LUXEMBOURG, March 23, 2009 -- Skype today announced the beta version of Skype For SIP for Business users. SIP, short for Session Initiation Protocol, is an open standard and the leading voice over Internet protocol used in businesses telephony networks at millions of locations globally. According to IDC, 438,000 IP PBXes were shipped worldwide in 2008 (Source: IDC, Worldwide IP PBX and Desktop Hardware IP Phone Market Forecast, 2008-2012: Using the PBX as the Foundation of Unified Communications, Doc #210695, February 2008).
Skype For SIP allows SIP PBX owners to benefit from Skype's low cost calls to fixed phones and mobiles around the world, and to receive calls from Skype users directly into their PBX system.
Businesses can now be reached by the community of over 405 million Skype registered users through click-to-call from their business Web sites. The calls will be received through their existing office system at no cost to the customer. At the same time, businesses can benefit from Skype's low-cost global calling rates when placing calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide from devices connected to their PBX systems. In addition, they can choose to purchase online Skype numbers available in over 20 countries to receive calls from business contacts and customers who are using traditional fixed lines or mobile phones.
"The introduction of Skype for SIP is a significant move for Skype and for any communication intensive business around the world," said Stefan Oberg, VP and General Manager of Skype for Business. "It effectively combines the obvious cost savings and reach of Skype with its large user base, with the call handling functionality, statistics and integration capabilities of traditional office PBX systems, providing great economical savings and increased productivity for the modern business."
"Businesses have been waiting for Skype to make a concerted push into the business space for a while," said Rebecca Swensen, IDC's Research Analyst, Enterprise Mobility and IP Communications Services. "Connecting to existing standards-based SIP PBXes is a good way for Skype to start doing so. It will be interesting to see how large companies change their thinking about the deployment of Skype within the network."
The beta version of Skype For SIP will enable business users to:
- Receive and manage inbound calls from Skype users worldwide on SIP-enabled PBX systems; connecting the company Web site to the PBX system via click-to-call
- Place calls with Skype to landlines and mobile phones worldwide from any connected SIP-enabled PBX; reducing costs with Skype's low-cost global rates
- Purchase Skype's online numbers, to receive calls to the corporate PBX from landlines or mobile phones
- Manage Skype calls using their existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail; no additional downloads or training are required
How to participate
The Skype For SIP beta program for business users opens today. SIP users, phone system administrators, developers and service partners are invited to apply at www.skypeforsip.com. Applicants will need to be businesses, have an installed SIP based IP-PBX system, as well as a level of technical competency to configure their own SIP-enabled PBX. The initial beta is available to a limited number of participants.
During the beta period all calls will be charged at standard Skype rates. Further pricing details will be announced when the product is fully launched later this year.
Founded in 2003, Skype is revolutionizing the way people communicate around the world. Skype has more than 405 million registered users globally who use Skype software to communicate for free through voice and video calls as well as instant messages. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings, such as calls made to and from landlines and mobiles, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS. Skype is used in almost every country on Earth, and people have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. Conversations over Skype can take place on computers, mobile devices and Skype Certified™ hardware. Skype certifies and sells hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners, and works with hundreds of third-party developers who have created plug-ins to extend Skype's functionality.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). Learn more and download Skype at www.skype.com.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype for SIP is meant to complement your existing telephone services.
Skype, associated trade marks and logos and the "S" symbol are trade marks of Skype Limited.