The non-profit SIPFoundry organizationhas released version 3.0 of its open source IP PBX sipXpbx.
The new release is being hailed by its developers as a milestone release that delivers a, "fundamentally new approach to addressing the real time communications needs within the enterprise market."
The last major release of sipXpbx was the 2.8.1 versionback in May of 2005.
Martin J. Steinmann member of the SIPFoundry board of directors explained that the most significant new feature is the significantly enhanced and expanded plug-and-play management system called Configuration Server. Steinmann explained that the Configuration Server provides Web based management of the entire PBX system, as well as plug-and-play management of all attached devices such as phones and gateways.
"This frees customers from 'vendor lock' and gives them a choice of endpoints, while still maintaining ease of use and centralized system administration, configuration, monitoring, and firmware upgrades," Steinmann told VoIPplanet.com.SOAPbased) interface that allows easy integration into an existing Enterprise IT infrastructure."
There are still a number of barriers to adoption of sipXpbx by enterprise users. The greatest of these, according to Steinmann, remains brand recognition and trust vis-a-vis the major incumbent vendors.
"An Enterprise Communications system that offers complete functionality for voice, video, and presence at a price 50 percent less than competitive offerings and at the same time is fully standards based and interoperable represents a great offer," Steinmann said.
From a technical perspective the new version is a "step in the right direction" according to Steinmann, with many new features and support for additional third-party phones and gateways.
"Release 3 also opened the door to adoption by large enterprises, where the biggest implementation to date will reach 3,000 seats by February 2006," Steinmann said.
The principal competition for sipXpbx isn't necessarily other open-source projects like Asterisknor is it specifically targeted at proprietary applications.
"This market is not about open-source versus non-open-source," Steinmann explained. "Look at open-source as a great way to give free demos, away. The open-source subscription business model allows us to acquire customers at significantly lower cost."
Beyond lower customer acquisition costs, the open-source model also offers the promise of better quality software, given community peer review and participation.
"Combining better quality software with a lower customer acquisition cost, sales, and support model, we believe, is a winning formula incumbent vendors will struggle with for quite some time to come," Steinmann said. "With release 3 we have proven that we can consistently win against incumbent vendors like Avaya and Cisco, and we see this expand as some of the customer success stories are paving the way."