GigaOm last night already predicted an announcement was forthcoming, but now it’s official: Skype has announced that the beta version of Skype for SIP has been certified as interoperable with Cisco’s Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business.
This will enable SMBs who manage their networking and communications needs with the Cisco solution to communicate more efficiently by directing their outbound calls to mobiles and landlines over Skype’s VoIP service.
The integrated solution will also allow employees to receive inbound calls from Skype users (now over 480 million strong according to the release). Earlier this year, similar arrangements were struck by the eBay company with Shoretel and SIPfoundry’s sipXecs platform.
Interoperability with Skype for SIP, which was first announced last March, means that small businesses can take advantage of the Skype’s generally low-cost global calling rates when their employees call landlines and/or mobiles across the globe. In addition, if a company buys and associates online Skype numbers with their Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series system, it can then receive inbound calls via Skype from business contacts and customers calling from landline and mobile phones, from anywhere in the world.
Om Malik says Skype is also about to announce a similar agreement with Avaya, a large enterprise telephony equipment provider.
Suddenly, Skype looks a lot more attractive than it already was.