Digium, the Huntsville, Ala.-based company that created and develops Asterisk, the open source telephony platform, and Skype, an online videoconferencing service provider, today announced the availability of Skype (News - Alert) for Asterisk.
The Skype for Asterisk (News - Alert) technology brings Skype features and functionality to Digium’s Asterisk software, which lets customers make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within their Asterisk phone systems. It encrypts all voice calls and lets businesses manage their Skype accounts through Skype’s Web-based Business Control Panel, according to the company.
Skype lets users make free voice and video calls and send instant messaging. In addition, Skype users can share files over the Internet, as well as make low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones.
Digium’s (News - Alert) Skype for Asterisk is available for download for $66 per channel from Digium’s Web site, or from Digium authorized resellers and distributors. Skype for Asterisk comes with 90 days of installation support from the time of purchase, company officials said.
Peter Engler, Digium's product manager for strategic products, said the technology will give businesses the ability to communicate at a higher level.
“This announcement for us really shows what a great partnership Digium and Skype have had over last year,” Engler told TMCnet in an interview. “We have spent quite a bit of time…to develop this product and bring what we think is a world-class solution to businesses.”
The launch comes nearly a year after Digium and Skype, an eBay (News - Alert)-owned VOIP service, announced it would collaborate on such an effort. Skype for Asterisk acts as an add-on channel driver module.
“To be able to offer the latest and greatest functionality on both the PBX (News - Alert) world, as well as from Skype, is really exciting,” Matthew Jordan, Skype's enterprise business development manager, told TMCnet. “Marrying those two together will [create] a richer experience.”
Beyond enhanced communications, the technology will also help Digium and its customers save money. And during an economic downturn, “Saving money is pretty exciting,” Jordan said.
Last month, Digium announced that a beta version of Skype for Asterisk was available for download. Through the effort, close to 4,000 participants signed up for the free download, which was available through Aug. 7. John Todd, the Asterisk open source community director at Digium, recently told TMCnet in an interview that the highest amount of interest is coming from users in areas where Skype is already very popular, such as Europe, South America and Asia
As a result, Skype and Digium officials said they expect the solution will attract much interest.
“We feel there is quite a bit of interest out there in the community,” Engler said. “Based on indications of the beta run, we think we are going to see a tremendous amount of interest in this product.”
Digium is the creator of Asterisk, the open source voice communications software, which is used by more than 3.5 million servers worldwide. The company’s product lines include a range of software and hardware that enable businesses to implement turnkey unified communications solutions or to design their own VoIP systems.
Skype, an Internet calling service, boasts 481 million registered users around the world as of March and about 17 million active users at any point in time on any given day. And the number of users reportedly keeps growing.
Digium executives will be onsite during Technology Marketing Corporation’s Internet Telephony Conference and Expo West 2009, which begins today and runs through Sept. 3 in Los Angeles. In addition, executives, whose company is an ITEXPO sponsor, will present numerous sessions during the show.
Learn more about Digium at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Visit Digium at booth #206 in the exhibit hall. Don’t wait. Register now.
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Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan