My FreePBX Idea Is getting bashed need some backup

So we had many quotes for new phone system for my company. However I ended up persuading the higher management that Asterisk and FreePBX could be pulled off. With the help of a much lower price tag. After sending all the company’s an I regret to inform you email that they will not receive my business. I get an email saying this about the SIP services they will be providing. Can anyone tell me if they are just trying to bully me into their product? Is there any truth to these statements. I have done plenty of research on security and such. Here is what this company told me.

"There are some very important things that need to be discussed regarding the decision to deploy an freeware Asterisk based IP PBX system because deploying this type of system could very well impact SIP Trunk voice service quality. Asterisk based IP PBX systems have not passed interoperability testing with our Company or Meta-Switch (Company in question manufacturer of its IP Central Office equipment).

There are also some other concerns regarding the past and future potential security risk associated with using freeware based Asterisk IP PBX telephone system which may have not been properly disclosed."

Do all sip trunks work the same?

Thanks for the input

It’s hard to tell from whom that message came as it looks like you redacted it and I can’t tell the context. Is this your carrier?

Asterisk is fully tested and certified with Meta Switch so this is a pile of FUD. The security concerns are also no greater than any other IP based phone system and can all be mitigated with a proper security policy. As I said this is no different than Cisco Call Manager, Shoretel etc.

I have extensive experience (as does the entire Schmooze team) placing Asterisk in commercial situations. My first guess is the person shooting down the project has something to lose if one of the closed source vendors is not chosen?

We have placed Asterisk/FreePBX systems in large school districts, Higher Ed, Hospitals, Senior Care, Stock Brokers, Call Centers, Fortune 1000’s, you get the idea. Tens of thousands of successful deployment stories. I didn’t do the job but I have personal knowledge of a TV broadcasting network using Asterisk.

I can help you answer your objectors, let me know the details.

Good luck.

Turn it back around on them, I would ask them what about their SIP trunks don’t comply with industry standard SIP protocols?

Then you could explain how OSS development can actually be more secure than propriety code that is only managed by a handful of developers within the confines of a private company. Then you could mention the fact that most of the Fortune 1000 companies use Asterisk Based solutions.

This wording is (probably intentionally) ambiguous. Has the testing been performed and Asterisk failed (in which case why not say that) or has no Asterisk testing been performed (and if not, why not)? In either case, this is NOT A SHORTCOMING OF ASTERISK, it is a shortcoming of their company. Perhaps you should ask why they actively discourage serving 15%** of the SIP trunk market. If they won’t provide SIP service to you, there are many that will.

All IP systems require someone to diligently secure and maintain them. If part of the cost for the proprietary system is to provide a guarantee against breeches due to future security issues, that is definitely something to consider. If, as I suspect, there are oceans of fine print on their purchase agreement that disclaims responsibility for all security issues, you might inquire how their system is superior to an open system.

Proprietary systems have definite strengths over open systems, but price isn’t usually one of them. If these providers can’t provide a list benefits that clearly distinguish the value of their systems, and instead feel the need to spread FUD of the competition, that speaks volumes to me.

** I went looking for stats and found two references to this market share percentage, but neither looked particularly authoritative.

The key is the folks at Metaswitch have performed Asterisk Interop testing.

This is the Carrier yes. They tried to sell us a Phone system of their own. I emailed them told them we would not be purchasing their product Allworx and this is the email that my CFO got from them. I have a phone conference today to talk about it with my CFO. This information should really help.

Do you know if carriers will setup a sip line to test their meta switch?

I see what your saying.

The vendor said “deploy an freeware Asterisk based IP PBX system”. I am wondering what their IP PBX is based on? It is probably just an Asterisk system that the built them self.

Here is a quick comparison based on information publicly available on Allworx site.

Allworx Supports only four phone models, if Allworx goes out of business will you have to resort to ebay to buy replacement phones and parts? Like Nortel customers do today?
FreePBX Commercial EPM 160+ phones and devices.

Many Allworx features require additional license fees, examples include: Conference Center, Duel Language Support, Calling Queues etc.
FreePBX includes these items by default.
Allworx, Voice Mail is limited to licensed ports, 8-16 ports depending on which server you go with, FreePBX does not have restrictions like traditional PBXs.
Feature upgrades with Allworx have to be purchased separate, or a five year package can be purchased only within the first 90 days after deployment.

FreePBX users can support themselves, use a system integrator or resellers or come to Schmooze for commercial support, hardware and software. (Shameless Plug: When choosing s system integrator try to use ones that are FreePBX Certified… or if installing and maintaining yourself consider OTTS, see the training link above).

Quote from the Allworx website:

“Allworx systems and support are only available through our network of Authorized Partners. Allworx products are NOT self-installable and MUST be purchased, installed and serviced by an Allworx Authorized Partner. Allworx Authorized Partners are the ONLY providers of authorized technical support and warranties. Any product purchased outside of this network of Authorized Partners may not be eligible for any support, service or warranty coverage.”

That’s just a quick review without touching the usability and interface of their phones and the PBX system in general.

Bwahahaha, en garde monsieur!

Ya’ll speak Canadian…EH?

This is normal spoiling tactics that I’ve seen a lot from companies who want to you purchase whichever Avaya or Mitel model they want to tell you so they try to muddy the waters and tell you how risky it is to install an Asterisk based system. As mentioned previously the fact that they have not certified Asterisk is their problem. Why not offer to give them an Asterisk system built on an old PC to certify?

I do know certain SIP trunk providers in the UK who will not support Asterisk (again usually because they want to sell something much more expensive). However there are others who are more than willing to embrace Asterisk. I had an issue a while back with a SIP trunk provider who had not yet certified Asterisk so I built a small system, sent it to them, and they certified it within a week!

Tell them that you are looking elsewhere for a different provider (even if you are not). That might kick them into some sort of action!

If this gentleman does not have his executive sponsorship then any of these tactics will be a challenge. I am not sure why a provider would have skin in the game on the system selection but they are sure tossing around the FUD.

I certainly would have no issue spending a few minutes with your supervisor. Who knows what potential personality issues are clouding the process?

Remember we are keeping the world free from the tyrany of proprietary phone systems. You could where one of our new t-shirts to work!

Love the T-Shirt!

we ran the open source version of freepbx side by side with our avaya definity - having the two linked together for nearly 4 years …

about three months ago we took the plunge at our headquarters implementing the commercial version - if ‘freeware’ is an issue go with the commercial version and Schmooze support; in addition to the HQ PBXact install we recently brought up another office on a local installation and also have two PBXact cloud instances; honestly if you’re a business i dont see why anyone would not use the commercial version if its going to be the primary voice system

our phones serve a logistics call center with over 120 local and remote extensions - if you want to talk about sip quality and pricing look no further than sipstation and flowroute, the latter currently doing it better than anyone in the industry - changes coming to sipstation should level out the playing field soon

we’ve exponentially increased the feature set to users , at the same time removed most all of the administration headaches (work with an Avaya someday and you’ll understand ) and cut our long distance spend by more than 50% - if i were a carrier selling a phone system i’m not sure i would have much good to say about a system with ‘options’ other than the one i was selling

get with preston and find a reseller in your area -

one happy schmooze customer
ps - if your CFO would like to talk to our’s that could be arranged …

I offered like you said the response I received was this.

You should ask Asterisk support to supply you with a Media-Gateway model for SIP trunk through the Meta-Switch. That is the best hope of making sure that SIP trunk works properly with MetaSwitch.

Any Ideas?

I found the exact instructions on how to setup metaswitch with Asterisk. Case closed.