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A photo tour of Digium

Running around in Huntsville last week, I was invited to spend some time with Digium and see the company’s building and facilities.

Digium is located in the Cummings Research Park, the second largest research and technology park in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world.  Its’ neighbors include ADTRAN and a whole bunch of aerospace companies supporting NASA and the Army.

Regrettably, I didn’t have a chance to get a picture of the outside of Digium’s multi-story office building — accidentally left my “real” camera back in the hotel room and the cabby had me annoyed because she couldn’t break a $20 on a$7 fare over from the hotel.  Just imagine big, shiny, and relatively new; Digium moved into its current building about two years ago and the company has an option to build a second one on an adjacent site should the need arise.


This is the ground floor atrium of sorts that extends up about two floors.  Do  I need need to spell out why the Asterisk is there?


A blurry shot of the Mark C. Smith boardroom.  Smith was the founder of ADTRAN and a mentor to Digium founder Mark Spencer, not to mention an investor in Digium and sat on the company’s board.   Of course, ADTRAN has named its much larger Conference Center after Smith, but it is the thought that counts.

Other conference rooms are named after various species of penguins (Linux, penguin mascot, Mark Spencer’s sense of humor).


Digium board testing area. While most people associate the company with it’s Asterisk IP PBX / IP telephony platform, the company still ships plenty of telephony boards.


Bins of assembled and packaged boards ready to be shipped out to telephony servers around the globe.


Manufacturing isn’t for the light-hearted, as it requires managing inventory, being able to deliver product on time, and being able to assess the quality of shipped products in order to improve them — returned products are no fun for customers or customers.

Digium hired someone out of the auto industry to refine its manufacturing processes and work on improving the quality of the products it ships to reduce the number of returns it gets on hardware.  Fewer returns mean less money and headaches on sending out a replacement part while a “lean” manufacturing process means being able to build the products you need when needed, rather than building a run of boards and having them sit on the shelves for a couple of months.  Idle/excess inventory means tied up dollars — not good for any company and really Not Good for a company that is rapidly growing and needs to put money into expansion.


Speaking of returned products, this is Digium’s failure-analysis lab.  Basic diagnostics of failed boards happens here while more sophisticated analysis is conducted on an outsource basis to one of the local engineering labs in the area — outsourced tasks can include fine sectioning of a board or a look through an electron microscope to discover a failed solder joint.


Digium’s humble shipping department.  If you look outside, you can see the Astri-truck.


A close-up of the Astri-truck.


Least we forget that Digium also does softwaer,  this is one of a number of programmer meeting areas with comfy chairs and a big whopping white board.

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