Travel agency hops on the Asterisk bus

By   |  September 26, 2007

SafariNow, an online travel agency specialising in accommodation around southern Africa, is the most recent company to announce its choice of the [1]open source[/1] program [2]Asterisk[/2] to improve its telephony systems.

The company selected Connection Telecom to implement an Asterisk Internet Protocol (IP) private branch exchange (PBX) solution when it recently moved to new premises.

Asterisk is the most popular open source PBX software and it is being adopted by a rapidly growing number of companies. In addition to the savings that the program offers by cutting out the cost of proprietary systems, it has also been a popular choice for the way in which it can be customised to solve a range of business telephony challenges.

"The nature of our business meant that it would be advantageous to allow our staff to telecommute, but this was not possible with our previous system," said Mark Derman, technical director at SafariNow.

"As an online operation, everything in the organisation – except for our telephone system – was already able to operate over the internet. As a result of the Asterisk solution implemented by Connection Telecom, our telephone system can now do the same."

Derman added that this would allow them to implement remote staff across the country.

According to Rob Lith, managing director of Connection Telecom, although it is a much more cost effective option, Asterisk provides a level of functionality that exceeds many of the more expensive traditional systems.

"As Asterisk is open source-based, not only does it provide features such as voicemail, voice menus, IVR and teleconferencing, it also allows new features to be added rapidly and with minimal effort," said Lith.

Derman explained that the ability to implement new features with ease made Asterisk an attractive option. "For some time we had been frustrated by our lack of control over the system we had been using. As a company that is technically savvy, we required a system that would enable us to have complete ownership and make changes ourselves as and when necessary."

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