VoIP provider Skype has finally decided to open up to corporates with the launch of a new beta programme designed to bring Skype calls to PBX systems based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standard.
Skype for SIP allows firms running SIP-based PBXs to place calls with Skype to landlines and mobile phones worldwide. The software will also give firms the ability to receive and manage inbound calls from Skype users to SIP-enabled PBX systems, enabling them to offer click-to-call functionality on web sites.
Around a third of Skype customers use the tool in a business setting, but the company had not previously been ready to offer a corporate service, according to Stefan Oberg, general manager of Skype for Business.
"We have heard for a while customers saying 'Skype is great and we love to use it but a lot of staff make calls using their work phone, so is there any way to connect our own phone network with Skype?'," he said.
"That is exactly what this announcement is doing. You can call out from the corporate phone system via Skype all over the world at great rates."
The Skype For SIP beta is open for business users today. Applicants will need to have an installed SIP-based IP-PBX system, and enough technical know-how to configure their own SIP-enabled PBX, said Skype.
However, the firm is planning to run a service partner programme alongside the service.
"People in the industry could see this as the first step to Skype opening up more to businesses, and there will be more to come on that," said Oberg.
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