Thursday, March 9, 2006

Skype for Business is Here

Today Skype has announced its formal entry into the business market. Branded "Skype for Business", it's rightly targeted at the small end of the spectrum - under 10 employees. This makes sense in that there will be fewer firewall traversal issues here, and this demographic should overlap nicely with current Skype users.

BusinessWeek's online edition ran a nice piece about it this morning, and were nice enough to cite me.

The article does a good job of focusing on the under 10 market as being underserved for VoIP,and notes how other IM vendors like AOL, Yahoo and MS are already or will be offering voice for small business as well as other business applications like file sharing.

So, Skype will certainly not be alone in this space, and it was nice to see the article also include Tello, one of Jeff Pulver's latest launches. I mention Tello because I really see Skype as an entry level small business tool - it's a great deal for low cost voice with IM - but that's about it for the most part.

Tello is pushing the envelope further by offering an instant collaboration platform, that in addition to voice and IM, supports business apps like spreadsheets. Furthermore, it operates across IM platforms and all types of phone networks. It's much more of a Web 2.0 solution, where voice is just one application instead being the main attraction.

That said, today's story is about Skype, and I think it's great news for them. I'm sure their brand will translate nicely into this market, and I know their offerings will expand as they gain traction here.

No comments: