Pronexus Brings New Voice to Asterisk

Rapid application development interface lets designers build complex call flows for speech applications for the open-source IP PBX.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted May 9, 2005
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Asterisk users can now add a new voice to their PBX. Communication and speech vendor Pronexus has announced that their VBVoice development environment is now interoperable with the popular Asterisk open source PBX allowing users to "benefit from speech."

Ottawa based Pronexus is a developer of speech solutions that includes tools for building touch-tone and speech-recognition applications. The VBVoice development environment is a tool that works inside of Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET and provides a high level GUI for call flow design.

"Our interoperability testing demonstrated that all our tools work with the Asterisk PBX over SIP/RTP," Andrew Kozminski Pronexus VP of R&D told "This allows the Asterisk users to "benefit from speech" by using our off-the-shelf VeoConnect, or rapidly building their own custom IVR applications using our tools."

Though Pronexus claims that its solutions are now interoperable with Asterisk, Kozminksi admitted that his company does not contribute in any way back to the open source project. Asterisk is freely available and extensible under the terms of its open source license which has helped its popularity and adoption particularly among SMB's.

The SMB market is what Pronexus is hoping to attract with Asterisk-interoperable tools. "Asterisk is gaining popularity as a PBX of choice in SMB space," Kozminksi explained. "Like any PBX users, the Asterisk users (especially in call centers) can benefit from availability of advanced IVR options, especially based on speech recognition."

Thanks to a vibrant community of open source (and commercial) development surrounding Asterisk, there are many other products that provide GUI and other capability for the open source PBX. According to Kozminiski, Pronexus has a specific niche that certain developers will find attractive. Kozminksi noted that Pronexus tools are specifically designed for building complex callflows of speech applications (as opposed to many GUI-based tools typically used to configure and administer Asterisk).

"Our customers are speech Developers, not PBX users or Administrators," Kozminksi said.

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