Skype has formally announced its newest product for business users, Skype Connect.
Skype Connect, formally Skype SIP, is Skype’s (Skype) play at the IP-enabled PBX and Unified Communications (UC) market. With Skype Connect, businesses can now integrate the service into their existing PBX systems.
In addition to making outgoing calls at Skype rates from desktop phones, Skype Connect also lets businesses receive phone calls from other Skype users, landline or mobile phones, or from other phones on the corporate PBX. Also, Skype Connect can be configured to route calls to mobile numbers.
Skype is one of the most visible players in the consumer VoIP space, but it has a much smaller presence in the business world.
Skype first launched its Skype Connect Beta in March 2009, and according to its business blog now has more than 2,400 global customers. That’s not a bad start, but it pales when compared to some of the bigger players in this field.
Skype also faces stiff competition, not just from companies like Cisco — which has its own IP-PBX offerings — but from startups in the same space, including Bandwidth.com. Bandwidth.com offers SIP Trunking for businesses that want a cost-effective, in-house IP-PBX, and its Phonebooth Free and Phonebooth OnDemand products directly target SMBs.