The Swiss Army Knife Of Communications
Asterisk is in use today as the core engine of many communications applications. While business phone systems (also known as IP PBXs) are the most common, Asterisk includes components that allow it to serve a wide range of functions. This section of the Asterisk.org site is intended to help you understand how Asterisk influences some of the most common applications. Keep in mind that these are only a small sample of the thousands of things that have been built using Asterisk.
You might wonder how a single software package can serve so many different functions. The key is in Asterisk's modular design. Asterisk includes hundreds of components that can be combined to build amazing stuff. Combine the SIP channel, the PSTN interface channel and some Dialplan script and you have a gateway. Change the Dialplan to drop calls into a ConfBridge session and you have a conference server. Alter it once more to route calls into voice mailboxes and you have a voicemail server. Tie it all together and you have an amazingly powerful phone system.
With Asterisk, you have the potential to tie communications into any application or business function. The ultimate goal of Unified Communications is to build multi-modal communications capabilities into the applications you use. Asterisk makes this easy. Communications-enable your salesforce automation or CRM system using the Asterisk Manager Interface. Set your workforce free by adding mobility and remote worker capabilities. Up your customer service efficiency and delight your customers by implementing web-based callback and intelligent queuing.