Business Case

Hi All

I need to put together a business case for Asterisk, and would grateful for any input from forum members.

As a company we are looking at inviting an individual we have worked with in the past on numerous Telephony solutions, but they have all been using ‘traditional’ PBX systems. With his experience and our technical skills (and Asterisk) I feel there is good synergy.

I have been playing about with Asterisk (mostly through my interest in open source) and I personally think there is strong case, but I thought I’d open it to you guys to get your input.



depending on your configuration and your level of pain, it really helps to have someone who understands Asterisk serving you. The telephony side is also very critical (they are both needed). From what you know about them and what you’ve learned yourself, you are probably in the best position to guage. One thing you may want to consider is bringing in a knowledgable consultant to aid your vendor on the learning curve, or something like that.


The cost savings can be significant. I just brought up two locations for my employer with 45 extensions at one location and 33 extensions at the other. They each have a single PRI line and are connected with a point-to-point T1 line that carries both voice and data traffic between the locations. Total cost for the phones (73 Snom 320s and 5 Snom 360s with sidecars), two asterisk servers with Sangoma A102 cards, two Linux based routers with Sangoma A102 cards, 96 ports of switched Ethernet with POE, and other misc. networking support gear totalled close to $45K US.

As a comparison, the cheapest bid I got for just the location with 45 phones was slightly more than $50K. That was from a 3COM dealer and wouldn’t have included a lot of the network odds and ends.

The downside to doing it yourself (for me anyway) is as follows:

Training - Have the entire system operational and create the necessary guides and cheat sheets before EVER letting someone touch a phone.
Workload - I have other things to do so supporting this system initially ate up a lot of my time.
Best Practices - I was talked into changing some of my default timeouts to shorter periods which caused problems while people were still learning the system. They ended up needing more time to complete transfers, etc. than they thought.
Feature Creep - Can it do ____? Because it is capable of so much and there is no additional cost in enabling a feature (as opposed to something like 3COM or Cisco) management is more likely to ask for features. Nail down the feature set and hold to it.

My $.02