Note: Steve Burke of CRN posted this story about AsteriskNow. Personally I have been playing with AsteriskNow for our office system. I wasn't too hard to setup once you knew how the installer worked. I hope there will be a Asterisk Now "How-To" coming out soon. Here is some of Steve's article:
"Solution providers searching "Mark Spencer" on YouTube will find not only a bizarre clip about a homemade cake and humorous downloads regarding British department store Marks & Spencer, but a sure-fire way to increase sales in the lucrative IP PBX and VoIP market courtesy of Asterisk open-source PBX creator Mark Spencer."
Spencer, founder, chairman and CTO of Asterisk provider Digium, Huntsville, Ala., is a onetime Linux service provider who has taken to YouTube to promote AsteriskNow, a new GUI-powered version of the popular open-source PBX aimed at attracting a new wave of solution providers.
In the 4-minute, 13-second clip
, Spencer takes viewers through the quick and easy AsteriskNow install. That's no small matter. What the new single-disk GUI install does is dramatically lower the cost of entry for solution providers looking to get into the open-source telecom game. Before AsteriskNow, solution providers would have to add some high-priced, open-source technical talent with Asterisk expertise to their staff at a cost of $100,000 to $150,000, Spencer said.
Now solution providers can get their feet wet in a couple of minutes and begin using the software in SMB solutions without a deep technical dive. For Spencer, the new software marks a stepped-up march of his vision to bring the open-source PBX and VoIP system to the masses. He said 2006 was all about making progress with VARs and customers in the early adopter stage. "2007 is going to be where we start making inroads into the early majority," he said. "We've now got a way to get VARs into this much faster. You don't have to be afraid of having to load Linux or Asterisk or anything like that. We're delivering that with all the power of open source behind it."