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Fonality Acquires Trixbox 50

An anonymous reader writes "MySQL's Brian Aker has a good commentary on the big news in acquisitions today that Fonality has acquired Trixbox, the Linux Telephony distribution." From the article: "So why is this big news? Trixbox is the distribution for telephony on Linux today. They have put together a vertical Linux distribution dedicated to telephony. It combines Asterisk with a web based interface backed by MySQL, integrated into the SugarCRM solution. As Redhat today is the LAMP of the IT Enterprise and Web Framework, (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP), Trixbox is the LAMP stack of the Telephony market, Linux , Asterisk, MySQL, Perl/PHP."
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Fonality Acquires Trixbox

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  • WTF? (W == "Who") (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mad.frog ( 525085 ) <steven@crinklinP ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:18PM (#16312965)
    Am I the only one who saw this headline and wondered just who either of these companies were?

    Usually, company acquisitions worthy of a /. headline involve at least one company I've *heard* of...
    • by drpimp ( 900837 )
      Trixbox is a project name (aka. Asterisk@Home predecessor) not a company, but I agree I have no idea who Fonality is.
    • They are big players in the asterisk market. I'd put each in the top 5 most important projects/companies to Asterisk adoption.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Riktov ( 632 )
        >>>They are big players in the asterisk market.

        As in, "who the f*** are these companies??"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dorkmunder ( 950796 )
      Trixbox was the next iteration of the Asterisk@Home ISO which is a fantastic, super easy to install instant PBX for home or work. For a $30 dollar special modem card (an FXO) and a slightly old PC, you can quickly have a full fledged PBX system up and running in about 20 minutes. It has all the modules you could need to do even fancy PBX configurations built in. This is a huge deal. This is something that could finally get those scam artists at places like Avaya to stop charging exorbitant prices for 30 yea
  • LAMP buzzword (Score:3, Informative)

    by m0rph3us0 ( 549631 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:21PM (#16313017)
    The whole article reads like a press release. I really like the integration of the epic struggle between Linux and Microsoft. Telephony isn't Microsoft's market. The big company that Trixbox / Asterisk is competing against are PBX vendors like Avaya or NEC. Or long distance telcos to a lesser extent as well as more directly against Cisco.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )
      Correct, though Microsoft DOES have telephony solution softwares. Not that it matters though.
    • >Telephony isn't Microsoft's market.

      FYI, Last I checked the "PBX vendors like Avaya, NEC and Cisco" do use/require a Microsoft Server, and license to provide a VOIP solution. 4 years ago I got quotes from Cisco, and Avaya, don't recall NEC, but both required a microsoft server. I do believe they had a seperate box connected to the server, but the server was required. I ended up with Asterisk custom install, which I followed to the Asterisk@Home at 1.0.

      I just moved to Trixbox image this week, so far th
      • FYI, Last I checked the "PBX vendors like Avaya, NEC and Cisco" do use/require a Microsoft Server, and license to provide a VOIP solution.

        Let me check on this, your argument is that since Avaya, NEC, and Cisco use NT as their server platform rather than something that makes more sense, that Microsoft has VoIP technology?

        Well let me tell ya buddy, you're on fucking crack. The VoIP solutions from all of these vendors do their heavy lifting in hardware. Windows is there to run the configuration tool, st

        • FYI, microsoft is (generaly) a software company, all of their heavy lifting is done by other companys hardware.

          Using trixbox for a PBX is another location where the microsoft tax is being displaced by linux.

          guess you didn't read my whole post, stopped at that line?
          thanks for the meaningless post, I simply said the MS server was required in all those solutions, and you never disputed that, or added any new content that I could find.
  • They have put together a vertical Linux distribution dedicated to telephony.

    As opposed to a horizontal linux distribution dedicated to telephony? As opposed to a diagonal distribution? A vertical distribution that is dedicated to something other than telephony?

    The sentence up there is composed as if it conveyed some kind of information, but that may be misleading...

  • This is a good thing (Score:4, Informative)

    by WillRobinson ( 159226 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:27PM (#16313125) Journal
    Trixbox is the renamed Asterisk@home project. Which is a complete open source PBX. Andrew had maintained the whole thing for a long time, and its good that a commercial company who is in this end of the business, is providing support via money / extra hands. Hopefully another good example of the FOSS way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by huckda ( 398277 )
      have you seen Fonality's products?
      nothing special to speak of...
      As a matter of fact I chose Asterisk@Home over them for a number of reasons...
      the way they base their support...the COST of that support(simply for software updates)...lack of support(financially) for those doing the actual footwork/installations onsite(bill your own hours, but once you've set it up...we'll take all of the support money thanks)

      Their software that they have developed is nice...but will they let you just buy the software, NO..you
  • My employer is a Fonality reseller and we do well selling them to small businesses. I have been bugging them for a year to integrate with sugarcrm since crm and a directory is a shortcoming of asterisk but something asterisk @ home made easy with cisco 7960 type phones. This a great event for small companies that cant afford a $100,000 cisco call manager, believe me.
  • FreePBX (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rob from RPI ( 4309 ) <xrobau@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:50PM (#16313447) Homepage
    I'm the lead deveoper for freePBX [freepbx.org], which is the GUI for Asterisk that Trixbox uses, and I was a bit surprised by this announcement. The CEO of Fonality has clarified things a bit in a comment to my original post [freepbx.org] when I first heard about this. The linked blog entry is pretty much incorrect, from what I can see. I've also posted on the trixbox forums [trixbox.org] and Chris also explained a bit more there about what's going on.

    However, FreePBX _is still free_ - It hasn't been bought, it's still pure Open Source, and it's not forking to a non-free addition, so don't panic. Trixbox is just a wrapper for asterisk and freepbx (and, obviously, a couple of other things), and Fonality have bought the wrapper, not the package.

    I'll leave to to your previously scheduled conspiracy theories now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jedaustin ( 52181 )
      I'm not sure the Fonality acquisition is a good or bad thing.
      I'm hoping they'll put some funds and people towards working out the bugs rather than adding more features.

      I really like asterisk and AMP/FreePBX make it easy to manage. If I could fix a few issues such as low volume on bridged zaptel calls, timeouts that don't work for custom extensions (such as to my cell phone) that cause unanswered calls to go to my cell phone's voicemail instead of asterisk's, and an annoying dtmf issue where extensions that
    • by e4g4 ( 533831 )
      Rob, let me just say thanks to you for your work on FreePBX. I have a TrixBox installation that I manage for my (relatively small) office, and FreePBX makes that really quite simple, I now spend more time on the web interface than in the backend. So all that said, I hope this acquisition remains the "good thing" it seems to be at the moment. At any rate, I hope at the very least that you get your pinball machine :-P.
    • What about hardware?

      Sure I can get Asterisk and whatnot for free, but you still need the hardware to run it on, and I have been unable to find info anywhere on how to build a cheap PBX. I look at the hardware that you can plug into a PCI slot (sold by the vendor that makes Asterisk), and the prices are so high that when all is said and done, I might as well just buy an actual commercial phone switch.

      How does one going about making a cheap PBX that has a few external POTS lines, and a half dozen or so inter
      • I have been told that there are certain softmodems -- ones that use a particular Intel chipset -- that you can find for under $10 that will work under Asterix in place of the proprietary cards. I think it's the Intel 537 series chipsets that are the key. Since all they do is bridge the phone line to the computer, they can be used for voice or data given appropriate software. Given how few modems I've seen in stores lately, eBay may be your friend.

        Might want to see this article:
        A $10 Linux Answering Machine [linuxtoys.org]

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
      First of all thanks for FreePBX.
      Do you have a company of your own or do you work for a company that offers support for FreePBX.
      If we could get one feature added it would work great for what we need.
      The feature is one that is on our current phone system so I bet other would find it useful. It is an option for "remote delivery" of voice mail.
      The way it works is when a voice mail goes to a certain box the system then calls out to a preset phone number. When you answer that phone you are at a voice mail menu. Y
  • by noahisaac ( 956470 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:54PM (#16313517) Homepage
    I'm an asterisk admin and user, and I try to stay active on the asterisk user mailing list. I know who both Fonality and Trixbox are, and I had to wonder why this made the front page of slashdot.

    I guess it is important, though, because trixbox is an open source project, and the trixbox developers are now going to be paid to develop it. Fonality will reap the rewards when they install it for their clients. It's a good example of how an open source business can work.
  • It's not my website so I can't argue with what gets posted to the front page but this has to goes in my who gives a shit news pile. I'll have to agree with the OP in that W=WHO would apply also. I am sure we'll get dozens of posts from people who know everything about the project down to the MD5 hash of each file, but I bet you could fill a ton of backend MySQL databases with the number of people who haven't heard of them.
  • but without sounding tooooo much of the type, I must say this is great news for the fledgling industry I call home. I'm still surprised how young this is, and how little the world seems to know about it. Get in now, spend the years mastering it, and you will retire very rich, trust me :)
  • Silly Wabbit (Score:1, Redundant)

    by EQ ( 28372 )
    Trixbox is for Kids!

    (Sorry couldn't resist).
  • When will Asterisk build a distributed system that is easier to scale or is its sole purpose now small to media sized businesses?
  • by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:06PM (#16315135)
    http://nerdvittles.com/index.php?p=148 [nerdvittles.com] (Too lazy to do a proper link tonight).
  • by ubercombatwombat ( 803501 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:26PM (#16315329) Homepage
    Are you seriously looking at this or just looking to flame? The real story is that software we can download (either Trixbox or just CentOS, Asterisk and FreePBX) and install on a standard PC that will function better then $100,000.00+ system from Nortel that costs maybe $5000.00 plus phones. At my day job we have a $600,000.00 Nortel with about another 150K of hardware in the system. It is going to be replaced with an Asterisk based system over the next few years. Maybe a Fonality Box or a Digium Appliance? Possibly one of those with something of my own making attached via IAX2 trunking. At any rate it will be a system that rivals the current offerings by just about everyone. At a much lower cost.

    Not to mention the sheer geekiness of Trixbox. It makes a killer home hack. You can control X10 from your phone. Tie your doorbell in as an extension and answer the door with your phone using hardware from home base. On and on.

    On my home business, if I don't answer, the user gets the option of trying my cell phone or go to voice mail. If I don't answer the cell then Trixbox takes over and goes to internal voicemail which is then emailed to me. Makes the cell phone usable without giving anyone my cell number.

    Thing is that we all use phones and there is a major shift underway with regards to what with and how we use voice communications. Very exiting on a lot of levels.

  • I work for a large VoIP SP and I can say that Trixbox isn't the LAMP stack of the Telephony market (at least yet).
  • "MySQL's Brian Aker has..."

    Hey wassup Brain Ache!
    I bet he heard that in the playground...
    They say sarchasm is the lowest for of wit, I think we need to recount the vote because 'making fun of names' should be elected #1.

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