≡ Menu

Lessons for Skype Competitors

Stuart Henshall at Skype Journal has written a must-read piece about Skype futures and lessons learned. It’s a mini VoIP Whitepaper on the state of the industry before and after Skype.  If you are a Skype Competitor,  either an incumbent telco, or one of the other IM companies, Stuart offers these observations:

Lessons for telecom landline and fixed

  • Audio quality – as if you were there
  • Multi-modal – interruptions, context, topics,
  • Free – Always on – intercom – push to talk
  • Presence – online status, real-time directories, “in-a-call”
  • Voice messaging not Voice mail (failure case – didn’t connect)
  • Social networking – share contacts, broker introductions
  • It’s not about SkypeOut and SkypeIn, it’s about connecting anywhere, anytime.
  • Piggybacks on the network – P2P no infrastructure.

Lessons for IM clients

  • Ring centric… Voice centric – stickiness – escalation of intimacy
  • UI – particularly round the call… will translate to the phone format more effectively.
  • Easy to set up, no firewall issues
  • Ad hoc conferencing
  • Multi-chats – Topic
  • Skype’s distribution strategy (devices is different)
  • Skype API – Hardware, software, and web enabled solutions
  • New decentralized economics

He observes that most of the IM clients being rushed to market implement some, but not all of the important enablers.  Google, for instance, missed the boat by leaving out conferencing.  At Iotum, we use Skype conferencing a lot.  It’s probably the primary reason for us using Skype rather than another IM client. 

He also observes that the telco competitors have really missed the boat by focusing on call control, rather than on features that allow socialization.

It’s difficult to disagree with any of this.  Good work Stuart.  You’ve convincingly argued that Skype is much more than a softphone.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: