Skype for SIP: Getting Legitimization, Endorsement and Traction

Skype4SIP.logo Over the past two weeks we have started to see signs of a transition period for Skype’s developer support activities. Yes, Skype Extras is dead; however the current Skype API’s remain supported. Jonathan Christensen gave Michael Arrington at TechCrunch some hints of forthcoming developer support activity.  Skype for Asterisk was launched three weeks ago. All this builds on the “Skype Everywhere” theme announced last January at CES 2009.

And whither the Skype for SIP activity whose beta program was launched six months ago? Over the past two weeks we have seen a couple of Skype for SIP launch partner interoperability announcements incorporating Skype interoperability into their Unified Communications offerings:

But today’s announcement of Skype for SIP interoperability with Cisco’s Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business opens up significant new markets for Skype through Cisco’s extensive worldwide reseller channels. From the press release:

“Cisco is committed to delivering easy-to-use technology to small businesses to help them run their business better and gain a competitive advantage,” said Mark Monday, vice president and general manager, Small Business Solutions business unit, Cisco. “We are excited about Skype for SIP interoperability since it adds a very cost-effective choice to the many other options within the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series.”

Note that Cisco VARS will be required to register for a new Skype Service Partner certification program covering configuration of the Cisco solution to support Skype for SIP. And that the Skype for SIP interoperability with the Cisco 500 Series goes through third party certification at tekVizion Labs, an independent interoperability testing facility in Richardson, Texas.

In all three cases Skype for SIP increases the enterprise’s or organization’s worldwide communications choices while reducing costs through:

  • taking advantage of Skype’s interconnection to the PSTN that provides low cost (SkyepOut) calling to most countries worldwide
  • receiving inbound calls from Skype users via a global click-to-call button on the enterprise’s or organization’s website
  • receiving inbound calls via Skype Online numbers in 25 countries (previously SkypeIn)
  • interoperation of these features with all the other features of the PBX offerings of  Shoretel, sipFoundry and Cisco’s 500 Series, such as call transfer, call forwarding, voicemail, etc.

For organizations and enterprises, the availability of Skype for SIP, Skype for Asterisk and the Skype API’s used by Skype’s other business communications partners, such as OnState and Scendix (PamFax), brings about significant overhead benefits. This offering:

  • ensures that, with one service, the enterprise can achieve low cost calling to any country worldwide without the need to mange and use country- or region-specific calling plans offered by the legacy PSTN telcos.
  • eliminates a layer of communications cost overhead through the value-add of making all Skype’s global termination agreements available through one source via the various Skype for Business partners’ distribution and reseller channels.

Bottom Line: These announcements all build on Skype’s “Skype Everywhere” strategy. The key point here is that, going forward, Skype’s developer and partner activities will focus on transitioning business markets into Skype services by Skype-enabling legacy communications services and platforms, complementing its prior focus on applications that bring about communications enhanced business processes.

As predicted last spring these announcements execute on Business Long Distance: Death by 1,000,000 PBX’s.

Dan York says “Congrats to Skype and Cisco on this announcement”.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

About Jim Courtney

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

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Christopher Dean, Skype CSO at VON 2009: Skype Becoming Disruptive About Business | Voice on the Web - September 24, 2009

    […] Getting out a message differentiating the Extras program as a partner marketing program, which is coming to an end, from the evolution of any forthcoming Skype developer program has been difficult challenge for Skype. I suspect Christopher was really referring to Skype understanding how important a well-articulated and effective Skype developer partner program is. Reference to the Skype Service Partner Program was made in yesterday’s post: Skype for SIP: Getting Legitimization, Endorsement and Traction. […]

  2. Business Long Distance: Death By a Million PBX’s, Part II | Voice on the Web - December 3, 2009

    […] the past eight months, Skype has been running a closed Skype for SIP beta program. A couple of PBX vendor agreements have been signed while Skype personnel have been having discussions with potential Skype for Business customers […]

  3. Skype for SIP: First Anniversary and The Partner Ecosystem Expands | Voice on the Web - March 23, 2010

    […] a result the Skype for SIP ecosystem grows beyond the initial partnerships announced with Shoretel, SIP Foundry and Cisco. Skype for SIP Certification ensures that Skype’s partners meet established standards not only […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.