In the real world, of course, people use Skype for business all the time. Over the past several months, the company has positioned itself to become more of an "official" corporate play. That's certainly a good thing for the company. It also could be a winner for cost-conscious mobile and remote workers scattered over the globe.
VoIP Planet reports that IP PBX vendors ShoreTel and SIPfoundry have joined haved joined the Skype for SIP program, which was announced in March. Commentary in the article says that the move will enable any Skype user to call into properly configured IP PBXes for free. Outbound calls would be far less expensive than those completed in the traditional manner, the story says. The writer adds that the offer also includes desktop video, voice to text and group chat functionality.
ShoreTel and SIPfoundry are not alone in their newfound affection for Skype. Phone+ reports that Skype announced at the VON Conference & Expo this week that Cisco Systems' Unified Communications 5000 Series, which is aimed at small businesses, has joined the Skype club. The story offers details on how Cisco value-added resellers can offer Skype for SIP.
The orientation of Skype right now-before the keys are handed over to new ownership-is spelled out in this interesting post by Om Malik at GigaOm. One takeaway is that the company is building the support and back-office heft that separates consumer downloads from applications and services that corporations are willing to anoint as mainstream tools.
Even more interesting is CEO Josh Silverman's take that the company is seeking to create a product that emphasizes productivity as opposed to one that simply offers lower rates. As Malik correctly points out, tacking away from a product that emphasizes savings to one that focuses on features is significant.
FierceVoIP's Peter Wylie had similar thoughts, and even references Malik's post. He focused on the fact that this may be something of a necessary play for Skype, as voice becomes more commoditized and the revenue that SkyIn and SkyOut generates-even across its 480 million user base-begins to shrink.
Clearly, this is an initiative that should, and no doubt will, be expanded by the new owners of Skype. Last month, eBay said that it is selling 65 percent of Skype to a group led by Silver Lake Partners and, among others, Andreessen Horowitz. The firm's general partner is Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape.