Electric utility Southern Co. is using Asterisk in a pilot program to translate voicemail into text messages for 30 managers' BlackBerrys.Nevermind the BlackBerry angle: finally, something to translate slow and opaque voice messages into searchable and readily fileable text!
This is the story hook:
Spencer is the inventor of Asterisk, a free software program that establishes phone calls over the Internet and handles voicemail, caller ID, teleconferencing and a host of novel features for the phone. With Asterisk loaded onto a computer, a decent-size company can rip out its traditional phone switch, even some of its newfangled Internet telephone gear, and say good-bye to 80% of its telecom equipment costs. Not good news for Cisco (nasdaq: CSCO - news - people ), Nortel or Avaya (nyse: AV - news - people ).It's taken decades for somebody to turn VoIP software (anybody remember vat?) into a business. The reporter is playing it up as open source disruption to the office telecom equipment market, but it goes farther than that.
Dial D for Disruption Quentin Hardy, Forbes.com, 10 March 1006