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In addition to the broader market purview, Digium is doing channel recruitment in its figurative backyard: the Asterisk community, which while dominated by Digium certainly isn't owned by it. Butler said the demand for Asterisk integration among channel partners and developers also has expanded due to the overall popularity of Asterisk-based solutions. Digium earlier this year hired a well-known Asterisk engineer, David Duffett, to take over as its Asterisk Community director and brought previous director Bryan Johns into its product management team.
"We're really getting after Asterisk integrators," Butler said. "A lot of them have always known who Digium is and just for whatever reason haven't been part of our program. Maybe they wanted to be anonymous, who knows? But we're opening our program to them and welcoming them with targeted efforts."
Angie Reed, Digium's product marketing manager for Switchvox, said Digium will continue to focus both on bigger-picture strategic priorities, such as the phones, while keeping steady the software updates to Switchvox that its tech-centric converts seek. The newer Switchvox software version 5.5.4, for example, includes registration-host failover to alternate servers, the ability of the user to specifically select which Switchvox phone network to use, and an expanded list of Plantronics headsets for which the system's Electronic Hook Switch feature is compatible.
But one of the channel priorities, she said, will be encouraging more partners to leverage Digium's Switchvox Extend API, which enables the integration of Switchvox with other business applications through the use of common programming languages such as PHP and PERL.
"We do see quite a few people starting to use it," Reed said. "We see it as a way to do more custom applications."
One partner taking advantage of the app development aspect of Switchvox is Dynamic Solutions Group, a Palm Harbor, Fla.-based solution provider that on several occasions has used Digium's developer tools to tie Switchvox systems to customers' other business applications, such as call reporting.
"The nice thing with Switchvox is that flexibility," Jim Watt, Dynamics president and CEO, told CRN. "You can sell the Switchvox on its own features, but then go to the business and add the integration, and once you do that the value and ROI for them is even better and the value from you is even better."
Dynamics became a Digium convert in 2010 following many years as a Nortel shop.
"We really liked the Nortel Business Communications Manager [VoIP system]," he said. "When Nortel went bankrupt, we weren't big fans of Avaya, so we started researching different systems out there, from, you name it, ShoreTel to Barracuda and everything else. We tried Microsoft ResponsePoint, and then they pulled the plug on that [in 2010]. So we came upon Switchvox, became a partner and have just been cruising along as fast as we can. It's a great set of features -- like a Swiss Army Knife."