Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Skype's New Business Offering Under Fire

A perception that Skype’s VoIP solutions aren’t ready for prime time may hold back the growth of the company’s new small-business offering, solution providers say.

Skype for Business, which made its debut March 9, offers small-business users of Skype's low-to-no cost Internet phone service a dedicated business support Web site plus new, certified Skype hardware and a control panel to manage group users and prepaid services.

Between 25 percent and 30 percent of the roughly 75 million users of Skype, now part of eBay, utilize the Skype for Business functionality, said Henry Gomez, general manager of Skype North America.

Skype has inroads into the channel, and distributors such as Brightpoint, Plainfield, Ind., offer Skype’s business service to resellers. Yet Tracy Butler, president of Acropolis Technology Group, a solution provider in Wood River, Ill., that caters to many small and midsize businesses, said Skype remains too much of a consumer product to be taken seriously by most business customers.

"Customers would throw me out on my ear if I came in suggesting Skype," Butler said. "Most will say, 'I'm not going to run my business on Skype.' "

  • 1