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 Post subject: Contributions to the a2billing project
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:41 pm
Posts: 42
Folks,

I was not sure where to have this discussion but thought it might get a lot of attention by placing it here.

This morning, I went to one of my favorite websites (nerdvittles.com) where a topic caught my attention:

http://nerdvittles.com/index.php?p=199

It talks about various contributions (or lack of), financial or otherwise to the asterisk open source project (this obviously applies to a2billing as well).

It is very important that all of us contribute in some way to these projects. We on this forum are all beneficiaries of the effort of the whole asterisk community. I am guilty of it as well. I started making financial contributions to a2billing last year and will try and make it a monthly duty. We all know how much it would cost us if we decided to purchase an off the shelf telecoms software.

It is quite apt that for the start of a new year, resolutions are made. Let us all make a resolution to contribute to these projects in some way, shape or form. If the open source community decides to shut down, a lot of us will be out of business.

Your comments are welcome.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:43 am
Posts: 1060
Location: Canada
You are so right sjack55. For the moment, until my backbone gets stronger in this business, I can only contribute code in the form of bug fixes, features, ... and I know that Open Source code won't help anyone pay the bills directly. But as soon as I can afford it, I won't mind contributing the equivalent of 1 programmer's annual salary per year. I see it like paying for a programmer in the Asterisk or A2Billing team to make sure that they keep doing a great job. I don't mind sharing the money when it flows in the right direction.

Another possibility to raise money for the project may be to make an offer for some specific features. For example, 15000$ for making sure that A2Billing can work with SER or OpenSER and Asterisk and the community will pitch in until the money target is reached. This is just another one of my silly ideas.

I am not sure if it is mean and selfish to say this, but the since Digium is a company that builds hardware and officially sells lots of things directly related to Asterisk, I would say that things look less bad for them. On the other hand, correct me if I am wrong but each A2Billing team member has a full time job not directly related to A2Billing. Also, A2Billing is not selling anything directly. My point is that the biggest share of my donations will go to people like A2Billing, the rest will go to Asterisk.

We should also not forget about the other underlying Open Source (For Instance Linux, PHPAGI ... and many others)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:33 pm
Posts: 26
I will maybe decide to use service at call-labs.com as a little thanks and "support" to A2B.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:43 am
Posts: 1060
Location: Canada
I will use then if they give better or same rate that what I have. I regularly check their rates.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:56 pm
Posts: 4065
Dear all.

My feeling is that we should all contribute what we can. Clearly
A2Billing needs money to support the hosting and this website, but it
also needs people to test and report bugs, help with the
documentation, post howto's and especially people who can contribute
code, and generally help with answering questions from our newest
members. Non financial contributions are as welcome as cash, and for
this, we thank you.

There are other ways in which people can help A2Billing, PBX in a
Flash and other open source projects of this nature.

As you have seen from the sucess stories section, there are a good
number of people who are passing decent amounts of traffic through
A2Billing systems. If you have an A2Billing system running on a
commercial basis, then please write it up.

When we get a request for a commercial install, one of the hurdles we
have to get over is "It's open source, it's free, it cannot be any
good, otherwise you'd be selling it." The more people who give open
honest reports on how they use the system and their positive
experiences with it, the easier it is for me or Areski or any other
system integrator to point at the "Success Stories" where they can
read it for themselves.

One of my roles in A2Billing is to try to raise the overall profile of
A2Billing so that the MD of a Telecoms company considers our product
amongst everyone elses product, whether we make the sale or not
depends on the merits of our system as against anyone elses system,
commercial or open source, but at least we get a chance.

This is good for everyone, because then we have more money to invest
in more marketing, trade shows, speaking at events, such as Areski did
recently in Malysia, (http://www.asterconference.com), which in turn
raises our profile, gives us a crack at competing for the work, and
with hope, gives us more money to allow us to concentrate on improving
A2Billing at an even faster pace, and that means that everyone gets a
better product.

Currently, I don't think our profile is sufficiently mainstream enough
to be on the radar of the average telecoms company. This needs to
change. So if you can help in spreading the word, mentioning
A2Billing, introductions to newspapers and trade publications (e.g.
http://www.voipplanet.com/backgrounders ... hp/3716971) , it
would be very much appreciated.

The same would apply to PBX-in-a-Flash and especially FreePBX, the guts of PiaF and the Trixbox system et al. PiaF is a product aimed at being a PBX or switchboard for an office, and is a very good one (I reckon so, but then again I wrote the ISO for PiaF, so I maybe a tad bias.) But the chances of the MD of a company even knowing such a thing exists is very slight. Usually, "Debbie on Reception" is given the job of getting a new PBX, and she only buys the one she used at her last company. There must be millions of companies out there who need a PBX, and if they have a VoIP PBX, they are going to need VoIP termination, DID, and all the other things that A2Billing can provide.

To conclude, thanks again for all those who have contributed in terms
of bug reports, helping other people, contributing code, invested in
installation and support from us, and especially those who have
donated. - Please start writing up your stories.


Yours

Joe Roper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:19 pm
Posts: 2890
Location: Devon, UK
jroper wrote:
invest in more marketing, trade shows, speaking at events, such as Areski did recently in Malysia, (http://www.asterconference.com)
Excellent news and an excellent post! Areski looks like he was born to be on that stage, helping to spread the news of how bright the future is for Asterisk + A2B:
Image
Pictured (from left): Areski, ?, Brian K. West (?), ?, ?, ?, ?, Olle E. Johanssen (?), ?
Help filling the blanks is appreciated.


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