Asterisk saves us thousands…

Yesterday I got a vivid reminder of how much companies can save when they use Open Source.

SnapLogic might be different from a lot of small companies in that we’ve already got people scattered around the globe. But for any company with remote office and employees, our experiences surely apply.

Our headquarters are in San Mateo CA, but we’ve got employees in New Zealand, Massachusetts (Boston and Webster) and New Hampshire. In addition, people frequently work out of their homes scattered around the Bay Area (SF, Mill Valley, Almaden, Mt. View, Menlo Park, Cupertino, Oakland, etc.). We use Asterisk in our office and everyone has a phone, voicemail, and other traditional services, and we use Skype for some of our internal communications as well.

Internally, we’ve grown accustom to using emails and IM so we’ve been able to get by with only a few traditional phone lines. One for fax, and three shared among all extensions. My ISP provides these four phone lines, along with 6Mbps internet access for a monthly fee of about $185. That works out to about $2,200 per year for communications services.

Yesterday we began a new toll free conference call subscription that charges $0.06 per minute per caller and I used it for a few conference calls with two other employees. The day’s fees: $31. A rough calculation, assuming that everyone in the company used this service for their calls, even assuming a lower rate of $0.05 per min would put daily fees up around $125, or about $2,500 per month. Which is not at all unreasonable for a company of our size. My guess is that our would be much higher than that because calls to New Zealand would be a lot more than $0.05 per min. I’m guessing because I’ve never actually paid for one.

So, my rough calculation suggests that I’m saving more than 90% with Open Source Asterisk and VoIP, which for us is more than $27,000 per year.

And that doesn’t even consider the cost savings that come with using Asterisk instead of a proprietary PBX.