From the SIP Trunking Experts

August 12, 2014

FreePBX: From Humble Beginnings to Hundreds of Thousands of Users and Beyond

By Allison Boccamazzo Managing Content Producer

FreePBX has one incredible story to tell. This morning, attendees were treated to an insightful walk through history of FreePBX during the panel session titled, “FreePBX Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". The session was presented by Schmooze Communications VP, Philippe Lindheimer, and took place during FreePBX World, a collocated event at ITEXPO 2014, taking place August 11-14 in Las Vegas at The Rio.

It is evident, based on this morning’s session, that FreePBX is more than just an easy way to write configuration files for Asterisk. FreePBX has risen to become the world’s most popular and widely adopted Open Source PBX platform, currently powering millions of PBXs across the world, and is part of a hugely growing global market. Specifically, the global PBX market is experiencing explosive growth on the whole, accounting for more than $40 billion in annual sales, according to Eastern Management Group’s “Global PBX Market to 2018” report. Taking into account open source PBX software and distributions like FreePBX, this number easily exceeds this $40 billion mark.

For those unfamiliar with FreePBX, the phone system can be effectively implemented and used within any-sized business, from the small office or home office, to the SMB to the enterprise contact center. As a modular system, FreePBX also touts dozens of modules that can be installed to provide the niche functionality that business users want and need to sustain a competitive edge. 

So, how did FreePBX accelerate so rapidly? The project officially took off in 2007, where Linheimer says it went from being a hobby to mainstream. Lindheimer largely attributes this growth to the support from its community as an Open Sourced project. “Our community is what dictates and focuses our applications, and that is why FreePBX is such a strong system” he said. “The solution is developed against what users say they need.”

The community is comprised of all FreePBX users, and these same users often help fix bugs and contribute new features.“It is the community we listen to and the community that has let us become unquestionably the biggest open sourced PBX in the world,” said Lindheimer.

FreePBX will only continue to mature and grow and will see plenty of developments and sophistication in the near future, according to Lindheimer. One such development that he was able to tease is FreePBX 12, which is in beta and will be flushed out between now and AstriCon, taking place this October. The release will also incorporate support for Asterisk 13 and is slated for a February 2015 official release. 

For all users of FreePBX systems or anyone looking to sell and install VoIP phone systems and/or hosted VoIP services, FreePBX world boasts a plethora of riveting breakout sessions and special panels. Be sure to stop by FreePBX World today to learn more!

Edited by Adam Brandt