Skype Connect 1.0: A Case Study
Skype Connect allows businesses to use their existing PBX or IP-PBX systems to communicate with the millions of Skype users around the world at affordable rates.
It’s official now--Skype for SIP is finally out of Beta and now officially called SIP Connect 1.0. I've been working with Skype and some of their Beta customers for some time and with the announcement, it's a great opportunity to share a great case study that demonstrates the business impact of Skype Connect in the real world.
ROI Networks is a systems integrator based in Southern California and they faced a unique challenge when one of their long-time multi-national customers in the semiconductor industry asked them to address their incredibly costly conferencing expenses. The company already owned an Avaya SIP Enablement Server (SES) and Meeting Exchange systems, which enabled in-house conferencing, but their field sales and customers around the world still incurred significant costs to dial into the Meeting Exchange system via traditional PSTN-based or mobile telephones.
To address these costs, ROI Networks suggested to their customer that they would investigate whether Skype Connect could be integrated into their existing Avaya communications system. Skype Connect allows businesses to use their existing PBX or IP-PBX systems to communicate with the millions of Skype users around the world at very affordable rates. Skype Connect also allows businesses to have local telephone access numbers in 25 major countries. For ROI Networks' customer, adding Skype access to their Avaya Meeting Exchange system would allow traveling employees and key customers to collaborate with virtually every employee within the company and their customers without incurring expensive telephone charges. Skype integration with their Avaya SES would also allow their employees and customers to access future capabilities including name-directory dialing, messaging and custom business applications.
To integrate Skype Connect and Avaya SES, ROI Networks selected an Enterprise Session Border Controller (E-SBC), using the B2BUA function to resolve SIP incompatibilities. Using access control security features within the E-SBC, ROI Networks engineers were able to establish a set of security policies that prevent hackers or other malicious behavior from reaching the Avaya SES system. This resolved the end-customer's concerns about security and potential disruption to their business operations.
The system is currently active, handling important business conference calls on a daily basis. The reports are that the voice quality is superior, far exceeding expectations. Customers enjoy having the option of using either a local in-country access number or a Skype ID that they can used from their PC or Smartphone.
Most importantly, the cost reductions in access charges will result in a $15,000/month savings in conferencing access charges, resulting in a return-on-investment of just a few weeks.