Skype logo2 500X375 300x225 Skype for SIP could save businesses big bucksIn a move that could save businesses a huge amount on their telephone bills, Skype has moved its ‘Skype for SIP‘ service into public beta.

Skype for SIP works by allowing a company’s Skype account to be integrated with its existing telephone system. This allows incoming and outgoing Skype calls to be handled the same way as normal phone calls.

What’s more, the system supports Skype Out, meaning that businesses will be able to save money by routing calls they would normally make via their telephone service provider via Skype instead.

While individuals can use Skype for free, only paying for outgoing calls to non-Skype numbers, businesses using Skype for SIP will have to pay a monthly subscription for the service. This is currently set at an ‘introductory rate’ of US$ 6.95 per month per channel. One channel allows you conduct one call via Skype at a time. The more Skype calls you want to be able to make at the same time, the more you’ll pay.

As Skype Journal points out, there are some restrictions to this service. You can’t dial emergency numbers via Skype (as is usual for a Skype line), you can’t transfer your existing phone number for a Skype line, and Skype can’t guarantee a perfect service to you (presumably because it’s still in beta).

It’s unlikely many businesses will want to pay for a beta product with no guarantee of a reliable service. Still, Skype is eagerly showcasing the experience of Maxim Integrated Products, which has been testing the product and now has a 22 channel subscription to the service.

It’s good to see things moving forward at Skype at last. For too long the company’s name has been bogged down in associations with a legal dispute and a change of ownership. At last it looks like the Skype, which reportedly has 521 million user accounts, is getting back to innovating and launching new features.