Originally posted on Rich Tehrani’s (News - Alert) VoIP Blog
Huge news out of Astricon 2008: Skype and Digium (News - Alert) are now collaborating, creating integration between phone systems based on Asterisk and the Skype network. Users can now treat Skype calls like any other protocol on Asterisk systems: calls can be forwarded, transferred, placed and received using Skype via an Asterisk phone system.
In other words, this means native Skype trunking on Asterisk boxes.
With Skype For Asterisk, customers gain many Skype features coupled with the capabilities of Asterisk. For example, the beta version of Skype For Asterisk allows customers to make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within Asterisk systems using their existing hardware. Users can also enable inbound calling solutions like free click-to-call from company Web sites or virtual offices, and manage Skype calls using Asterisk applications (e.g. call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail).
What this means to Skype is that company has finally found a way to get into the enterprise in an easy way — by partnering with Digium/Asterisk which has great traction with developers, resellers, carriers, SMBs and more. Expect more enterprise use of Skype and as this happens, Skype should see more revenue from business users.
For Digium, this partnership allows the company to leapfrog larger telecom players and gives the company major momentum, making it a magnet for more leading-edge deals. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft (News - Alert) approaches the company for a UC partnership soon if they aren't talking already.
For the communications community this collaboration means more flexibility and lower cost calling for consumers and businesses worldwide. Finally, Skype users should be able to call companies over native Skype and for free. This news could become a major game changer if companies integrate Skype click-to-call functionality on their Web sites.
Skype for Asterisk gives the open source platforms from Skype and Digium an advantage over companies like Cisco, Avaya and Nortel, whose solutions require an external trunking gateway to communicate with the Skype community.
This also likely will be huge news for telecom markets, causing the price of phone calls to drop substantially when they’re placed from Skype devices using Asterisk open source PBX (News - Alert) software.
One other point: the Skype gateway market may now become based on Asterisk appliances/software. This means there could be more interoperability between the Skype network and SIP/other standards.
For updates on this developing story, click here.
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