RealTime IT News

Skype Me on Salesforce.com?

They call it Skype for Salesforce.com, but you might as well call it a way to hop on the VoIP  wagon with the salesforce.com platform.

The VoIP provider is teaming up with SaaS leader Salesforce.com  in an attempt to tease customers into deploying Skype with their Salesforce Web-based applications. The companies said the latest version of Skype, which enables PC-to-PC calls as well as VoIP in general, is now available with AppExchange, Salesforce.com's on-demand platform.

It's one more way that Salesforce is looking at not just building a platform for software-as-a-service applications, but, in the Microsoft tradition, is also seeding an tool-building ecoysystem.

The eBay-owned Skype said the "Skype for Salesforce" software provides "seamless Skype integration into Salesforce on-demand CRM applications and aims to improve workforce productivity and to streamline customer and partner communication."

And it's cheap, too. The companies said the usual low-prices for VoIP apply: Calls from one Skype user to another are free; SkypeOut calls, which go from a PC to wireless or landline phone numbers, are billed at per-minute rates, such as .021 per minute according to some plans. Plus, there are premium Internet packages for unlimited domestic SkypeOut calling - Skype Pro in Europe and Asia or the Skype Unlimited Calling plan in the U.S. and Canada.

What's not to love? Other than the usual voice quality issues that still bite at Skype's ankles, the offering is designed to fit in with the salesforce mantra: "enable com customers in the small and mid-sized business sector to build stronger relationships and improve the way they manage their contact with colleagues, customers and prospects."