[VoiceOps] Which Softswitch?

Jesse Howard jhoward at ShoreTel.com
Mon Jun 29 12:58:52 EDT 2015

To your point Alex,

The question isn't really about which softswitch. It is about which front end works with customers and which backend fits my needs to audit vendors and bill customers. The underlying communications technology (admittedly I am biased towards OSS myself) of how to connect to vendors and devices and what features can be offered is kind of a wash except in rare specific cases.

Going into how much technical work you are willing and able to put in to expand that base offering into your vision is step 1 in evaluating any platform. Sweat equity is a real thing and directly relates to your margins. The trick though is that just because you sweat, doesn't mean there is any guarantee of payout. There is no "A" for effort.

Jesse Howard

-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Balashov [mailto:abalashov at evaristesys.com]
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2015 11:03 AM
To: voiceops at voiceops.org
Subject: Re: [VoiceOps] Which Softswitch?

‎I would agree with that assessment. However, as long as you're aware of what you're getting into and the structural requirements of its operation, OSS is more pivotable and flexible, and can be pivoted and flexed better and faster. That's a big if/as-long-as, though. I emphatically concur that OSS is _not_ free--nothing like free.

To that end, it offers economic benefits for more than just tinkerers. Moreover, it's not a black/white continuum. We sell a commercial product based on OSS technology elements. Which side of this dichotomy is our solution in? Those customers who like to tinker can benefit from that. Those who don't can -- and they do -- treat it as a black box and don't care how it works inside. Both camps represent happy customers for us.

Peter Beckman did make an excellent point, however: the Internet of today was built out of open standards and open technologies. Everything we do, even deep in the caverns of proprietary corporate development, is inextricably bound up in OSS. So, to say that it is somehow constitutionally, ipso facto unsuitable for "production" is practically unintelligible. ‎
Alex Balashov | Principal | Evariste Systems LLC
303 Perimeter Center North, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30346
United States

Tel: +1-800-250-5920 (toll-free) / +1-678-954-0671 (direct)
Web: http://www.evaristesys.com/, http://www.csrpswitch.com/

Sent from my BlackBerry.
  Original Message
From: Peter Rad.
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2015 11:53
To: voiceops at voiceops.org
Subject: [VoiceOps] Which Softswitch?

Alex, either way - open source or commercial - you have a dependency.

I have consulted for many companies offering Hosted VoIP of all flavors in North America. What I have found is that most people serious about delivering a quality service go the commercial route for scalability, support, less risk and known quantity.

The ones that go open source, generally tinker. They are more enamored with the tech than the service.

I have clients that use a combo of switches - Acme or Sansay with Asterisk and Meta and Taqua and BSFT.

In either scenario - open source vs. commercial - retaining talent is significant.

It isn't like if you go open source all your problems are easily solved.

And I have seen spectacular failures from companies that went cheap, went open and crashed, because the mentality was go open, it is inexpensive. However, there is overhead with that including knowing how to cluster for scale, which very few people know how to do effectively.

There is nothing wrong with open source as long as the mentality is: I am going that route to save money and offer VoIP as cheaply as possible.
That is a disaster.

One last example: M5 before Shoretel bought them. They dumped M6/BSFT and built their own platform. The cost of the developers to keep the platform running and upgraded was just a little cheaper than the BSFT mafia vig.

There isn't a way around the cost of putting together a carrier grade service delivery platform. You pay it one way or another.

Just my 2 cents from over 10 years of consulting on VoIP.


Peter Radizeski @ RAD-INFO INC
Circuits * Bandwidth * Consulting
(813) 963-5884

"The clever ones get support contracts for core open source software from the open source software project"

Oh, indeed. But it just doesn't feel as satisfying as having a long dependency chain of medium-to-large companies to blame, escalating that blame through sclerotic TACs and offshore NOCs. :-) ‎
Alex Balashov | Principal | Evariste Systems LLC
303 Perimeter Center North, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30346
United States

Tel: +1-800-250-5920 (toll-free) / +1-678-954-0671 (direct) Web:http://www.evaristesys.com/, http://www.csrpswitch.com/

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