This fall has been full of news concerning Skype's Skype for SIP beta service program, what with announcements of support for the solution from PBX providers ShoreTel and SIPFoundrynot to mention Cisco System's announcement of Skype for SIP interoperability certification for it's Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business.
Today, Skype unveiled another piece of the puzzle, announcing that it has selected Acme Packet as the sole session border controller (SBC) partner for the Skype for SIP beta program. That is, it will deploy Acme Packet's Net-Net OS-Enterprise SBCs at the network edge.
SBC deployment will simplify the interoperability and feature compatibility of the Skype for SIP offering with enterprise IP-PBX equipment and next-generation unified communications (UC) platforms using the SIP standard.
"SIP is a great standard," Jim Donovan, Acme Packet vice president of enterprise product management told Enterprise VoIPplanet, "but like all standards, there are interpretation issuesimplementation issues sometimes that can arise. One of the values that Acme Packet session border controller technology provides is on the control piece of it, making a SIP implementation from vendor A [in this case Skype] work with a SIP implementation from vendor B.
"This lets Skype for SIP be deployed into virtually any IP telephony or unified communications infrastructure, regardless of who the vendor is, what version they might be running, etc. It really helps speed the adoption of the Skype for SIP service Skype is offering," Donovan said.
Stefan Oberg, vice president and general manager of Skype for Business commented: "This step simplifies our interoperability testing process and makes it easier for us to begin rolling out Skype for SIP to the many interested organizations.
"Furthermore, by using the Acme Packet SBC in conjunction with the Skype for SIP certification program, potential customers with PBXs that have already been certified as interoperable can be assured that their existing systems will be fully compatible with Skype for SIP."
Skype for SIP aims to get a foothold in the enterprise IP telephony market, letting companies cut their communications costs by making outbound calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide at low Skype rates from phones and other devices connected to their existing SIP-enabled PBX systems. It will also allow organizations to receive inbound voice calls to their PBX from the more than 400 million registered Skype users around the world via a global click-to-call button on their Web site.
Michael Leo, director of enterprise solutions marketing for Acme Packet explained to Enterprise VoIPplanet how well suited the company's SBCs are to an operation like Skype: "One of the key factors they've got going with us is the scalability of our solutions. We are a significant player in session border controllers for service providers; they understand that. We have the types of solutions that are going to scale to meet their current and future needs."