Skype for SIP is no Threat to Skype for Asterisk

Some in the communications blogosphere have lately used news and rumors about Skype’s recent moves beyond its proprietary fortress to toll a death-knell for the still-in-beta Skype for Asterisk channel. A post at Digium’s blog Friday by Scott Sokol should get them to think again.

By outlining several important disctinctions between Skype-for-SIP (SFS) and Skype-for Asterisk (SFA) — which largely boil down to the difference between a protocol and a platform — Sokol argues that Skype’s partnership with Digium is significant in ways that SFS or a Skype for iPhone app will never touch.

Sokol also explains why Skype for Asterisk remains in beta — beyond the complex challenges involved in getting two very different technologies to work together. He points out that what the two companies are trying to pull off is “something new, powerful and thus-far untried in the world of business communications.”

Over the past five years Skype has built the leading global peer-to-peer consumer VoIP service. Now the company has turned to Digium, in addition to rolling out its own enterprise-oriented effort, with a focus on transforming business communications the way it has transformed personal communications.

Skype for Asterisk is a key underpinning to the success of that effort because the Asterisk platform has been adopted by so many businesses and VoIP service providers, many of whom have been pining for Skype functionality for years.

So the anticipation for something the public can use is understandable, as is Skype’s and Digium’s desire to get it right before putting it on the market.