PIKA Connect for Skype now platform agnostic

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PIKA Connect for Skype now platform agnostic

PIKA Technologies emailed me to let me know about the new version of PIKA Connect for Skype that is now "platform agnostic." Before their PIKA Connect for Skype only ran on Asterisk. The latest version lets application developers integrate Skype into PBX, IVR and other business communications system solutions.

Here's the news...
PIKA Technologies Inc., a designer and manufacturer of plug-in media-processing hardware and software building blocks that enable advanced voice and fax services, today announced an expansion to its PIKA Connect for Skype portfolio with the introduction of a version that is not Asterisk dependent.

The first release of PIKA Connect for Skype was targeted at the popular open-source Asterisk platform. Using this new technology, end users can now place outgoing and receive incoming calls via Skype in the same way they can with traditional PSTN ISDN, analog or IP calls.

PIKA has enhanced its PIKA Connect for Skype portfolio by now also facilitating connections between non-Asterisk environments and Skype, as well as making it easier for developers to program by adding it to PIKA's high-level programming interface (API) called MonteCarlo Grand Prix.

"This new version of PIKA Connect for Skype provides significant benefits to enterprise customers by supporting Skype virtual trunks in PBX, call center and IVR environments, alongside traditional analog and digital TDM trunks," says Petr Spacil, sales manager for PIKA distributor CTI Pro. "It also allows for an easy design of a gateway between any PBX or call-center system and the Skype network."

PIKA offers both server- and client-side components in PIKA Connect for Skype. On the server side, PIKA's patent-pending AllOnHost technology provides a PC processor-based, or host-based, engine that can handle real-time audio switching, call transfer, and media-processing functions. As a media-processing engine, it can process audio from TDM, VoIP and Skype. As part of PIKA AllOnHost, a set of low- and high-level API commands is provided to control the remote Skype clients. This message-based API communicates with a client-side application that, in turn, controls the Skype client directly.

On the client side, the PIKA Skype Gateway resides on the client machine and is responsible for transferring audio as well as call-control information between the remote Skype client and the application server. Using a proprietary audio transfer mechanism, the PIKA Skype Gateway is able to send and receive audio and call-control information from a PIKA AllOnHost equipped application server.

"When PIKA looked at the challenge of business customers connecting to Skype and similar Internet communications services, we recognized two main issues to overcome," said PIKA business development manager David Clarke. "The first was to get connected to the client, gaining access to both audio and call control. The second, and more difficult, was providing a solution that allows developers to switch, transfer and media-process this audio without adding noticeable delay. PIKA AllOnHost is designed for that exact purpose and is the key differentiator of our solution from basic gateway approaches."

"We are proud to be the only traditional computer telephony hardware and software vendor focused on delivering building blocks for the Skype environment," said Terry Atwood, vice president of sales, marketing and customer care. "Our strategy is to provide the technology required to bring Skype, a service that is typically used in a person-to-person paradigm, into the person-to-business paradigm. With the implementation of PIKA's technology, it will be just as easy for call-center and IVR customers to accept calls initiated on Skype as it is when calls are initiated on the PSTN. And all the typical application benefits such as reports, queuing, intelligent call routing, call monitoring and call recording will apply to these calls just as they do to their PSTN calls."

PIKA developers can download the software development kit and technical documents from the PIKA Developer Zone at http://www.pikatechnologies.com/extranet/index.htm. New development partners should contact a PIKA account representative, or visit www.pikatech.com.


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