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The Beginnings - The Vision - And a Path
Our effort to develop the sipXecs IP PBX started with our involvement with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the standards body that rules the Internet. Telecommunications was always something entirely different from data networking, until the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) was invented. Like the invention of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) fundamentally changed our lives, the SIP protocol holds the potential to change our lives again.
A lot of companies build and sell IP-based communications solutions today. But there is a catch: They all remain proprietary and do not interoperate across the boundaries of a particular vendor's solution with full feature transparency. Customer lock-in still is the prevailing policy and as long as companies can get away selling PBX solutions for between $200 and $300 per seat without the phone, that model will not change. Why should it.
Our vision is quite big. But think about it. If the Internet was made up of thousands or millions of interoperable SIP proxy servers the way the Internet is filled up with interoperable email servers, we could truly communicate free and unencumbered. This is about technology of course, but first and foremost this is about providing a solution that demonstrates these capabilities while being extremely easy to use, robust and scalable. This is exactly what the sipXecs communications solution was designed to do. Provide a showcase to the industry that a standards based solution can offer all the features, be easier to use than most commercial solutions, and provide the robustness and scalability for the harsh enterprise environment. Voice is a mission critical application after all.
Many thousand deployments of the sipXecs communications solution around the world demonstrate that our vision is getting real. sipXecs has evolved to now being a serious competitor when companies evaluate buying a new phone system. And sipXecs does not just compete on price. The main metric is features and stability. With its load-sharing redundancy sipXecs has convinced many large companies that a standards base solution is simply the better choice.
sipXecs is the largest open source effort around to build a software application for unified communications using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). It is the only solution that aims at scaling to large corporate deployments with several branch offices. It is also the only solution that focused on ease of use from the beginning. And we promise not to release software before it is tested.
SIPfoundry is an independent, Massachusetts based not-for-profit organization that is governed by a board of directors. The currently active board members include:
* Dr Martin J Steinmann, President. CEO, eZuce, Inc
* Jerry Stabile, Vice President. COO< eZuce, Inc
* Al Campbell, Secretary
* Dr Pat Burns, CIO, Colorado State University
* Douglas Hubler, Maintainer of sipXconfig
sipXecs is supported by eZuce, Inc, which produces the commercial version of the software.
If you are a developer or implementor of telecommunications systems, we invite you to become active with the sipxecs project. There are many ways to become involved including development of custom software, testing of current and future features, requesting new features and improvements, development of documentation for users, administrators, etc. You don't need to be a programmer to contribute.