Skype enters the corporate market
The company a Skype , which does not give rest to many telecommunications companies, by providing users of its program to organize chats and ip-telephony features for free or very cheap calls worldwide and send and receive messages, still an independent company. In 2005, eBay acquired an increasingly popular service, but the relationship did not work out and most of Skype was sold for $ 2 billion. Now, the new owners are trying to add to the company the seriousness inherent in the business community in order to capture part of the corporate data transfer market.
There is information that Skype is negotiating the sale of its software through Cisco Systems and ShoreTel, which develop and sell telephony systems. Skype also doubles sales and support groups to enter the corporate sales market and respond more quickly in case of technical problems.
Skype has become a household name for more than half a billion consumers around the world who use it to make calls and video chats. According to a report by Thomas Weisel Partners, an investment bank, the company's revenue last year was $ 705 million, up 28% from 2008. The corporate market, estimated at $ 203 billion, is a tidbit in gaining additional profits.
But persuading companies to abandon the usual telephony will not be easy. There are several serious barriers to a large corporate space. One of the main ones is the ability to provide IT departments with more control. In many industries, such as healthcare or the financial sector, companies require call tracking and monitoring capabilities - something that is now impossible to do with Skype. Also, Skype will have to convince potential customers that their service, which is sometimes criticized for poor quality, is reliable and quite safe when used in corporate telephone calls.
This year, as part of the company’s reorientation, CEO Josh Silverman replaced five executives and closed several third-party projects, in particular the development of a three-dimensional chess program to free up staff for new needs. The head of the Skype business unit, David Gerle, explained that the company is serious about the corporate market and promised to provide future partners from the corporate sector with all the necessary tools and functions that they need.
Skype is not the only opportunity for companies planning to cut costs by redirecting calls over the Internet. AT&T, the British Telecom group, and other telephone companies are already offering WAN-based telephone systems. Skype is currently developing a reward program for ShreTel and Cisco, offering commissions or revenue sharing to recommend Skype. This should definitely help the company in moving to a new market for itself, but there is still a fight to fight for drawing attention to yourself, since it is not the only one, but only “one of several”.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek