Industry experts said today that the recent effort by Digium, the company behind Asterisk, the open source telephony platform, and Skype, an online videoconferencing service provider, to offer Skype (News - Alert) for Asterisk paves a new road for communications technology.
James Passingham, managing director of Foehn, Ltd., a U.K.-based systems integrator, said the launch of Skype for Asterisk (News - Alert) would give clients greater freedom in business communications.
“It is really going to open up the communications possibilities,” Passignham said. “It’s an interesting use of the technology, which is going to allow customers to lower their cost. Who’s going to say no to lowering their costs?”
Earlier today, Digium (News - Alert) announced the availability of the Skype for Asterisk (News - Alert) technology. The solution 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.
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. Skype, an Internet calling service, has 481 million global registered users of which about 17 million are active at any point in time.
For example, business contacts users can call Passingham via Skype, who can pick up the call from a desk phone, Passingham said.
“It opens up flexibility to the end user and to the external customer,” he said. “It’s enhancing the communications experience. It’s not longer about you just picking up the phone and dialing a number. This gives us options.”
Passingham said he believes his clients will take advantage of the technology. Foehn, Digium’s U.K. solutions partner, has been designing and implementing Asterisk-based solutions for more than five years.
Foehn designs Voice over Internet Protocol telephony and unified communications solutions with integration references in call centers, financial services, higher education, online media and charity industry verticals
The launch of Asterisk for Skype comes nearly a year after Digium and Skype, an eBay (News - Alert) (News - Alert)-owned VOIP service, announced it would collaborate on such an effort. Skype for Asterisk acts as an add-on channel driver module.
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.
The company recently made news when it announced last week that Foehn, Ltd. has become a Digium Premier Solutions Partner. As TMCnet reported, Foehn experienced increased demand for its Asterisk-based solutions with clients who favor the technology for its flexibility and affordability.
Digium executives will be onsite during Technology Marketing Corporation’s Internet Telephony Conference and Expo West 2009, which began today and runs through Sept. 3 in Los Angeles. In addition, executives, whose company is an ITEXPO (News - Alert) 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 Amy Tierney