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Gautier Hankenne interview

From what activity does this interview take time?

Customizing joomla for the Eurofer extranet

You are managing the Asterisk platform at Eurofer. What does this involve, what are your daily tasks?

I monitor the errors that can arise during the day with the system. Quite often, the users come to see me to ask for improvements or to solve a problem. I'm quite amazed to see how Asterisk doesn’t really require a lot of maintenance!

You made up the call plan. What was the methodology?

As I had to do this during the office relocation of the company, the methodology was "do something fast so it can work"... I was new in Asterisk configuration. Having set up the call plan I then made modifications to improve it during the first weeks to get to a point where the users are now quite happy. The call plan should be redone as I've gained some more knowledge in Asterisk configuration.

How did Eurofer chose for Asterisk, did you evaluate other vendors offerings?

We saw some vendors who were selling their services around Asterisk. They were really interesting but we really wanted a totally open-source system and they were generally proposing proprietary software. Their offers for the phones they were selling also didn't suit what we wanted. Finally, we also wanted to remain the master of the system from the beginning of the project.

You went for an internally managed roll-out, supported by an external consultant. Why not go with an Asterisk vendor or integrator?

For the reason above we wanted to manage it ourselves

How was the migration from the old PBX?

We just kept all the isdn lines with our numbers and tried to make something from scratch. Despite my limited knowledge of Asterisk, this was actually relatively easy to do

How did users react to the migration?

It was not as bad as we thought it could have been. The users have got used to the system quite easily. The only problem was (and remains) the quality of the phones

What's in your opinion the biggest improvement as a result of the migration to Asterisk?

Total freedom and the ability to do exactly what we want plus an integration with our current system (mainly LDAP)