linuxdlsazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2007

We pick the companies that are defining the future of Information Technology and will have the most impact on the Open Enterprises of 2007. It's the inaugural edition of our 20 Companies to Watch list and we guarantee that every company here will challenge how you think about Linux and Open Source before the year is out.


You might not think “disruptive technology” when you think of a PBX system, but hey, this is the 21st century — anything goes! Open source PBX maker Asterisk got a major boost for its potential industry-changing technology with a financial infusion from the same venture capitalists that funded JBoss.

The company made good use of the money, refining its software-based PBX system over the past year. Running on Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X, Asterisk does VoIP in many protocols, and can interoperate with nearly all standards-based telephony equipment. As an added bonus, it can function using relatively inexpensive hardware, which means that enterprises can get open source PBX on the cheap.

Asterisk even throws in the whole shebang when it comes to standard phone features, like voicemail services, call conferencing, call queuing, and that annoying-to-customers but occasionally useful system known as interactive voice response. Press one to hear more about Asterisk… Those who want VoIP usually don’t have to scramble for additional hardware, either. Asterisk supports a number of devices, particularly those manufactured by its sponsor, Digium, which is helmed by Mark Spencer, original Asterisk writer.

Part of what should make Digium and Asterisk worth tracking in 2007 is the effect of its recent launch, an all-in-one Asterisk Appliance Developer Kit, which precedes a big push by Digium to conquer the telephony appliance market. The company is also due to release an Embedded Business Edition as a software platform that accompanies the appliance.

Want to hang out with Mark Spencer and soak up the sunshine of disruptive technology? Just be one of the first 50 to buy the kit and you’ll have your chance.

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