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When will Skype be ready for prime time?


When Microsoft purchased Skype last month for $8.5 billion, we viewed it as a step forward for both companies in becoming better integrated in business, particularly catering to the trend of less travel and more remote employees and virtual conferences. The biggest challenge was scalability, and those challenges have appeared lately.

Today, Skype is not having a full “outage” but many people are not able to connect via Skype. This is not a big deal to the majority of users, but from a business perspective where meetings are often scheduled and must be kept, services such as GoToMeeting still have the upper hand when it comes to uptime.

To be a player in virtual conferencing and business management, such downtimes will not be allowed. Will Skype and Microsoft be able to button-up this hole? It’s the second time in two weeks that something similar has occurred. When will Skype be ready for prime time? More importantly, what steps can they make to be relevant on the Enterprise?

Here are some things that we anticipate they’ll do in the coming months:

  • Buckle-down the configuration issues. Sites like Twitter and Tumblr have demonstrated that you don’t need to be up all of the time to be successful, but this is difference. This is business. This is money. Microsoft did not buy Skype for its users or for marketing. They bought it as a solution. It must reach three or four “nines” of uptime to be meet the goals.
  • Hire a full-blown sales team. For a company as large, old, and innovative as Skype, they are poorly represented in the business world. They will not only incorporate into Microsoft’s business solutions, but will also have an independent sales team of their own to get the word out about what they can do.
  • Own VoIP. Currently there are over 1100 VoIP providers in the US alone. While we would never suggest that they break any anti-trust laws, they should start picking up the smaller ones at a rapid pace and integrate the revenue as well as the users into their system.

Skype has a strong track record of working their way through challenges. If they can make it over the most recent ones, they’ll position themselves and Microsoft better in the business world.

  1. Skype was working just fine, at least until Microsoft got involved! Cant just leave well enough alone.

  2. Skype probably does work well enough for a home user… but those of us that are using it in a business environment need Skype to fix these outages. We currently use Skype to handle all of our outbound long distance. When Skype goes down it requires us to move all our long distance to POTS. This costs us a lot of money and in this economy, it’s tough to take. 

  3. eventually a voip that offers free calls to all numbers will come out and kill skype and all the others.

  4. I’ve used skype for some of my important meetings – it was a great tool…
    I just wish that with microsoft acquisition this tool will be nothing but better. 

  5. When Microsoft bought Skype, I canceled my account.  It seems that Skype had immediately adopted Microsoft’s policy that customers are scum.  They never responded to multiple requests and it took the direct threat of legal action to obtain a refund for my balance and have my account canceled.

    I use Microsoft for nothing, Skype is now part of the problem, not the solution.

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