Foo camp attendee Ben Black alerted me to Adhearsion, a framework for developing applications in the VoIP space. Think of it as a Ruby on Rails for telephony. Developed by Jay Philllps who got frustrated by the slow uptake of Asterisk.
Adhearsion is written in Ruby and lets those even without any VoIP experience write applications intuitively and productively or simply download and use a pre-written solution. With the framework extension architecture, VoIP functionality can now be actually traded around – an issue the VoIP industry has always suffered from.
A fresh, standard Adhearsion system out of the box does what many companies spend thousands on. It includes a wide – and growing – set of features that should not have to be rewritten for every business that wants to implement them. And yes, this is open-source.
Considering Microsoft spent around $800M on Tellme, I look forward to see what kind of applications this leads to, and what value they generate. We often forget the enormous market for telephone based services.