Avaya / Skype Join Forces

UC

Avaya and Skype announced a strategic agreement to develop solutions that mate Avaya’s unified communications portfolio with Skype’s low-cost calling network. The first part of the agreement enables Avaya customers to connect their phone systems to the Skype network via Skype Connect, in effect leveraging Skype as a SIP trunking service to reduce outbound long distance calling costs. Avaya and Skype also announced plans to enable click-to-call functionality to enable Skype users to call into Avaya phone systems. Further down the road, the two companies plan to allow Avaya users to directly call Skype clients, or share presence information with Skype users.

This announcement underscores two key trends that we continue to see in our research: the desire of telecom managers to leverage SIP trunking to reduce PSTN access costs (96% of companies are now deploying or evaluating SIP trunking), and the growing desire to enable a direct interface with the millions of Skype users around the world. In addition, anecdotally we’re hearing of greater acceptance of Skype in the business world as employees increasingly rely on it to communicate and collaborate with the outside world, or to reduce long-distance charges.

Enterprise telecom managers, especially Avaya customers, should pay close attention to the latest round of Skype-related announcements and plan to leverage Skype services where appropriate to reduce costs and improve access to Skype’s growing user base.

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