While the industry is abuzz about UC products from Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, Siemens, and more, nobody has given much thought on open source UC solutions. Why not? We owe much thanks to open source projects like Linux and Asterisk to create the competition and innovation seen in modern software and telephony applications. Can anyone imagine a Web without Firefox and Chrome? Or office productivity without OpenOffice? Or customer relationship management without SugarCRM? Or database systems without MySQL? Or more recently, mobile communications without Android?
So as the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, and Avaya pump out press releases and tweets like there is no tomorrow in order to gain an edge in the market buzz, I’ve wondered why there hasn’t been much news about open source UC. Obviously the free market has created the demand for UC solutions from Big Telecom, and whenever there is a demand there’s usually open source competition, especially in an enterprise application like UC.
Unfortunately, Druid’s site hasn’t seen updates since late 2009, even though the forum still has some recent activities.
Elastix is developed by an Ecuadorian company which got its start in California. The site seemed to have been last updated in July 2010.
I do hope these and more open source UC solutions survive and flourish. If the company you work for is an open source advocate then consider contributing to projects such as Druid and Elastix. Having more options to choose from on the UC menu can only be a good thing to customers.