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Asterisk Does Skype

Asterisk Does Skype

February 02, 2010
By Bob Emmerson, TMC European Editor

At ITEXPO, FREETALK Connect demo’d a groundbreaking first: Skype (News - Alert) running on an Asterisk platform — a communications marriage made in heaven. Free Skype-to-Skype calls via a low-cost IP PBX: an ideal combination for SMBs. This is such an obvious development that one can only wonder why it took so long. The answer is two-fold: one, the need to create configuration wizards that can be used by companies lacking IT resources; Asterisk (News - Alert) is notoriously tricky. And two, the need have detailed knowledge about Skype technology. The latter came from Andrew Hansen, FREETALK’s Manager for B2B and the former from Jazinga, one of the 14 charter members of the FREETALK Connect Alliance that was formed at ITEXPO (News - Alert).

This solution, FREETALK Connect, was designed from the ground up to allow small and medium business owners to enable Skype calls from supported office phones. It allows companies to make Skype-to-Skype calls with the more than 520 million registered users worldwide and users can view and manage Skype contact lists using their supported office phones. Companies can also receive inbound voice calls from users of Skype around the world and participate in the Skype for SIP open beta, which will enable them to take advantage of Skype’s low-cost global calling rates for calls to landline or mobile phones around the world from their desktop phones.
Supported telephones are plugged into the company’s network and FREETALK Connect auto-detects and configures them. An on-screen wizard then guides the customer through a few business-related questions that help configure the company’s communication system and enable Skype calling from every supported desktop phone in the office. Adding users and administering the system after installation is just as easy.

Designed for offices with between two and 50 users, this solution offers true unified communications functionality, including: Find Me, Follow Me; a unified voice mailbox; automated attendant; auto call distribution and intelligent routing capabilities. Incoming Skype calls, as well as calls over SIP, the PSTN and IAX2, can be routed by FREETALK Connect to any local or remote Skype user, SIP endpoint, analog or mobile phone.

Beginning in March, FREETALK Connect will be available for purchase in the U.S. via the Skype Shop, from In Store Solutions.

Bob Emmerson is TMC's (News - Alert) European Editor. To stay abreast of the latest news affecting the European market, check out Bob's columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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