Speech Technology Magazine

 

Digium and Skype Collaborate on Business Phone Systems

Vendors combine on low-cost Skype for Asterisk for smaller firms.
By Leonard Klie - Posted Nov 1, 2008
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Digium, creator and primary developer of the Asterisk open source telephony platform, and global IP telephony company Skype last month unveiled a beta version of Skype for Asterisk, which will allow the integration of Skype functionality into Digium’s Asterisk software and enable business customers to make, receive, and transfer Skype calls from within their Asterisk phone systems.

"Throughout our individual histories, Skype and Asterisk have each disrupted conventional communication methods through innovative, cost-effective solutions," said Stefan Öberg, vice president and general manager for Skype Telecom and Skype for Business, in a statement. "We are excited to be working together with Digium to offer small and midsize businesses an even more powerful communications solution to conduct business worldwide."

Specifically, the beta version of Skype for Asterisk is an add-on channel driver module that integrates Skype Internet calling with Asterisk-based telephony products. Skype for Asterisk also complements small and midsize business users’ existing services by providing low rates for calling landline and mobile phones around the world.

"Working together with Skype, our goal is to help businesses boost productivity and reap the rewards of feature-rich telephony software, all while saving a substantial amount of money," said Danny Windham, CEO of Digium, the creator and sponsor of Asterisk, in a statement. "The Skype for Asterisk beta program is a first step towards adding Skype capabilities to Asterisk-based phone systems and enabling them to reach more than 338 million Skype users."

The beta version of Skype for Asterisk will enable users to:

  • make, receive, and transfer Skype calls from within Asterisk phone systems, using existing hardware;
  • complement existing services with Skype’s global rates (as low as 2.1 cents per minute to more than 35 countries);
  • save money on inbound calling solutions, such as free click-to-call from a Web site, as well as receive inbound calling from the PSTN through Skype’s online numbers; and
  • manage Skype calls using Asterisk applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus, and voicemail.

Following the beta period when the product becomes generally available, Skype for Asterisk will be sold and distributed by Digium and its worldwide network of resellers.

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