exactly is Asterisk. This open source project that some companies of all sizes talk about so much, as well as some government agencies and call centers for telemarketers.

And the truth is, its popularity is fully founded, even more so in times of pandemic, since it can contribute many benefits for nothing, as it is completely free and open source.

What is an IP PBX?

Asterisk, how to install

Before I start to explain what Asterisk is and what it is for, you should first know what is a telephone switchboard if you still don't know. Well, a switchboard is nothing more than a series of hardware / software devices to center all the telephones in an office, building or area, establishing connections with different users.

In the case of referring to a IP switchboardIt is simply the same, but it will use LAN and WAN networks, using IP protocols to make connections. That is, instead of using traditional telephone networks, VoIP services are used over the Internet.

Sure you had to call More than once to public administrations, health services, or companies, where they have kept you waiting while an agent was free to assist you. Or maybe you have answered some questions to a virtual assistant who has then passed you to the appropriate department according to your needs. Well, that system is precisely a telephone switchboard ...

What is Asterisk?

Asterisk is a free and open source software designed to create communication applications, such as IP telephony systems, VoIP Gateways, conference servers, and other customized solutions for your company or organization. That is why it is so used by many agencies, governments and companies.

It is in constant development, therefore it is a very live project with constant updates and fixes. For all this, it has established itself as one of the main engines of IP-based PBXs in the world.

Although it was initially created as switchboard software, other necessary components were later added to make a complete and powerful communications system. What's more, Asterisk is scalable, another of the strong points if you plan to adapt it to entities of all kinds of sizes. From SMEs that need something simple to coordinate incoming and outgoing calls, to the most complex Call Centers.

Unlike traditional phone systems, no need to renew expensive hardware installations. In addition, its developers are responsible for introducing improvements every year so that the system requires minimal maintenance and is as stable as possible.

Why is it the world's leading platform?

Asterisk is not just any platform, it is one of the leaders as I have already mentioned. It allows you to create a switchboard based on this project and that is fully functional. Also has features that stand out compared to other similar services:

  • Automatic or on-demand call recording function, with advanced voicemail functions.
  • Ability for local and remote agents to establish their customer service center anywhere on the planet.
  • Automatic attendant for the reception and management of incoming calls.
  • System to make and manage call queues effectively between available agents, putting customers on hold and keeping them on hold.

Certainly one great alternative for 3CX in terms of PBX phone systems.

More information - Asterisk official website

How can Asterisk help your business?

Asterisk, alternatives

Asterisk it is a very interesting technology for business, even if you are self-employed. Even more so in times of pandemic, since it can provide you with many advantages to adapt to new circumstances and continue to operate normally. With it you can transform your PC into a sophisticated VoIP communications server to facilitate the telephone assistance of your clients.

As I have mentioned before, Asterisk is used in all types of companies and entities. From some freelancers who already use the IP switchboard, to large companies such as IBM, Google, governments, etc. In fact, it already has an 18% share, since it is open source, free, and very powerful.

Asterisk is one of the systems with more functionalities, scalable, and one of those that provide more stability. And, best of all, it's available to various platforms: GNU / Linux, macOS, BSD, and Windows.

Advantages of Asterisk

When talking about a IP telephone exchange, or IP PBX, refers to one or more SIP phones (clients) and a server that is the one that you can mount with Asterisk on your PC. That is, the system would have these two parts, on the one hand the software and on the other the terminals.

So that? Well, very simple, in this way you can make an internal call through a phone / user directory present in the internal network, or also route external calls via VoIP. That way, you can set up your own call center to serve your customers, divide incoming calls by departments or workers, etc.

HR and advantages of this system implemented by Astreisk are:

  • Te will facilitate installation and configuration of your own telephone switchboard, since it is implemented by software, instead of expensive and complex hardware systems.
  • Asterisk also allows a easy administration due to its simple and intuitive interface.
  • Important savings by using VoIP telephony instead of having to contract expensive conventional telephone services where long distance or international calls are often expensive.
  • You will not need to make modifications in your home, in your new position for teleworking, or in your office, since no need for special wiring.
  • Being scalable, you can gradually add clients (telephones) so that more departments or operators join the assistance network.
  • As it makes your work much easier and allows you to channel calls, route them to the operator that is free at all times, etc., it will save you from having to manually transfer the call and it will greatly improve productivity.
  • Asterisk allows the use of SIP phones, which improves the usability.

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