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Foehn Deploys First Ever ‘Skype for Asterisk’ Enterprise Solution

Foehn Ltd, a UK-based systems integrator, today announced its first ever enterprise deployment of ‘Skype for Asterisk’ into the London offices of the Symbian Foundation. ‘Skype for Asterisk’ - the integration of one of the world’s most popular Internet communications software with the most globally used open source PBX, was officially released last week.

By the owners of Asterisk, Digium’s ‘Skype for Asterisk’ software module, enables businesses to 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. The module allows businesses to receive Skype calls into their PBX and to handle them with Asterisk features such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail.

Foehn turned this innovation into reality in just six weeks at the London headquarters of the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation’s own mission is to enable an open ecosystem that collaborates to create complete and rich user experiences for mobile devices.

“Skype is widely used at Symbian – for some employees, it’s their main form of communication,” explained Ian McDonald, Head of IT for the Symbian Foundation, who is responsible for the communications system at the company. “As a non-profit organisation, Symbian needed a solution that would allow flexible, easy communication whilst being able to control our costs.”

The system now gives inbound callers the freedom to contact Symbian via Skype for free, in addition to the traditional methods of mobile, fixed line and email. Foehn’s Asterisk-based PBX system then routes the call to the recipient depending on their individual preferences, including their own Skype account, mobile or desk phone. This works for internal or outbound calls too – providing the unified communications solution the organisation was looking for.

“We can now be much more cost effective by using Skype. A Symbian employee based in Japan can call via Skype to speak to our legal counsel in London on her desk phone. It doesn’t matter how long they are talking for – since the call is delivered over Skype, it’s essentially free.” said McDonald.

James Passingham, Technical Director at Foehn Ltd said: “Symbian now has a system that lets its employees communicate how they want, and for how long they want without the problem of escalating costs for the company. Foehn simply could not have designed such an effective system using any technology.”

Passingham sees tremendous potential for the new innovation. “We have been designing and implementing enterprise Asterisk solutions for over five years. We use Asterisk because of the level of flexibility and innovation we can design into our solutions using this open source platform. ‘Skype for Asterisk’ is a great example of this.”

About Foehn

Founded in 2000, Foehn Ltd is a UK-based IT professional services company specialising in networking and IP solutions. Foehn’s advocacy for Digium Asterisk is based on a philosophy of deploying only technologies with proven extensibility, agility and effectiveness for its clients.

Foehn has successfully deployed large-scale Asterisk solutions, with integration references in call centres, financial services, higher education, online media and charity industry verticals across the UK and also in Portugal, Spain and Costa Rica.

Foehn’s team of Asterisk experts regularly contribute to the Asterisk eco-system and Foehn is a Digium Asterisk Premier Solutions Partner and Reseller.

For more information please visit and speak to Foehn through Skype at london.foehn.

About Symbian Foundation Limited

The Symbian Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation whose mission is to enable an open ecosystem that collaborates to create the most complete and richest user experiences for mobile devices. Symbian maintains the code for an open source software platform based on Symbian OS and software assets contributed by Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and Sony Ericsson, including the S60 and MOAP(S) user interfaces. Portions of the platform's source code have already been moved to open source, under the Eclipse Public License. By mid-2010 this process will be complete, making the platform code available to all for free.

The foundation software licensing model and governance structure has been designed to secure transparency, encourage contribution and maintain platform consistency. The foundation promotes collaboration, contributions and active participation, and operates as a meritocracy.

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Legal Disclaimer

Skype is not a replacement for traditional telephone services and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype for Asterisk is meant to be used as a complement to existing traditional telephone services used with corporate PBXs, not as a stand-alone solution. Skype for Asterisk users need to ensure all calls to emergency services are terminated through traditional telephone services.

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