Skype has announced that the beta version of Skype for SIP has been certified as interoperable with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business. This will enable small and medium-sized businesses who manage their networking and communications needs with this affordable UC solution to communicate more efficiently by directing their outbound calls to mobiles and landlines via Skype, while also allowing them to receive inbound calls from Skype users.
"In today's tough economy, executives of smart small and medium-sized companies realize that effective communications with customers, partners and employees are a key to helping them grow their business," said Stefan Oberg, VP and General Manager of Skype for Business. "By certifying Skype for SIP as interoperable with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series, we are providing a single offering that will help many SMBs around the globe save money, save time and stay ahead of the competition."
Interoperability with Skype for SIP means that small businesses can take advantage of the cost savings provided by Skype's low-cost global calling rates when their employees call landlines and mobiles around the world. A company can also receive inbound voice calls from any of the more than 480 million registered Skype users around the world via a global click-to-call button on its Web site. These Skype calls are received in the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series solution and can be handled or directed in the same way as any other inbound caller. In addition, if a company buys and associates online Skype numbers with their Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series solution, it can then receive inbound calls via Skype from business contacts and customers calling from landline and mobile phones.
"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."
The Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series platform is part of Cisco's Smart Business Communications System which continues to expand having just added a new set of IP phones with high definition audio, a unified threat management device as well as support for third party application integration, including products from healthcare, automotive and insurance industries.
Certification testing of Skype for SIP with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business was conducted by tekVizion Labs, an independent test facility in Richardson, Texas, which specializes in IP communications interoperability testing.
Cisco VARs will need to register for the Skype Service Partner Program and pass an online certification exam to qualify to configure the Cisco solution to support Skype for SIP, as well as to support those business customers who may already be using the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business and want to integrate Skype for SIP into their present communications solution.