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Click below to watch the video.  Cisco phones on the Asterisk system work really well!

This video is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it gets the point across that the Asterisk platform offers good value.  The features that our customers want, without the burden of a premium price tag.


Replace that Cisco? - Maybe!

Cisco has a winner of a product with the Call Manager. Through a combination of cool technology, the right timing, and an unstoppable marketing engine, Cisco has driven the market to Voice over IP. You cannot go through the day without hearing about voice over IP and how people want it for their businesses. That is exactly how you may have come to own a Cisco Call Manager solution.

This isn’t to say that the Cisco solution isn’t valuable – it certainly is. When the solution was first introduced many common features didn’t work. Core features, such as music on hold, were an afterthought as Cisco was bringing VoIP to market. The good thing is that Cisco is a company that comes through with what they say they will. Not many people had heartburn over the fact that certain features were not in place, or if they have some temporary call quality issues. It’s Cisco, after all, and they will give us a solution. Today the solution is feature rich and robust.

Now after that – why would you consider replacing your Cisco solution? The primary driver is cost. If you are happy with what you pay for support of your Cisco solution today then read no further. If, however, you get a bit of discomfort when you look at your maintenance and support budget items – then this is for you.

Since the introduction of VoIP into the mainstream many companies have gone through the process. Shedding the legacy limitations of their communications solutions and utilizing their data network for more applications. While this was going on, many companies provided alternative solutions to the Cisco Call Manager. 3Com and Shoretel are two notable companies. What these companies do have in common with Cisco is the revenue model – never-ending support costs.

Consider an Alternative

What if you could use your Cisco phone equipment but reduce your support costs greatly?

If that question is interesting to you, you want to consider a product called Asterisk. With an Asterisk solution, most companies can continue to use the nice Cisco phones while reducing support costs greatly.

The Positives:

Reduced Support Costs!

Simplify phone system administration

Inexpensive upgrades and changes

Frequent feature adds

Did we mention: Reduced Support Costs?

Healthy competition for your business from manufactures of phones and line gateways.

The Negatives:

Voicemail not as feature rich as Cisco Unity

Fewer options for you to choose for support partners.

There are positives and negatives associated with making any kind of technology shift. Only your company can decide if the change is worth it.

If you have Cisco phones today and want to consider reducing the amount you pay to support them, please contact Bob Langys at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Bob is a VoIP specialist with Medlin Communications located in northern Illinois. Medlin’s 20+ years in business and our extensive network of partners allow us to serve you anywhere in the nation.


A Little Asterisk History

Around the same time as Cisco commercialized VoIP, a college student named Mark Spencer (now the CEO of Digium) invented a communications framework called Asterisk. Asterisk started out as a small experiment, but has been steadily gaining momentum as it grew in features and scope. The Asterisk community was born and soon many people across the globe were contributing their time and energy into making this framework perform communications tasks – many of which were not released by larger companies.

The product was released under an open-source license and began to grow and expand from there. Many organizations adopted the base code into their own commercial products. Along with the commercial products, healthy open-source based ecosystems started and companies began to generate revenue. The interesting thing is that the revenue was generated through supporting the companies during their implementation of the solution rather than through software licensing. Important elements such as voicemail ports and phone lines are not licensed in Asterisk.

Is open source scary?  Not a chance.  Many devices that we depend on every day depend on open source technologies.  Comcast DVR systems, Playstation 3, Inter-Tel Phone systems, Toshiba phone systems, 3Com security products, and thousands of others.

What does that mean to you? Thousands of dollars.


Here are some relevant news stories and other information:




The VarGuy.com - Asterisk VAR Wins




Need Support for Asterisk?

Many companies embark on a telephone system project only to get stopped in the middle.  Did your company go down the Asterisk path only to realize that you don't have enough time to learn the platform?  No need to beat yourself up - it does look easy.  Our success comes from the pain that we have gone through.  We have a process over years of time that works and will provide your company with a successful project.

We can help with:

Asterisk 1.4 and 1.6 systems



PBX in a Flash

and other variants of the Asterisk / FreePBX combo package.

Most of our work has been in installing the Asterisk with Aastra and Cisco phones but we're happy to help you with other platforms as well.  Medlin Communications in Burr Ridge Illinois has been putting our best effort in for our clients for over 20 years now.  Based in Illinois but serving the country, Medlin is capable of supporting Asterisk solutions everywhere.  Medlin Communications can be reached at 630-734-7300 option 1 for service.


Replace Unity with Asterisk

There is a lot of talk going on about replacing Unity with Asterisk for your messaging solution on your Cisco Call Manager.  Why go half way?  You are replacing the Unity because it is too expensive to maintain or upgrade.  It may be because you are out of Smartnet and between Windows and Unity, the system just isn't as stable as it used to be.  Here at Medlin Communications we are not certified to work on the Cisco Call Manager / Unity platform because we decided not to go down that path.  Our take from a business owner's perspective is that the Cisco solution just doesn't provide the price to performance value that the Asterisk system does.  Why sign up for more complication and non-stop licensing and maintenance fees when you really don't have to?  Asterisk provides our customers around Chicago and beyond good service with minimal support requirements.  Our drive to lower you support costs by migrating from Cisco to another platform is based on experience.  If you are looking to make that change, contact us at 630-734-7328.



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