VoIP specialist Skype has hooked up with enterprise comms firm Avaya, and reportedly is also close to a major tie-up with Facebook.
In the first stage of the deal, announced Wednesday, Avaya will bundle Skype’s PBX solution Skype Connect into its products in the US market. By the end of 2011 they will start integrating their products enabling end-users to connect using each other’s products via presence, IM, voice and video.
The tie-up between the two privately-held firms, who share an investor, Silver Lake Partners, has long been rumored.
Avaya, with 20,000 staff, is no.1 in unified communications, contact center and audio-conferencing. Skype is the world’s biggest carrier of IDD minutes, with an average 124 million users connecting each month.
“Avaya and Skype have been working along parallel paths to offer, innovative, scalable, low cost, SIP-based communications to our respective markets,” said Alan Baratz, an Avaya senior vice president.
The deal follows Skype’s strategy of becoming a ubiquitous calling platform, embedded in everything from new TV sets to popular websites, notes the GigaOm blog.
Skype is also about to announce a wide-ranging partnership with Facebook, covering the integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect, All Things Digital reports.
The pair have previously tested small-scale contact integrations. Like the Avaya tie-up, the arrangement would be highly complementary.
Facebook’s goal is to mesh communications and community more tightly together and offer more tools to users.
“Since it was not going to create an internet telephony service of its own – kind of like not creating a mobile operating system – Facebook has apparently turned to the web’s internet telephony leader,” ATD said.