Skype for Asterisk Release Marries Skype Calling into Popular Asterisk PBX Platform

skype-for-asterisk.logo.180px This morning Skype and Digium announced the release of Skype for Asterisk, an Asterisk platform channel driver that allows businesses using Asterisk to incorporate Skype into their calling options.

Since first announcing the Skype for Asterisk beta program last fall, over the past eleven months the beta program has gradually expanded its scope to a broader range of Asterisk developers. The result is that not only has Digium been leading the program involving over 4,000 external participants but also they have incorporated Skype for Asterisk into their own communications operations with Skype accounts such as “Digium Sales” and “Digium Support”, typical of the convention they expect many businesses to follow.

The Skype for Asterisk launch press release includes identification of a couple of Digium Partners providing implementation of Skype for Asterisk to their clients as well as some features and pricing information:

DATUS Corporation is a Digium Select Partner with nearly four decades of experience designing and implementing communications networks in Germany. The company has nearly completed an Asterisk installation at 2,100 sites for LVM Versicherungen, a major insurance firm, and also works with Digium to design features for Asterisk that are of particular interest to European businesses. “Adding Skype for Asterisk to the DATUS indali OBX, our IP-PBX, will offer our customers inexpensive and secure international calling that, for instance, could be used for toll free customer services,” said Jonny Kueppers, vice president of sales and marketing at DATUS. “We believe that the price and cost savings will be welcome with today’s budgets.”

“The combination of Skype and Asterisk gives those companies that have relied on Skype the advanced call management capabilities of Asterisk, while Asterisk users get free calling to more han 400 million registered Skype users and low Skype rates when calling landlines and mobiles,” said Stefan Öberg, vice president and general manager of Skype for Business. “We believe the product will bring together two of the largest groups of users that value flexibility and cost savings in their PBX systems.”

Foehn Ltd, Digium’s U.K. Solutions Partner, has been designing and implementing Asterisk-based solutions for more than five years. The company’s technical director, James Passingham, commented: “With Skype for Asterisk, we can offer our clients even more freedom in business communications. The ability to unlock the lower call costs of Skype provides a huge savings opportunity, especially for those with offices and customers around the globe.”

Skype for Asterisk Features

Skype for Asterisk, which is compatible with the free and open source Asterisk versions 1.4, 1.6 and AsteriskNOW™, as well as the commercially licensed Asterisk  Business Edition™, is unique in the market today. It is the only solution that integrates directly with Skype, enables multiple concurrent Skype calls from a single Skype account, and supports both G.711 and G.729a calling.

In addition, with the new software, customers can:

  • Manage business Skype accounts with the Business Control Panel
  • Get low Skype global rates on outbound calls (as low as 2.1US¢ per minute to more than 35 countries worldwide; connection fee and fair usage policies apply)
  • Receive inbound calls to online numbers
  • Route calls according to Skype profile fields, online status and privacy settings
  • Streamline customer contact by allowing Web site visitors to place free Skype calls directly to their business with global click-to-call buttons

Pricing and Availability

Skype for Asterisk is available to download now for $66 USD per concurrent call from http://www.digium.com/skype or from Digium Authorized Resellers and Distributors worldwide. Skype for Asterisk comes with 90 days of installation support from the time of purchase.

More details, including documentation and a Buy button, are at Digium’s Skype for Asterisk product page. Update: Fierce VoIP, Skype for Asterisk now available, includes comments from Digium’s Pete Engler and Skype’s Matthew Jordan.

Within the next couple of weeks I will be discussing an implementation of Skype for Asterisk that I have been beta testing for the past few weeks.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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