I suppose anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big fan of Asterisk. I'm just not a fan of any software, no... make that any THING, that purports to be all things to all people. Maybe that's because I find it hard enough to be something to somebody. That aside, Mr. Spencer taught me some things during his talk today - I wanted to pass it along.
During his talk, he mentioned that open source was right for telecom. First, it's a very large market, and there are plenty of opportunities for players of every size. Second, it's a very technical direct market, where most of the direct consumers of the technology were tech savy. There's a very large incentive for open source software, and can save service providers lots of money. There's an extreme need for customization, since differentiation is critical for carriers, and open source really shines here. And finally, the barriers to entry for open source don't exist as they do on the desktop.
Mark's dead-on with this. I don't think it answers how you can do projects that require very large team efforts to accomplish, but that's OK. It does give a great answer for the smaller projects.
Shoot - I might even start to like Asterisk someday. Until then, I want my money back. Oh yeah - it's open source, so I can't ask for my money back.