Shoretel has announced it is the first IP telephony vendor to offer SIP integration with popular peer to peer VoIP service Skype.
The certification means that organisations using Shoretel's business IP telephony products can offer staff the opportunity to make free VoIP calls into the head office from any Skype handset or account, while still interacting with the unified communications smarts as though they were an internal user.
A remote worker, for example, could call into the head office for free using Skype, and access the same extensions and voicemails available to internal callers.
Prior to the integration effort, a Skype user could only call another Skype user free or pay heavily subsidised prices to call public switched telephones using 'Skype Out', said Vasili Triant, managing director at Shoretel Australia.
"They couldn't have otherwise called an IP phone that wasn't a Skype handset," he said.
Triant said the integration shows that "consumer VoIP features are quickly blending into the business market.
"The business applications of Skype were fairly unknown until now," he said. "But consider travelling executives - today they might use Skype to call home when travelling in Asia or America, but they never interact with the office because of the expensive cost of roaming charges. Now there is a way they can."