Skype on Monday announced the official launch of Skype Connect 1.0, formerly known as Skype for SIP. Previously available in beta, Skype Connect delivers a business solution that enables IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX) or Unified Communications systems to connect to Skype.
According to the company, by using Skype Connect, businesses can now:
• Make outbound calls from desktop phones to landlines and mobiles worldwide billed at Skype’s standard per-minute calling rates
• Receive inbound calls from Skype connected users worldwide by placing Skype’s Click & Call buttons on their Web sites
• Receive calls from landlines or mobile phones in the corporate PBX using Skype’s online numbers that have been purchased separately
• Manage Skype calls using existing PBX or UC systems’ features such as call routing, automatic call distribution, conferencing, auto-attendant, voicemail, call recording and logging.
David Gurlé, VP and general manager of Skype for Business said that based on internal research, in the first quarter of 2010, approximately 37% of Skype users reported that they use Skype for some business or business-related purposes.
"Our team’s goal is to empower businesses of all sizes and types with rich communications tools to unleash their productivity, while reducing their telecommunications costs. […] Skype Connect seeks to enable our customers to reduce their phone bills, while protecting their investment in existing telecommunications equipment,” said Gurlé.
Skype Connect already has over 2,400 active global customers and it’s now certified to work with PBX and UC products from Avaya, Cisco, SIPfoundry, ShoreTel and other OEMs.
The solution also works with older TDM PBXs or Key Systems which can now add Skype calling capabilities through third-party IP gateways from AudioCodes, Grandstream and VoSKY.
Companies using Skype Connect are charged a monthly channel fee of €4.95 / $6.95 per line. This is based on the number of concurrent calls being made or received. Each channel allows for one inbound or one outbound call at any given time. Calls to landlines and mobiles made using Skype Connect are billed at Skype’s standard calling rates worldwide.
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