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 main voice over Internet protocol used in businesses telephony networks globally.
Skype for SIP will allow employees to make domestic and international calls with regular office telephones, instead of a headset plugged into a personal computer.
SIP PBX owners are expected 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 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 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," said Stefan Oberg, VP and General Manager of Skype for Business.
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. They can connect the company Web site to the PBX system via click-to-call and place calls with Skype to landlines and mobile phones worldwide from any connected SIP-enabled PBX. Business users will be also able to purchase Skype's online numbers, to receive calls to the corporate PBX from landlines or mobile phones and manage Skype calls using their existing hardware and system applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail.
The Skype For SIP beta program for business users opens today. SIP users, phone system administrators, developers and service partners can 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, Skype said.
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.