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Skype now on Digium's Asterisk open source telephony platform

Users can make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within their Asterisk phone systems

Convergence & VoIP Alert By Steve Taylor and , Network World
October 06, 2008 12:10 AM ET
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VoIP, unified messaging, products and services

Network World - Digium and Skype announced recently that they are collaborating to bring Skype to Digium's Asterisk-based open source telephony platform, allowing customers to make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within their Asterisk phone systems. The collaboration is targeted at small and midsize businesses, with an emphasis on providing low rates.

The beta version of the product is limited to a select number of users, developers and integrators; system administrators and developers are invited to apply here. Following the beta period, Skype For Asterisk will be sold and distributed by Digium and its worldwide network of resellers, according to the two companies’ joint statement.

In a prepared statement, Digium CEO Danny Windham said, "Working together with Skype, our goal is to help businesses boost productivity and reap the rewards of feature-rich telephony software, all while saving a substantial amount of money. The Skype For Asterisk beta program is a first step towards adding Skype capabilities to Asterisk-based phone systems and enabling them to reach more than 338 million Skype users."

The beta version of Skype For Asterisk lets customers make, receive and transfer Skype calls using their existing system hardware. The platform can also manage Skype calls with more advanced features like call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail. The collaborative effort is designed to complement existing services with economical outbound calling using Skype’s low global rates (as low as 2.1 cents per minute to more than 35 countries worldwide). Inbound call savings are offered with solutions like free click-to-call from a Web site along with inbound calling from the PSTN through Skype's online numbers.

Skype has already certified hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners, and it works with hundreds of third-party developers who have created plug-ins to extend Skype's functionality. Digium’s Asterisk is one of the most widely used open source telephony platforms, offering an alternative to more traditional proprietary systems.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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