Ask the Experts: What Are the Benefits of an Open Source Platform?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses the benefits of building a UCaaS platform using open source components with CallTower’s William Rubio. Visit Cloud Services University to learn more about UCaaS solutions:

Andrew: We’ve been talking about the different platforms that are out there, Broadsoft and Metaswitch, as proprietary platforms that a lot of service providers build on. We’ve also talked a little bit about open source platforms, FreeSWITCH and Asterisk and others. I had come into the studio here today, William Rubio, who is the Chief Revenue Officer with CallTower. CallTower is one of our go-to UCaaS providers. William’s been at this game a long time. William, welcome, man.
William: Andrew thanks. Thank you for having us. It’s a pleasure.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, you bet. It’s been really fascinating getting different viewpoints on this topic. And I wanted to have you guys come in because you’ve made the decision early on as a company to really build your own platform, built on some open source components and a lot of in-house development, instead of building on kind of an industry-standard Broadsoft kind of platform. I wanted to give you a chance to talk about that decision. Why did you guys decide to take that path and what has it done for you guys?
William: Great question. Sometimes I’ve got to ask myself if we are a service provider or a software provider, with some of the things that we do. Going back to when CallTower started back in 2002, we really identified ourselves as being a best-of-breed solution provider. One of the things that we pride ourselves on, is the fact that when we know you have companies like Cisco, that we’re a big partner with Cisco and with Microsoft obviously as well, these are basically differentiators in the industry. These guys dictate what happens in some of our lives. Whether we want to realize it and accept it or not, they do.
What we did, is we said, “You know, instead of going out there and trying to work with third party type of plugins that might be a little bit more difficult or limited, why not just stick with the best?” We know that Cisco and Microsoft are the best that’s out there. So what we did is, we built from the ground up, a portal that’s called CallTower Connect, it’s already been out for about two and a half years. What it does is it actually ties in all of our solutions, whether it’s Cisco CallManager, whether it’s Microsoft Lync, now Skype for Business. Instead of our customers having to go to those individual portals, all through one portal, through CallTower, they could actually go and activate the ID’s, turn down users, if they want to change permissions, look at their call logs, look at their circuits, change four-digit dialing, pretty much anything that they would do in those specific servers. They’re all tied into a CallTower itself.
From a security standpoint, we just realized that Cisco and Microsoft are top-notch, and we just wanted to stick with them, so we provide best-in-breed to our customers. We’ve seen the success in that over the past about 13, 14 years.
Andrew: Yeah, very cool. Enough said, man. That gives you guys a lot of credibility. This isn’t just a new kind of risky idea that you took on. This is something that’s been proven over a long period of time. Congratulations on that, and what you guys have built, man.
William: Thank you. Yeah, it’s somewhat challenging at times, because whenever it is that we build new features, whether it’s contact center, even basic call recording, it’s two platforms, right. So that’s always a little challenging. The good thing is, our customers embrace that and like it, and then we’ve been happy. So thank you, we appreciate that.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. You bet. Excellent. Guys, that’s William Rubio. He is the Chief Revenue Officer for CallTower, again, one of our go-to suppliers for Unified-Communications-as-a-Service. Make sure you check out the learning center for CallTower. Some great information there: sales, tools and whitepapers, videos on where they’re winning and how they can help you win more deals in UCaaS. Thank you very much, and good selling.