Sponsorships & Scholarships

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Sponsorships

As you read this post please notice the new Corporate Sponsorship column we have added to help support the further development of this great project. There are many of you who benefit from FreePBX for your business or sell systems to your customers.

For those of you who have given or continue to provide us support though buttons like this:
















Donate

we are always appreciative. To augment this, we have provided premium space on our site to recognize and encourage Corporate Sponsors to provide support on an ongoing basis. We are thrilled and grateful to announce our first Sponsor, Sangoma Technologies Inc., the premium provider of universal telephony cards for superior voice quality. (Because it must work!) If you are interested in sponsorship information, please send me (p_lindheimer) a private message or email to info at freepbx dot org. We are looking forward to enrolling more sponsors to help accelerate the growth of FreePBX.

Scholarships

For those of you who have been keeping your eyes on the May Open Telephony Training Seminar, wondering if vendors would offer scholarship coupons as occurred in our last training, your wishes have come true! In addition to Sangoma’s above mentioned sponsorship, they really liked what they saw the first time around and are back to provide 2 Scholarships for a savings of $500 for our Las Vegas, Nevada training in May. These coupon codes will work on the Standard and Extended registrations. But the catch is, these will expire in one week, Friday, April 2nd, if they aren’t taken up in the next few days! Don’t procrastinate because these scholarships were snatched up in the first day or two last time around. Use coupon code SANGOMA when registering to receive these deals.

In addition to these scholarships, there are still some registration + hotel specials available. We have managed to negotiate some additional rooms and the hotel has worked with us to keep the rates a little longer so we still have a few of these available but they won’t last long. If you are thinking of coming, don’t wait until they disappear. The SANGOMA code won’t work on these, but SANGOMAHOTEL will give you an extra $200 off of these great specials for the first two lucky registrants!

For now, we give our thanks to Sangoma and the rest of you who have provided contributions to this great project!

Philippe – On behalf of the FreePBX team

More Training Deals, Release News and What’s Coming

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I blogged last week about the Las Vegas plans for the next training event while our training site was still being remodeled for the Las Vegas show. We were thrilled to see that the slight disarray did not keep some dedicated will be attendees from jumping on the great Early Bird deal we put together that included 4 hotel nights.

More Training Updates

We know not all of you need the first “Day 0” of the event and we’ve had inquiries about similar deals for the Standard 3 day registration. We’ve been busy with the hotel working out some arrangements and are excited to announce several new options that will be available for a VERY LIMITED time. Good through NEXT Friday, March 21 (or while supplies last) we will include 3 hotel nights as part of the registration package for the Standard 3 Day Registration, for only $55 more! That’s in addition to the Extended 4 Day Registration that includes 4 hotel nights for just $100 more! We’ve also been asked about staying the weekend to have a little Las Vegas fun after the event. So for either registration type, for just $375 more you can include the weekend as part of the registration, double occupancy, so bring your significant other if you would like! (If you’ve already signed up and want to take advantage of any of these new offerings, contact us and we will work with you.)

Why are these only good until next Friday, you ask? If you’ve ever done business with these Vegas Hotels, unless you are ready to make hard commitments to take up huge portions of their hotel space, it’s a bit like getting airline ticket prices which change minute to minute. We’ll keep working with them but are at their mercy so for now, take advantage of these rates while we have them and while supplies last for each type.

You can see many of the testimonials
that we received and get details on the
website
about the upcoming training. You can also hear an interview on Robert
Keller’s (aka cosmicwombat) The
VoIP Experience
audio blog going over last month’s event.

So if you didn’t get a chance to make it out to Charleston or it was too far to fly and Las Vegas is closer to home, we’d love to see you
at this next training which is sure to be another great success and a chance to
gain many valuable technical, marketing and sales insights with this great
product!

Here are the details:

When: May 21-23, 2008 (and an optional “Day 0”
on May 20th)
Where: Newly Renovated Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas, NV
Contact: training at freepbx dot org or 1-877-480-9533
Register: Click Here to Register

Release News

We released versions 2.4.0 on February 10th after seeing over 1300 very successful beta sites and what appeard to be record stability during the beta program. We also did another first and introduced a “2.3 to 2.4 Upgrade Tool” module to circumvent the need of downloading the new tarball as had always been required in previous major version upgrades. That has resulted in an overnight success as we have seen almost 7000 systems upgraded through this tool. Even more exciting, in just one month we already have over 11,000 2.4.0 installs which sets quite a precedence on adoption rate for a major release. If you’ve been waiting for others to upgrade first and test the waters, this should reassure you that there is no reason hold back any longer!

What’s Coming Next?

There are a few key area that we would like to put more focus into and there’s just never enough hours in a day to do everything we would like. If you’ve been following some of the activities you have probably heard of Ethan’s early work going on in the voice recognition space around the Company Directory technology which we want to integrate into FreePBX or the Magic Button that has been discussed in various places.

Another exciting area is closer integration of XML phone applications into FreePBX since the capabilities and availability of these very promising phones has really matured over the last year or so, and is only getting better. Having such rich applications that expose useful features to end users is a real selling point when competing against the the traditional telco providers. A feature is useless to most end users if there is no button associated with it to provide easy operation. This, and more is what these applications bring us and a closer integration with FreePBX is where we want to drive to.

Better End Point Management and Provisioning has been on our list for a long time and we’d like to dust off some of the work that was started last summer and see about revising this and really getting it going.

These represent a few important areas that we want to see more focus on. The challenge is finding the time and as many of you know, there is no outside funding or resources other than a few of us dedicated developers and the small contributions that make their way into the project. It is more than a full time job just to run this project and although we manage to bring in some income from sources such as support and professional services and the training program, these very activities take away from the time we would love to be developing the projects just mentioned. One thing that helps take a bit of the edge off is generous donations that are always appreciated.
















Donate


We are always willing to move your favorite project to the top of the list if it is something that you would like to fund to make happen sooner rather than waiting until someone eventually gets to it. So your support is always appreciated in any of these ways as we would love to see more effort applied to these projects and other areas that are in need of further development.

Philippe on behalf of the FreePBX Team!

Great Deals for the Next Open Telephony Training Seminar

We are back in the saddle after last week in Charleston still glowing in the success and super feedback we got from our first Open Telephony Training Seminar. We couldn’t have been more please with the large turnout from so many attendees and vendors and putting faces to the forum names was very enjoyable.

There were too many great testimonials written on the class surveys to list them all but here are a few in addition to the forum thread:


“The most beneficial Asterisk/FreePBX seminar – from introduction to advanced. I highly recommend this seminar to anyone who has installed Asterisk/FreePBX and now wants to really learn how to make it work!!”

“Very well worth the expense and wasted time looking through forums.”

“I came with high expectations – the team overachieved!”

Having sold out over 2 weeks prior to the event we’ve had a lot of inquiries about the next one. We are scrambling to update the website and brochures and get out a newsletter mailing but there is no need to hold back if you want to jump the gun and make sure you don’t miss out on this next great event!

We will be having the event in Las Vegas, NV at the Golden Nugget so you should be able to find cheap flights and reasonable hotel accommodations. In fact, for those first 10 participants who sign up for the full Extended Registration, we’ve got a GREAT SPECIAL that includes the full 4 day Extended Registration AND 4 nights at the Golden Nugget. These won’t last long so jump on that deal while they last!

If you want to jump on it before we get the site updated, you can register already:

 

EARLY OPEN TELEPHONY TRAINING SEMINAR REGISTRATION

 

If you want to get a good idea on what the class is about, you can look at the existing course descriptions form the Charleston Event that we finished last week. The changes we are making are to pull some of the Linux for PBX basics as well as a few parts of the FreePBX presentation into an optional “Day 0” so that more experienced attendees who have this background can choose whether or not they want the review. We will get it all sorted out in the course description but if you don’t want to wait for us to get our marketing material together and just want to assure you get one of the great combo deals then feel free to jump the gun and register now!

We’ll be back with you shortly as we pull the material together and make a more formal announcement but for now, feel free to secure your space today!

Philippe – On behalf of the FreePBX Team