RoundTable Asterisk

One of the hottest topics at the whole RoundTable was Asterisk. I lucked out and ended up sitting right next to Andrew Mitry in my room, who also runs Asterisk. We were able to offer some good info to our session I believe and were able to talk to a number of interested individuals during the Topic Bazaar this afternoon. There’s definitely a huge interest for it in the non-profit/charity arena and I think that a consultant could do extremely well catering to this niche market. I probably talked to enough folks today alone to keep me busy for the next six months or longer if I was taking on that kind of work.

So, aside from the interest from all the participants, what does Asterisk have to do with the RoundTable in general?

In my opinion, I think that what may have been the biggest flaw of the entire RoundTable was that we weren’t able to capture all the “run-off” from each of the breakout rooms so that guys from the other rooms can absorb it later. This isn’t a complaint aimed at Clif and his team from COR (who did an AMAZING job at planning this), but it is something that was talked a lot about and I hope that it’s something we can work out technically before the next one. This could actually be a good place to use Asterisk and allow participants to see it in action! Assuming the network infrastructure would support this scenario (really needs to have wired drops), one could run an Asterisk install in a virtual machine from a laptop and connect a couple of good quality SIP phones to it – one in each room. The Aastra’s I use at ESI have a great speakerphone and could do this easily I believe. Then, just run the Monitor() app and they’re recording! This could actually be extended even further. Some random ideas:

  • Folks from outside the physical space can dial in
  • One-way only streaming
  • Inter-room conferencing[1]

I really do have a lot more ideas, but it’s now 12:15 AM here in Central Time and I have to be ready for the shuttle to the airport at 5:30. Who else has thoughts on what we might could do? Let your imagination go wild and leave a comment – chances are, “the answer is yes.”
[1] For the “touch points” that didn’t work at all this time. This would be audio only unless we got some H.323 phones.