By David Tang, global VP for VoSKY

Ever considered Skype but been unsure of exactly how it could benefit your business? Here are 5 reasons why you could learn to love it.

It’s funny that some of the most revolutionary technologies are first brought into businesses by individual users. Then, when others see the benefits those pioneering users are getting, the technology is quickly adopted company-wide. It happened this way with PC-based fax, then email, and with instant messaging. And it’s happening with Skype.

And that’s really no surprise. Individuals first embraced Skype because it offered free voice and video calls over the Internet. The adoption rate skyrocketed due to Skype’s ease of use and superior voice quality over the public Internet. But now that it operates the world’s largest and most reliable Internet communications community, with over 600M registered users, it’s also a very attractive infrastructure for business telephony. According to Skype, 30% of its users are using Skype for business.

What’s more, it fits in with the comms equipment that you already have in place, enabling you to do more with the resources you already have, which is particularly compelling in the current business climate.

So here are five key reasons why you should consider embracing Skype.

It saves — and keeps on saving

Skype isn’t just about cost savings — but it’s a great benefit nonetheless. It saves your business money on all call costs: national, international, mobile, inter-office, to any user, and it keeps on delivering savings.

With Skype centrally managed in your business via a cost-effective PBX-to-Skype gateway, long-distance calls are handled using SkypeOut to reduce costs. The gateways also centralise Skype provisioning and management, so you have control and don’t need to install Skype on each PC. All Skype voice functions are delivered to your users’ ordinary desk phone handsets.

The benefits can also extend to mobile users. With Skype installed on any smart mobile phone that can run the lite version of Skype, the user’s call preferences can be set up centrally, via the PBX gateway, for alternate routing to the mobile user’s Skype account. This is done via mobile broadband under the user’s mobile data plan, giving huge savings compared with even the cheapest international mobile tariffs.

It fits in with your existing technology

These PBX-to-Skype application gateways can link any office phone system (whether traditional digital switch, or IP / SIP PBX) to Skype, for a low one-time upgrade cost, and without having to swap out or replace existing equipment. The gateways add from 4 to 30 Skype lines to your phone system, so that Skype calls can be made and transferred between extensions as normal. Employees simply dial 8 for Skype, or 9 for an ordinary line.

None of your investments are made obsolete. You just make your existing assets work harder for your business — and start saving money.

It’s easy to manage

The gateways can be installed, and Skype provisioned, in a couple of hours, with zero changes to existing PBX equipment, phones, or PCs. The gateway ties the Skype Online number to the business to enable Skype DID. There’s no need to install Skype on each PC — Skype usage can be monitored by the business just like ordinary calls, and number schemes easily managed. You set it up and it’s under centralised control right away.

Skype is encrypted

When Skype users connect, it’s over an AES-encrypted session, whether it’s via instant message, voice, video, or the sending of files. So Skype communications are secure — giving an advantage over conventional telephony.
Skype is completely free of malware, adware and spyware
So it does not add another potential security threat, or attack vector to your business — helping to keep your IT safe.

With the cost savings and functionality benefits available to you through Skype usage, what’s not to love about it?