Skype Dials New Owner… And Open Source
Now that eBay has sold most of Skype to private investors, some pundits may wonder what markets Skype should tackle next. Actually, the answer has already emerged — and it involves Skype plugging into Asterisk, the open source IP PBX. Here’s the scoop and the implications for solutions providers.
The first piece of news involves eBay selling most of Skype to private investors, as reported by The New York Times. But a separate, smaller piece of news could also have big implications for Skype and its channel partners. Skype for Digium Asterisk — the open source IP PBX — is officially available for download.
The VAR Guy thinks Skype for Asterisk could be a killer combo for all parties involved — including channel partners.
According to a press release hitting the wires today:
“Now businesses [running Asterisk] can take advantage of Skype’s low-cost calling to landlines and mobile phones and free calling to more than 400 million registered Skype users around the world.”
Skype and Digium say Skype for Asterisk is available to download now for $66 USD per concurrent call. It comes with 90 days of installation support from the time of purchase, the duo says.
Skype’s Past and Future
Skype seemed to get lost in the Web 2.0 world during eBay’s ownership. As The New York Times points out: “Many analysts thought eBay grossly overpaid when it acquired Skype in 2005 for $2.1 billion.” But today’s sale values Skype at $2.75 billion, higher than many analysts had expected, adds The Times.
Let’s toss valuations aside for the moment and focus on Skype and Asterisk. In recent months, Digium and other Asterisk proponents have been rapidly recruiting channel partners. At the same time, entrepreneurs (including The VAR Guy) have been embracing Skype as a way to hold the line on telecom costs amid the recession.
Seems like Asterisk and Skype are a match made in heaven. Starting today we’ll see if Digium’s channel partners agree.