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Skype goes Business

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?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • /pd March 12, 2006, 8:13 pm

    hi ,Alex I’ll take a stab at this :)-

    The net net premise “the promise of a peer-to-peer business voice system is still being realized by Peerio, not Skype. ” holds true. Yet we should remember the Ebay has owneship of Skype. the question here should be why did they Pay$2.1B fo this transation ?? After all, where is the value added propoistion ? IMHO its the buyer/seller nexus which will be formed via skype. A long time ago Joi Ito cut Skype news and then I tracked and posted this. The Stat’s speak for themselves in terms of organic growth. Wil skype enter the Busines2Business Community ?? I don’t think that ebay has that under their folio -its more of the consumer market that they are after…

    As for Skype vs Asterik vs Epygi.. I think that Quadro will be the one to penerate the VoIP markets for small businesses. –no factiods –just gut feeling :)-


  • Alec March 13, 2006, 5:49 pm

    Hi Peter! Your logic and mine agree :) I still wonder if there’s something I’m missing though.

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