NEWS FLASH Tony Lewis et al Leaving Sangoma

wardmundy

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Last time I checked Tony had 8 children to educate. May be more by now. Tony also is the one that painted a very optimistic financial forecast for Sangoma when the (costly) Digium acquisition was announced. It's hard to imagine anyone dumping a very generous compensation package with nothing else in the works. Time will tell, I suppose.
 

wardmundy

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As predicted, some other recent Digium departures of interest...

Danny Windham, Digium CEO

David Duffett, Asterisk Worldwide Community Director

They join the list of Rob Thomas and Tony Lewis, two of the earliest FreePBX developers.


Might be worth getting a very stable build of Asterisk 13 and FreePBX 13 to hold onto until we see how this plays out in the coming months.
 
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KNERD

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For the most stable, I would recommend for version 13 of Asterisk, I would say Asterisk 13 Certified. A few months ago, I needed to do an upgrade on a PBX as it was kinda broken. Everything I tried to compile on it would fail to run correctly. Finally on a hunch, I tried the Certified, and it worked out flawlessly.
 
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wardmundy

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Let me just calmly lay out what our game plan is moving forward. Until Sangoma discloses financials for their current fiscal year, it's anybody's guess how the Digium situation is going to play out longer term. Tony painted a promising financial picture in his departure memo, but replacing the talent that already has left will be a major undertaking for somebody and, frankly, I don't know who that somebody will be. Mark, Tony, Danny, and David held a lot of these two platforms together and they wore many hats. They are also the reason many other talented folks stuck around. Whether that will continue to be the case is an open question IMHO.

With that in mind, we want to preserve the Incredible PBX platform and make it as self-sufficient as possible. Both Asterisk 13 and FreePBX 13 are incredibly stable so we're not worried about longevity at least for several more years. We were moving toward independence anyway and already have tested a new installer that completely removes Digium and Sangoma from the equation in installing Asterisk 13 and the FreePBX 13 GUI platform. Luckily, it's all GPL, open source code.

In a worst case scenario, both companies could disappear tomorrow, and it wouldn't affect anyone's ability to install or reinstall Incredible PBX 13-13.10 with the new design. We plan to roll the update out as soon as several more folks have had an opportunity to test the new installer just to make sure we haven't overlooked or broken something. Our tests show things working just as they should. If any of you have a little time and a virtual machine or cloud platform that you could use for testing, send me a private message, and I'll provide you a link to the new installer.
 
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wardmundy

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The exodus continues with the reported departure of Schmooze Co-Founder Brian Walters. More departure rumors from the FreePBX development team are circulating as well. Will be interesting to see if other members of Digium senior management also depart in the next few months. If the FreePBX Dev Team departure rumors turn out to be true, this would quickly become a four-alarm fire insofar as future FreePBX development is concerned. Stay tuned. We will continue to accelerate development of a fully independent platform.
 
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krzykat

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I just hope its not a 3CX buyout that would put handcuffs on open sourced PBX. Folks better fork now in case (God I hope not) stuff starts to disappear.
 

kenn10

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If FusionPBX weren't so darn difficult to make work in a cloud instance, I'd push movement into that and FreeSwitch. Both FusionPBX and 3CX can be quite difficult to deal with when they are not on your local LAN (at least from the standpoint of a casual user.) I have to admit that I'm very comfortable with FreePBX and Asterisk but I think both are in serious jeopardy from the open source perspective.
 
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wardmundy

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Part of my reluctance with FusionPBX is the attitude. Reminds me of the early Asterisk days when a handful of developers were making a nice living off configuring servers for people. The downside was they didn't want to share any of the family secrets. That's kind where the FusionPBX project is today at least from my observations.
 

Tonyclewis

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According to a post by Tony Lewis on LinkedIn, he will be leaving Sangoma on April 30.
Wow I am flattered that 6 years after I stopped coming here people are still talking about me. Yes I am leaving Sangoma April 30th. I never had plans on staying forever. I am a serial start up guy and the itch to start something new just became to much for me to ignore anymore and Sangoma has blossomed with lots of talented people over the years that can continue to carry the torch. I am only 1 guy here in a company with 350 people. Things will be just fine.
 

krzykat

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Wow I am flattered that 6 years after I stopped coming here people are still talking about me. Yes I am leaving Sangoma April 30th. I never had plans on staying forever. I am a serial start up guy and the itch to start something new just became to much for me to ignore anymore and Sangoma has blossomed with lots of talented people over the years that can continue to carry the torch. I am only 1 guy here in a company with 350 people. Things will be just fine.
Tony, thank you for checking in. You have to admit when you see a mass exodus of the "key" influencers, it could make some that count on it a little worried. I love what you guys have created and I have (like many many others) built a business based upon it. Yes - I hope it stays fine and keeps moving forward.
 

krzykat

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Wow ... a very nice write up. I agree ... make backups just in case. Hopefully they won't be needed, but only time will tell.
 

wardmundy

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In addition to Andrew leaving tomorrow, Matt Jordan, who headed up the Asterisk development team for many years before becoming Digium's CTO, is moving to the Pacific Northwest to take a new position at Amazon. Scary times as the brain trust disappears only to be replaced by bean counters and paper pushers.
 

billsimon

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When it comes to open source VoIP engines, there's nothing better than Asterisk, and no configuration system better than FreePBX.

I wonder if Tony and Rob's new venture is going to launch from that or it's something completely different.
 

jerrm

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For the Digium folks, the exodus is expected IMO. Time to take the money and run.

The FreePBX side is a little more worrisome just because of the timing.

If Sangoma is deliberately cutting all these heads to reduce costs then the worry level is spiked.

If the players are leaving of their own accord - maybe all the schmooze retention agreements came up at once, maybe they are starting their own venture, etc - then it is a set back for sure, but a little early to say the sky is falling.

FreePBX and Asterisk are both too established to disappear overnight. Even the worst case options of halting all developement, or taking all future enhancements private won't kill it. There will be plenty of time to see how things unfold.

Still - I hope someone has the git repos mirrored.
 

wardmundy

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The flood of coincidences is making my original bet look pretty good as we enter The Third Turn. :auto:
 
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KNERD

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FreePBX and Asterisk are both too established to disappear overnight. Even the worst case options of halting all developement, or taking all future enhancements private won't kill it. There will be plenty of time to see how things unfold.
Years ago, I bought stock in Adelphia Communications, a billion dollar company, after it filed for bankruptcy. My thinking was, "a billion dollar company just does not disappear, and will recover, then stock will rise again." A few months later. POOF.


.
 

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