Re: Corporate VOIP - Skype?

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Gordon Henderson, May 15, 2009.

  1. In article <>,
    TheScullster <> wrote:
    >Hi all
    >Total newby to this Skype stuff!
    >My boss has asked if this can be implemented as we have a lot of overseas
    >travellers and he is looking to make savings!
    >Currently we have a Windows domain with 2003server, ISA server as proxy and
    >a checkpoint firewall.
    >A quick scan of a few links shows up issues like:
    >"We need a software that we can setup on our Own server. One that does not
    >port hop, circumvent the firewalls, or try to suck up our bandwidth by
    >becoming a Super Node at it's own descretion"

    Skype won't give you that - it's decentralised. However I understand
    it's possible to tell it not to become a supernode.

    Skype does not need a server though - it's purely peer to peer (maybe
    via a supernode which you won't have any control over other than telling
    your own node to not become one)

    Personally I'd not run a PBX on a windows server. I'd install a dedicated
    box built for the purpose. But if you're looking for a software solution
    to run under Windows, lookup 3CX. Just remember what when your windows
    box crashes, so will your phone system....

    Skype is good at getting round corporate firewalls, and other restrictions
    that may be in-place by the owner of the Internet connection you are
    using. VoIP is illegal in some countries, and may countries/ISPs try to
    block it as it may compete with their own voice offering.

    Skype is a closed system, running on proprietary software which no-one
    has access to. This doesn't stop millions of people using it though.

    Read this:

    for more on Skype.

    With standards based VoIP (SIP, IAX, H.323) you'll still run into the
    same issues - firewalling, ISP/country rules & regs.. However it is then
    possible to run your own server (PBX) and have more control over it.

    The ultimate solution from my point of view (and bear in-mind that I
    sell these), would be running your own PXB that supports VoIP, so people
    can literally take their phones with them - or use remote extensions -
    either desk phones or "soft" phones running on a PC/Laptop (which is
    mostly how Skype works) The PBX can still connect to your legacy PSTN,
    but adds VoIP as a bonus to allow remote users to connect into the office.

    But while the Internet in the UK is good and you can control your own
    firewalls, etc., the remote users will still be at the mercy of the remote
    ISPs they connect through. It's not always plain sailing - especially in
    poorer countries with slow/overloaded Internet facilities. (Same issues
    with Skype too)

    If you don't want a new PBX in-house, then a virtual or hosted PBX
    solution may work, but integrating it into the existing office PBX may be
    tricky - not impossible though. A crude solution is simply a couple of
    "hot-line" phones at HQ connected to the same virtual PBX - the down-side
    is integrating it with the existing HQ PBX though - but this can be done
    if the existing PBX has spare analogue line capacity via ATAs.. (I have
    a couple of clients who do this) There are other ways, but not for me.

    I'm not sure if you can do the same integration with Skype yet - PC to
    PC will work, but going into the PBX.. Tricky, but there are solutions
    being worked on.

    >Can anyone direct me to links that can demystify this VOIP stuff and give
    >unbiased info on Skype or alternatives used in a corporate environment

    I can't really give an un-biased opinion on Skype - technically it's
    a competitor to my own business, but I can't compete with free, other
    than to say that you get what you pay for.. (Who do you call when it
    doesn't work?)

    Alternatives to Skype is standards based systems - there are 100's to
    choose from, but your requirement of running in your own server limits
    it somewhat.

    Gordon Henderson, May 15, 2009
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