I’m doing a little catch-up on reading, and I’ve just come across the Skype For Business announcement that went out last week. It’s part re-positioning (yes, we’ve learned that 30% of our users are business users), and part partnering (with sales force, a couple of conferencing companies, and some hardware companies, including one that provides a Skype to PBX gateway). The technology announced (a system for grouping Skype-Out accounts to share minutes) was underwhelming. Net Net: the promise of a peer-to-peer business voice system is still being realized by Peerio, not Skype.
Ted Wallingford took the opportunity to have a jab at Skype over its proprietary protocols, while BusinessWeek published an extensive write-up about the size of the opportunity. It is a huge opportunity, no doubt. And it is true that Centrex is a rip-off.
The real question not being asked, in my opinion, is whether or not the Skype offering can be competitive. If 10% of small businesses today buy Centrex (as the Business Week article stated), then isn’t a premises solution like Asterisk, or the Epygi Quadro, more likely to dominate small business? Is the anemic adoption of Centrex a pricing issue, or is there some other reason why take-up is so poor?
What’s your opinion?