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July 23, 2007

VoSKY Connects ShoreTel VoIP Customers to Skype

By Erik Linask, Associate Editor,
Internet Telephony magazine

A growing number of businesses small and large are learning just how much they can gain — in cost savings and in communications efficiencies — by adopting VoIP solutions. And while those benefits are well documented, even greater efficiencies can be won by combined multiple technologies that have been proven compatible with one another. It is such interoperability work that can truly generate maximum ROI on IP phone systems.
One solution many businesses have tried implementing to cut long distance calling costs is the use of Skype (News - Alert) within the office. But, because Skype was initially designed as a consumer service, users typically need a headset and Internet connection to make and receive Skype calls. That, of course, precludes employees from benefiting from investments in phone systems when placing calls.
VoSKY (News - Alert), however, has resolved that issue with its VoSKY Exchange PBX to Skype gateway appliance, which allows callers to use their desktop phones to place and receive calls via Skype. As such, it enhances the quality of Skype communications and extends IP PBX (News - Alert) and handset functionality to the Skype environment.
In addition to having been certified by Skype and putting in place several distribution deals recently to increase market penetration, VoSKY has now announced it has earned certification from ShoreTel’s (News - Alert) Technology Partner Program. In short, that honor effectively ensures that the VoSKY Exchange has been approved by ShoreTel in conjunction with its IP phone system, thereby extending its value to customers by making Skype connectivity possible directly through its line of desktop phones.
Through a series of tests and interoperability analyses, ShoreTel’s Technology Partner Program allows ShoreTel to present its customers with a variety of complementary software and hardware products that can extend the value proposition of its IP telephony solution. The certification process takes place in ShoreTel’s own test facility, and includes integration documentation from partners to assist customers in integrating these add-on solutions into their networks.
By adding the VoSKY Exchange to its line of certified products, ShoreTel allows businesses to enjoy significantly reduced calling costs by being able to optimize Skype calling for its business VoIP environment, including calls from deskphones, remote PBX access connections, and Web-based calling. Regardless of the specific use, Exchange is easily and seamlessly integrated into and TDM or IP PBX phone systems.
Because VoSKY Exchange is Skype certified, it not only integrates into the business phone system, bus also into the full Skype environment, enabling centralized provisioning and management to bring Skype capabilities to every office extension — thus enabling free Skype-to-Skype calls or inexpensive SkypeOut calls for as little as two cents per minute.
The net result for ShoreTel customers is that they have access to a growing ecosystem that has been proven to work in conjunction with their telephony platform to extend the capabilities of the system to enhance their communications possibilities. As such, they are able to maximize their technology investment and leverage their ShoreTel system to integrate their business communications.
“Working with technology partners like VoSKY ensures that our customers can get the solution that works best for them,” said Steve Timmerman, vice president of marketing at ShoreTel.  “As companies expand globally, ShoreTel IP telephony solutions equipped with VoSKY Exchange allow them to enhance and expand their communications cost-effectively.”

For partners like VoSKY, it means increased exposure to a market segment that is almost assuredly already in the market for a cost saving solution, to which the added savings — and convenience — of integrating Skype via the Exchange gateway is likely to be an added benefit.
“Being a certified ShoreTel Technology Partner Program is a further proof point of the savings and optimization VoSKY Exchange offers to businesses,” said David Tang, vice president of global marketing, VoSKY Technologies.
Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications (News - Alert). Prior to joining TMC, he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.

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