Telewebtech has been supportive of open phone systems since its inception, in fact it was founded on the idea that systems should be built to embrace component competition. We have not opted for Open Source solutions (yet) and find that many of our clients do not easily differentiate between the two. Open platform phone systems are the result of phones that run on the existing IT network and standard protocols for voice communications over the internet, in particular Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). These phone systems are built by for-profit companies, like 3CX, that are invested in the success and development of the system. Read more if you would like to know why they are considered “open” and how they drastically cut the cost of systems while increasing the value to the company.
Open Source VS. Open Platform
Some of Open Source products are free, others take donations, and some are paid for use. With Open Source, the end product’s source materials are accessible to build a community of owners that improves the product. Open Platform software or devices are developed with open standards, sometimes referred to as APIs (application programming interfaces), which allows the end product to be tweaked in ways not originally intended without modification of the source code. For instance, the 3CX Voice Application Designer allows users to create customized voice applications for businesses.
So, Open Platforms offer ease of integration and customization without proprietary infringement. They also offer a competitive advantage when choosing hardware. Many proprietary systems regulate the market prices of their equipment; however, Open Platform means that any SIP compliant device will run, normally, seamlessly on the system. I say ‘normally’ because integrating services into any network can depend upon the components being used. There are high quality SIP phones and bargain SIP phones. Bargains can sometimes take a little more effort, but that is brilliance behind competition!