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Skype Announces Skype For Business 102

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the ready-for-the-bigtime dept.
conq writes "Skype has launched a new offensive to go after small business dollars. From the BusinessWeek article: 'The company is unveiling Skype for Business, aimed at small companies with fewer than 10 employees, on Mar. 9. Skype for Business will include a new Web site, Skype.biz, as well as a host of features and hardware. While Skype has introduced features appealing to business users one by one for the past six months, the new announcement marks the beginning of a concerted effort.'"
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Skype Announces Skype For Business

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  • No More Phones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkNemesis618 (908703) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:12AM (#14889780) Homepage
    I guess actual phones are becoming obsolete. There's something to be said though about the reliability of phone lines. Should the network go down, Skype would become useless. Most business networks are pretty reliable but still aren't perfect.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:34AM (#14889839)
    They will have to lower their prices for their services, otherwise they will start losing millions. So this a win-win situation for the consumer?
  • by madman101 (571954) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:52AM (#14889902)
    Over two weeks to straighten out a problem. If that happened at work, we would have dumped them...
  • But... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:08AM (#14889969)
    Skype is really not the way to go with VOIP. It's entirely proprietary and doesn't allow you to communicate with other VOIP networks unlike SIP based providers. Imagine if your mobile could only call other phones on the same network...?
  • by oirtemed (849229) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:39AM (#14890084)
    That is one theory. The other theory involves lobbying and new laws.
  • Re:No More Phones? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by just_von (791649) on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:56AM (#14890166) Homepage
    How do you call your phone company when your phones are down to tell them you have a problem?
  • by garcia (6573) on Friday March 10, 2006 @09:10AM (#14890253)
    They will have to lower their prices for their services, otherwise they will start losing millions. So this a win-win situation for the consumer?

    They are going to charge for the bandwith to go over their lines, attempt to pay off legislators to block its adoption, make sure it becomes "unreliable" when reaching customers that use their lines, put millions into advertising against it, etc.

    With the (again, bleh) continued consolidation of the telcos, they are only getting stronger. You think that they are going to stand by while some grassroots/cheaper option takes over? Give me a break.
  • by God'sDuck (837829) on Friday March 10, 2006 @10:12AM (#14890665)
    phones go down?
  • Re:No More Phones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XorNand (517466) * on Friday March 10, 2006 @10:53AM (#14890905)

    It's more than just phones that's going to prevent adoption. Sure, there's a good amount of tech savvy businesses out there who would be willing to use something like this. However, there are 100x times as many businesses who would be saving a ton on their phone services if they could spell VoIP. Small business phone service is ungodly expensive. In many cases, they're spending more on their telecom services per month than they do rent. I've been working with a subscriber with a small, six-person office, with five phone lines and who makes a decent chunk of long distance calls. Their phone bill is over $600/mo! And they dropped $4k the phone system hardware four years ago.

    The only way 95% of small businesses out there will ever adopt VoIP is if they are handheld through the process. Even if they know they'll save a ton of dough, working phones are just too critical to companies for them to throw caution to the wind. At the risk of giving away trade secrets ;-) that's the angle the VoIP company [brightideavoip.com] I work for is taking. We seek out partnerships with independant computer techies, VARs, and consultants who have small businesses as clients. These are the people that have the ear of business owners when it comes to making technology decisions. In return, we pay the partner a monthly stipend/retainer to support the subscriber. Businesses are *much* more likley to adopt something like this if they know they have a local expert that they contact in case of problems.

    While Skype is cool and can save them ton a cash what's even more important to businesses is a level of trust. I don't know a business owner in their right mind who would put their phone service in eBay's (the owner of Skype) hands. Their level of customer service is worse than Verizon.

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