Skype Adopts SIP For Business Phones


Internet phone leader finally adopts standards – in a bid for corporate usage

Skype has announced a beta that links its software to corporate telephone systems, using the accepted VoIP standard, known as SIP.

Despite being the best-known Internet telephony provider, Skype has resisted using the international standard, SIP (session initiation protocol, preferring to use its own proprietary peer-to-peer protocols. Adopting SIP will allows Skype’s telephony client software to connect to PBX systems and other telephony equipment.

The beta software, Skype for SIP, will allow companies to make calls using Skype on their normal deskphone, and also add business-grade features to incoming Skype calls. It is available as a download, and operates at the company’s normal SkypeIn and SkypeOut commercial rates for calls to non-Skype users. However, this may change when the final product launches later this year, according to reports.

Companies can use the new system to upgrade their Skype IDs to business-grade contact points, the company says. The PBX will add features like queuing so users can handle calls to a Skype address displayed on a website just as well as they can manage calls over the phone network.

Small companies that don’t have an IP PBX, could combine the new software with an open source PBX – the leading one is Asterisk, the company has advised.

Skype was bought by eBay in 2005, but the service has not been integrated very thoroughly with the auction site yet, leading to comments that the two companies were not as good a fit as eBay had hoped. However, eBay recently claimed it expects a billion dollars in Skype revenue by 2011.

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