The company is dominant with consumers, but very few of them pay for calls and since Skype’s rates are very low and it buys minutes from carriers, its margins are very low as well. If it wants to make a good return for its investors who spun it off eBay at a $2.5 billion valuation, it needs new revenue lines. That mostly means getting Skype on more mobile phones, and getting business users to pay for an enterprise version of Skype.
As the story says, carriers have a “love-hate relationship” with Skype, although they point to a good relationship with Verizon, so maybe there’s some room for progress there.
The more interesting part is the enterprise. Many techies believe in a trend towards the “consumerization of enterprise”, meaning not only that enterprise software is beginning to look more like consumer software, but also that it’s going to be sold more like consumer software, with bottom-up adoption by employees instead of having to go through zillions of hoops and gatekeepers.
Skype is going to be a real test case of the reality of this trend. Plenty of business users already use Skype on their own, and Cisco, which is a rival and one of the best enterprise-sales companies out there, has a competing product.
It’ll be one to watch.
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