Focus on Business?

Growth of Skype seems to be stagnating. I expressed my fears here in this blog in the past.

Om Malik analysed the report of Ebay (owner of Skype) on Quarter Two 2007, and concludes: “usage is flattening”.

Skype is adding a lot of smaller new features and even cheating by providing incomplete or misleading information on their website or in the client that could in the short term generate a small increment of revenue.

Remember also their official announcement on the “Disruptive Pricing Strategy for SkypeOutthat was nothing else than a disguised price increase!

In the long run this will chase customers away.

But what about the millions of professional people working for companies who block Skype on their networks and computers? Just to mention two from which I really know it: Alcatel-Lucent and the Belgian Railways, both big employers in Belgium, and the first one even worldwide. And quite some of their employees have a company laptop, that they use at home too. How to make those companies change their minds?

I read this interesting comment from Eric on Skype-Buzz (translated from Dutch):

"… i am IT System Manager and Skype isn’t allowed in our organisation because of the Skype extras. To keep support costs low, we chose for a uniform package of software tools on our computers. For the very same reason Firefox isn’t allowed either.
If Skype could provide us with a not-extensible professional version, it has real chances that we would allow its usage (after thorough testing).
In view of the many demands to be allowed to install it, I think this would make our employees happy.

Happy? Or more productive? Or lower communication costs? Or more income for Skype? Or all of it together? And again some viral growth: “hey Mom, I finally got Skype on my computer, now you can install it too”?

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