“Ubuntu is our favorite platform, and we were happy to see that it can be effortlessly deployed on Azure. In order to deploy our app into the virtual machine, we simply put in the script, and we have a full IP-PBX running for all users.” – Sanjay Willie, Chief Technology Officer, Astiostech Sdn. Bhd.
Astiostech Sdn. Bhd. is surfing on the huge wave of high broadband availability in Malaysia. Although an increase in broadband penetration became evident much later, the company’s young founders envisioned a huge business opportunity in 2010 and decided to offer the country a full-service, internet-based telephony system. Only two years old, Astiostech today offers feature-rich IP-PBX telephony solutions to prestigious banks and corporations in Malaysia and neighboring countries.
The Business Challenge: Astiostech’s IP-PBX solution is built almost entirely on open source software as the team has years of experience using such software. It uses Asterisk on Linux as its back-end platform and PHP on the frontend. For data storage, the company uses MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Hence, it is important that the cloud platform used is compatible with their software, while ensuring good vocal quality. In the past, Astiostech had experimented with cloud platform hosting through a popular public cloud service provider. However, not having seen the expected results in voice quality, the founders had given up on using the cloud.
The Solution: One of Astiostech’s clients commissioned them to set up a private telephony system on Microsoft Azure. Astiostech did so—and has since never looked back. “Ubuntu is our favorite platform, and we were happy to see that it can be effortlessly deployed on Azure,” states Sanjay. “In order to deploy our app into the virtual machine, we simply put in the script, and we have a full IP-PBX running for all users. It helps tremendously that Azure has pre-installed VM images for Linux in Azure Marketplace and VMDepot.” Sanjay admits he was astonished by the resulting vocal quality Azure offered. “I actually measured if there was any packet loss. Packet loss can destroy conversations, with words, even entire sentences, being lost. And the loss I measured was negligible.” As of June 2015, Astiostech deployed Asterisk HD audio and video (telephone voice and video teleconferencing capabilities) on Azure.
The Benefits: Through the cloud, Astiostech can now make available its telephony services worldwide to an impressive range of customers. The company can offer its clients both phenomenal savings by providing their choice of hardware and software as well as an increasingly feature-rich line of services that are a lot easier to use compared to traditional PBX systems. Through the expertise they have built on deploying open source software on Azure, Astiostech is currently a recognized open source partner with Microsoft.
- Cost savings for themselves and their clients. “One of our clients uses an IP-PBX system at their headquarters and branches, so all their calls are routed through the internet. This means they practically pay nothing,” says Sanjay Willie, Chief Technology Officer, Astiostech Sdn. Bhd. “They have reported that they are saving 75% in telephone calls.”
- Global reach, global growth. “We can put IP-PBXs in remote locations today,” notes Sanjay. Sanjay sees cloud-based telephony as the solution for both corporate expansion and cost savings. “Companies with multiple geographical locations should put all their telephony systems on the cloud. With Azure, all we have to do is type in the user name and password, and we can offer clients anywhere in the world a fully functioning cloud-based telephone within minutes.”
- A Microsoft Partner with a bright future. Astiostech is currently working with Microsoft as a partner to expand their open source business on the cloud in Malaysia which has helped the company build greater credibility and confidence with its potential customers. “Microsoft has a very strong presence in Malaysia; business people are well acquainted with Azure. When I present our products to people and they ask if we have a cloud system, I say, ‘Yes, we have Azure,’ and they all breathe a sigh of relief,” says Sanjay. “My clients feel comfortable hosting their systems on the Microsoft cloud.”