Skype Connect debuts

* Service can be used to make outbound calls from desktop phones to the PSTN and mobile carriers worldwide.

Skype has officially launched Skype Connect 1.0 (formerly Skype for SIP). The service was previously available as a beta version, and it is used by businesses to connect Skype to an IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX) or unified communications systems.

Skype has officially launched Skype Connect 1.0 (formerly Skype for SIP). The service was previously available as a beta version, and it is used by businesses to connect Skype to an IP-enabled private branch exchange (PBX) or unified communications systems.

So you think you know Skype?

Skype Connect can be used to make outbound calls from desktop phones to the PSTN and mobile carriers worldwide. Subscribers can also receive inbound calls from other Skype connected users by placing Skype's click-and-call buttons on their organization's Web site or receive calls from mobile phones to the IP-PBX using landlines or Skype's online numbers.

Skype calls are managed using existing PBX or UC systems' features such as call routing, automatic call distribution, conferencing, auto-attendant and voice mail.

Since the beta version was released in March 2009, Skype has already has over 2,400 active global customers, and Skype Connect is now certified for interoperability with products from Avaya, Cisco, SIPfoundry, ShoreTel and others. For those who have legacy TDM PBXs or Key systems, and still want to take advantage of Skype Connect, the company has also certified IP gateways from AudioCodes, Grandstream and VoSKY that offer interoperability.

Also since the beta release, the company has upgraded management and support, introducing "Skype Manager" as a Web-based tool designed to help IT managers set up Skype Connect and control Skype usage. In addition, the Skype now offers dedicated customer support, including real-time chat, for Skype Connect customers.

Companies using Skype Connect are charged a monthly channel fee of $6.95 per line, based on the number of concurrent calls being made or received. Calls to landlines and mobiles made using Skype Connect are billed at Skype's standard calling rates worldwide.

Readers can watch a video that explains how businesses can use Skype Connect here

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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