Leading Biotechnology Institute Depends on the Power of Asterisk
HudsonAlpha is a not-for-profit genomics research institute headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. The organization is an industry leader in health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization-based research.
In the search for a robust, redundant phone system which could support multiple tenants as HudsonAlpha, Jim Hudson wanted local companies involved as much as possible. While their new state-of-the-art building was under construction, HudsonAlpha employees worked in the same temporary workspace as Network Services & Support (NSS). That co-working arrangement led to NSS taking on HudsonAlpha as a major client, and they became their first Asterisk customer.
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Scott Couch and Scott Cechovic, the founders of NSS, were introduced to Asterisk 1.0 more than 10 years ago when the two men crossed paths with Mark Spencer, the creator of Asterisk, the world’s leading open source telephony platform. “We realized its potential and began to deploy it as a low-cost phone system at several remote locations,” Cechovic said. NSS installed an Asterisk phone system that includes a pair of active/passive call managers, which handle phone registrations and internal call routing; a pair of active call gateways utilizing Asterisk DUNDi for external call routing; and a pair of active/passive MySQL database/shared file servers.
Users have had nothing but great comments, particularly citing the system’s sound quality and clarity, says Cechovic. Users particularly like the visual voicemail feature. “Managing voicemail is so much easier now since the user can browse messages and are not forced to sequentially play each message.”says Cechovic. He also says the phone easily integrates into both Asterisk and Switchvox and no longer relies on DHCP options for proper connectivity to the PBX. “Reloading contact lists is also easier,” Cechovic explains, “as opposed to other vendors whose phones have to be rebooted to load changes to contact lists.” HudsonAlpha has expanded and recently finished a third building on the 153-acre campus. It, too, will be configured with the Asterisk system and D-Series IP phones to accommodate new tenants.