In beta since March of last year, Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) is now officially launched. The purpose of Skype Connect is to allow companies to connect corporate phone systems to Skype, letting customers who use Skype contact the company via an IP call, and allowing the company to take advantage of Skype’s cheap outbound calling rates to make outbound calls. According to Skype, some 2400 companies have been using the beta since last year.
We have been using Skype Connect to allow customers to connect to Calliflower conference calls via Skype Connect since late 2009. Four reasons we use it:
- The service is solid, and the voice quality is excellent (it’s Skype, after all).
- Skype Connect allows us to service customers in countries where we simply can’t obtain local phone numbers – China and India for example.
- The price is excellent. At $6.95/mo for unlimited calling, per channel, it’s very affordable.
- Skype Connect is a flat rate price per channel, like Calliflower’s flat rate pricing. It’s affordable, low risk, and easily forecast.
- Our customers love it! Since introducing Skype calling to our customers in January, usage has steadily ramped. Today, Skype callers represent 11% of our volume, growing by an average of 16% every month.
Oops… that’s five reasons!
Interested in finding out how good Skype Connect really is? Click here to call Calliflower from your Skype client. You’ll be suprised.
It might seem curmudgeonly of me to say this, but I am baffled by the attention generated by Google’s announcement that they will add voice calling to Gmail. Granted, merging the voice mail box and the email box is a very friendly move for users. Allowing an immediate follow up to an email, via voice, is also a nice usability feature. Aren’t these staples of modern day unified communications systems?
Google Voice doesn’t often show up on my radar any more. It’s not available to those of us who live north of the 49th parallel, so I don’t use it. That’s a shame. If Google Voice did supply service here, I would surely take advantage of all of its super cool features like call screening, one number, voice transcription and more. For reasons that are unclear to me, though, especially since Google offers unlimited calls to the United States and Canada, Canadians don’t have access. Maybe it’s payback for the defeat of the US Men’s Hockey Team at the Olympics? Who knows?! That’s as good a theory as any, I suppose.
These days, if I want one-click calling from within email, I turn to Skype. And perhaps that’s the reason Google is adding these features to Gmail now – Skype already has them, and word on the street is that Skype and Google are headed for a showdown.
Skype also has a global international network, that includes Canada.
So how about it, Team Google? Whaddya say?