FreePBX World and the Hardware/Software Partner Program

 

As the first FreePBX World rapidly approaches (it’s exactly two months away) we are busy preparing presentations and working with many of the FreePBX Certified Partners that will be presenting their products that are a big part of the FreePBX EcoSystem.

Since announcing FreePBX World I’ve received calls from many hardware, software and service providers looking to be involved.  The major factor when choosing partners to participate at FreePBX world has been to choose partners that have integrated their products tightly into FreePBX to make the user experience as easy and simple as possible.  FreePBX Certified Partner Products make up the very fabric from which the FreePBX EcoSystem is sewn together.

 

The FreePBX Hardware/Software Partner Program is designed for any hardware or software manufacturer that builds or offers products that help complement and expand the FreePBX Product and EcoSystem.

Concepts of Software Certification

  • Fax Utilities

  • Speech Recognition

  • Operator Console

  • PC Clients (Mac, Windows, Linux)

  • Tablet Clients (Android, IOS, Windows)

  • Billing & Reporting

  • Call Recording

  • Conferencing / Collaboration

  • CRM Integration

  • Hotel & Hospitality Apps

  • Soft Phones

  • Smartphone Clients (Android, IOS, Windows, etc)

  • System Utilities

  • Call Center ACD

  • Carrier / ITSP Platform

  • Outbound Dialers

Concepts of Hardware Certification

Analog PSTN Cards

  • GSM Cards

  • ATAs- Analog Terminal Adapters

  • Desktop Phones

  • Wireless Phones

  • SIP Gateways

  • Enterprise Servers

  • FreePBX Appliances

  • Networking Devices

  • T1/E1/J1 ISDN Digital PSTN Cards

  • Voice Compression

  • Conference Phones

  • Paging

  • SIP Gateway

  • VoIP Security

  • SMB/SOHO Servers

  • Session Border Controllers

  • Speciality VoIP Devices

Companies with products that integrate tightly with FreePBX can apply to become a FreePBX Certified Partner by contacting us here.

The countdown has begun- we are sitting at 60 days away from FreePBX World!

Hope to see you in Vegas!

Preston McNair, on behalf of the FreePBX and Schmooze Team.

FreePBX Custom Branding and Turnkey OEM Solutions

 

We are regularly contacted by companies that want to grow their PBX and VoIP services offerings.  Many of these companies are looking for custom solutions to increase the success they are already seeing by utilizing the FreePBX Ecosystem. Some are looking to move into the hosting business, others for customization and branding to fit their companies product or service image.  For those companies that are looking for that next step in either a commercially supported hosting platform or custom branding options we now offer two distinct OEM platforms.

The first of these programs, is our our Custom OEM Branding for the FreePBX Distro, this program provides a custom branded PBX platform that can be installed on either your own premise based equipment, or virtually on supported virtualization platforms. Our second OEM program is our PBXtended Turnkey hosted platform, which provides a commercially supported Hosted PBX platform, allowing your company to focus on generating revenue, not building and supporting the underlying infrastructure.

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Our OEM Custom Branding program allows your to have your own branded and custom configured PBX platform that is continually updated and maintained by our staff. The Custom OEM ISO is regularly updated with the latest stable versions of the underlying telephony engine, GUI interface and Operating system as well as over 400 separate components and features including any applicable bug fixes and feature updates.  The OEM Custom Branding platform can be customized both visually and built with any supported third party application or RPM you wish to include , discount engineering hourly rates will be applied for any additional packages you wish your distribution to support. 

Once you install a new PBX with your Custom ISO we also provide update scripts that can be ran from the command line (or automatically via the GUI for licensed users of SysAdmin Pro) to update your existing customers to the latest version of your PBX software.  

For resellers and system integrators this allows you to promote your brand and product services as your own, without the need to invest in building and maintaining your own PBX platform.  You can put your resources into selling and expanding your revenue and customer base.

For larger companies and organizations Custom Branding allows you to build a PBX platform that can customized to your internal needs and quickly deployed and replicated across multiple locations when needed.

The pricing structure for OEM Branding consist of an initial ISO build & licensing cost, then an annual licensing cost that includes keeping your ISO file updated with the latest version of the FreePBX Distro as well as update paths for your existing clients.  

Branding of the PBX platform includes the following items:

Custom Landing Page:

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Custom Header:

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Custom Menu:

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Custom Footer:

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The PBXtended Turnkey OEM utilizes our feature rich PBXtended Platform as it’s base, which is a commercially supported PBX platform with more included features than the OSS FreePBX platform.  This program allows you to use our virtualization platform, on your own hardware in your data center. This structure includes automatic feature upgrades and system patches as they become available, keeping your clients always running the latest version of our PBX software.

Thereby allowing you to focus on selling your hosted PBX service without the development and support cost involved with building and maintaining your own internal scalable hosted platform.  Turnkey OEM allows your sales staff to place orders directly from a web portal without the need to get a system admin to provision your new customers.  PBXtended can be used directly with your own trunking service or partnerships , or you utilize our SIPStation trunking service for a fully integrated service.

The turnkey PBXtended platform requires a one time buy in fee to get the platform setup on your hardware in your data-center, then a monthly recurring fee based on the number of active subscribers to the service.  This pricing structure allows you to economically scale your hosted services, while at the same time enabling Schmooze to continue to support your infrastructure and continue the ongoing development of the PBX Platform.  

To schedule an online demonstration of either platform, or to discuss system requirements and pricing please contact us.

Join us in Vegas for the first FreePBX World Event

 

We are super excited to be announcing the first ever FreePBX World Event! Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for this free two day event August 27-28 in Las Vegas being hosted as part of ITExpo. Registering for FreePBX World will also give you full access to the ITExpo Exhibit Hall and Keynote talks being given throughout the week at Mandalay Bay from August 26-29th, 2013.

Free Registration Required

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FreePBX’s has become the most widely deployed Open Source PBX platform in use across the world today. There is no other platform that even approaches its adoption. With that success an entire ecosystem has flourished ensuring the project’s long term viability. With its openness the project allows Users, Resellers, Enthusiast and Partners to utilize this ecosystem to build robust communication solutions that are powerful but at the same time easy to implement and support.

FreePBX World will bring together key members of this ecosystem. They will talk about topics from the project’s history to current feature set and future roadmap. Important ecosystem partners will talk about many great solutions that enhance FreePBX and help you deliver solutions to keep competitive in the market and help you lock out your competition. Come meet and mingle with the core FreePBX developers and the many leaders helping to define the FreePBX revolution!

Whether you are deploying a complex system with FreePBX or selling, installing or using VoIP phone systems, you will be sure to walk away from FreePBX World with valuable information to help your efforts. We will discuss topics relevant to both premise and cloud solutions as well as small business to enterprise. Don’t miss this first ever inaugural and free event.

We will be back shortly with a list of talks and presenters but you can be sure that many of us will be there such as Andrew, Bryan, Philippe, Preston and Tony as well as partners like i9, Sangoma, e4 and more. See you in Vegas!

 

FreePBX World could not be possiable without the following sponsors;

 

 

Launch of 1st FreePBX Certified hosting provider FreePBXhosting.com

CyberLynk & Schmoozecom collaborate to launch FreePBXhosting.com to provide premium FreePBX hosting on Virtual Private Servers and a powerful lineup of both Green Dedicated Servers and Premium Dedicated Servers.

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Through this partnership CyberLynk will provide the support for the VPS nodes, dedicated server hardware, data center operations, billing and general account information. Schmooze Com Inc will provide support for FreePBX related questions and issues.

FreePBXHosting.com is the 1st Approved Hosting Provider by FreePBX.org and Schmoozecom.

“Cyberlynk is excited to partner with the FreePBX Project and Schmooze to offer FreePBXhosting.com.  We partnered directly with Schmooze Com Inc for their expertise and knowledge of business phone systems and services, giving us the ability to offer our clients the best FreePBX hosting experience that also contributes directly back into the FreePBX Project.” – Adam Hobach – Cyberlynk

“Cyberlynk’s state of the art dedicated datacenter and over 18 years of hosting experience was a key factor in making the decision to of whom to partner with for FreePBXhosting.com.  Combining FreePBX Hosting, Professional PBX service and support from Schmooze and sip trunks from SIPStation is the best way to not only get Best in Class Business Phone Service, while at the same time contributing back into the ongoing development of FreePBX.” – Tony Lewis- FreePBX Distro Project Manager

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How is this different from other hosted versions of FreePBX?

 

  • FreePBXhosting.com provides  solutions ranging from Virtual Private, to a dedicated hardware including Green Dedicated Servers and Premium Dedicated Servers allowing you to transition as your needs grow.

  • Phone & Email support from the Hosting Provider CyberLynk

  • Includes Free SysAdmin Pro & FreePBX Commercial EndPoint Manager Modules

  • Unlimited Bandwidth

  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

  • VPS Control Panel- allows you to reboot, reinstall, connect via VNC, view traffic graphs, shutdown and much more from the web or via your smart phone.

  • Schmooze provides direct support options for all of your FreePBX questions.

  • Full Root Access

  • Easily add SIPStation.com service to quickly start placing calls.

  • Fast FreePBX Deployment VPS’s are installed within 10-15 minutes, Dedicated Servers are provisioned within 24 hours.

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For new clients to get you going on your first order you can simply use the PROMO CODE: FreePBX2013 during the signup process and you will receive a 100% discount on the first invoice which will allow you to demo FreePBXhosting.com for at least 30 days.  This promo code is only valid for the VPS’s on the FreePBXhosting.com website and after 30 days you will automatically be invoiced unless we receive a termination request from you.

Preston McNair – on behalf of the FreePBX and Schmooze Teams!

Balancing the Multiple Faces of Open Source

Why do we spend so much of our personal time keeping FreePBX vibrant and thriving? Why do you choose to spend time helping this project, or using FreePBX vs. the many other choices out there? What about the name FreePBX? Some of you love the name and some of you find it a hindrance to your business efforts.

Running a project as big and widespread as FreePBX involves a balancing act we must constantly adjust in an effort to bring value to all of the different camps of users while continuing to provide the fun, motivation and justification for us to drive the project forward keeping it the leader of the Open Source PBX world and the dominant platform in adoption and influence of Asterisk.

Keeping the project fun is at the top of our list. Without fun there is no motivation, there are few contributors and the project would stagnate. The very name of the project, FreePBX, is a motivation to many as to the fun factor of working with us. What’s in the name? Too often ‘Free’ is associated with no cost when anyone who has worked with it knows that there is always a cost, whether monetarily in seeking help or your own time in learning and getting the project to work for your needs. To us, ‘Free’ is about the Freedom to Choose™ meaning breaking free of the constraints and limitations of the proprietary phone system word. Since fun is always an important factor, our latest T-Shirt, distributed to all the recent attendees of our last OTTS FreePBX Training class demonstrates one version of our fun:

Defending You From Propietary Phone Systems Everywhere, Join The FreePBX Revolution

Defending You From Proprietary Phone Systems Everywhere, Join The FreePBX Revolution

This meaning of ‘Free’ probably resonates with many more of you but I’m sure there are those who still feel the name is a hindrance in their sales efforts. This highlights the balancing act we are faced with. Where this group may have trouble with the name, another camp of users may be in love with the name and what it stands for but has trouble with the commercial module side of FreePBX fearing it somehow detracts from the spirit or purity of the project while the first camp may find these offerings of significant value in their sales efforts against competitive market forces.

Our goal is to find a way to balance all of these efforts. Fun is important; empowering the different channels and user camps of FreePBX is important; our ability to make a viable living to keep all of us employed full time in keeping this project at the forefront of telephony is important. All of these contribute to keeping your confidence in the stability and long-term viability of FreePBX so you can feel confident that you (and your customers where applicable) will be taken care of. As such, we drive efforts on all fronts to try and accommodate all of the different camps out there!

Tony and I were in Huntsville, AL two weeks ago conducting an OTTS FreePBX training and Reseller Certification Testing while also interfacing with the core Asterisk development team around FreePBX 2.12 / Asterisk 12 plans. OTTS and the Reseller program are efforts that deliver valuable education and services to a camp of you while providing one source of income for the project. While we were there, we got a “call for help” from another camp, Kyle, the highly motivated ‘hobbyist’ … dedicated long time telephone historian buff and motivated local student who was trying to get FreePBX to work with a DAHDi card provided by Mark Spencer (his mentor) and some VERY OLD (read antique) phones that Kyle collects. Mark received the call for help while we were having dinner together and told Kyle he’d stop by later with “a couple of friend’s” who were in town visiting. In comes the fun part, when Kyle opened the door and was introduced to “meet Philippe and Tony, they run FreePBX” … watching his jaw drop, speechless…  

Front left to right: Marc Spencer (founder of Asterisk), Tony Lewis (FreePBX Distro Lead), Philippe Lindheimer (FreePBX Lead) and in the back: Kyle.

Front left to right: Marc Spencer (founder of Asterisk), Tony Lewis (FreePBX Distro Lead), Philippe Lindheimer (FreePBX Lead) and in the back: Kyle.

This experience exemplifies the importance of balance. I won’t ever forget the feeling of reward watching Kyle’s expression when he was introduced to us. Even more exciting was seeing him receive his first phone call on one of his vintage phones, after we saved him hours of work by downloading the recently revived DAHDi Configuration module and instantly bringing his system to life!

This experience would not have been possible had we not been in Huntsville, teaching OTTS to some of the other camps while brining income into the project to help it thrive. Over the years we’ve provided free or very low cost scholarships for OTTS to many participants who had themselves contributed countless time and energy into the project but didn’t have the means or justification to pay for its expense.

What about those of you who find the name FreePBX a hindrance to your sales effort? Over the last 2+ years, since version 2.10, we have redesigned the inner workings of FreePBX to allow for significant branding capabilities. At a basic level it is relatively easy to change major logos and links in Advanced Settings to your own. It is also possible, with the addition of a custom skinning module, to significantly redesign the look and feel of the FreePBX GUI and completely remove the name ‘FreePBX’ from the GUI pages. This can be done if you have reasonably experienced talent, or we offer an OEM program to do this for you inclusive of a custom online module repository to both keep your skinning module up-to-date and limit the available online modules to those that you want to be viewed by your customers. For those of you who want to have our Copyright removed, we even have a rider to the OEM program to have this done as well. (Important reminder, GPL allows you to take our code and change it, removing FreePBX as you desire and with its removal, removing the requirement to include trademark notices. However, it does NOT allow for the removal of Copyright Notices. As long as you are using any of the Copyright protected portions of FreePBX, which is most of FreePBX, you must include the Copyright unless you work through our program thus getting permission to remove it from the Copyright holders.)

So … whether you are an enthusiast, a reseller/integrator, a do-it-yourself business owner, an OEM or another camp within the hundreds of thousands of FreePBX users out there, we want you to understand that all of you are important to us and we are in a constant balancing act to try to keep FreePBX fun, interesting, innovative, stable, attractive and sellable in ways that meet everyone’s needs. We always love to hear what you like and are always open to your feedback in all its forms, and more often then not, we may have already provided solutions to some of the challenges or requests that you are looking for!

Philippe – On Behalf of the FreePBX and Schmooze Teams!