Unified Communications: Click to talk

Mar 23 2009   4:04PM GMT

Skype Looks for Enterprise Legitimacy with New Offering

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Skype has been around for awhile and most people are at least familiar with its existence. Skype was one of the first to popularize the concept of leveraging the global networking capabilities of the Internet, and voice over IP (VoIP) to enable free, or virtually free calls to anywhere in the world.

Skype is more than just a voice system. It essentially offers a pseudo-unified communications experience, combining VoIP with video conferencing and instant messaging. It wraps all of those features up in a sort of peer-to-peer (P2P) social networking infrastructure.

As popular as it has been with tech-savvy consumers, especially the frugal ones, Skype has long posed a dilemma for enterprises. Few organizations have actually embraced or adopted Skype in any official capacity, but many have had to struggle with what to do about users who install and use Skype on company PC’s over the company network. There are bandwidth issues, compliance issues, and security issues just to name a few. Simply banning or blocking Skype has been one approach.

Skype announced a new offering that seeks to change how Skype is perceived by enterprise customers. Playing on the booming growth of enterprise VoIP, and the growing popularity of SIP trunking, Skype is Beta testing a new offering called Skype for SIP for Business Users. The new offering opens up some new streams of revenue for Skype, and unique possibilities for organizations- especially combined with direct SIP trunking in Microsoft OCS 2007 R2.

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