Skype is preparing new versions of its VoIP software to appeal to businesses.
The company, bought by eBay for $2.6 billion last year, is developing a range of products for the enterprise market, said senior director Jonathan Christensen, at the Von conference in Berlin. "We're currently working on a call-center service," Christensen said. "And there are more enterprise services on the way. So stay tuned."
Security is a huge concern of all businesses, Christensen agreed. "Companies have told us that we don't share enough information with their IT managers," he said. "Information sharing is definitely an issue. We're going to be putting together more white papers and other information to improve this."
Inter-operability with public service telephone networks remains difficult and, depending on the network, can degrade call quality, according to Christensen - an issue Skype will need to address to attract corporate users.
Asked if Skype, with annual sales of around $200 million, could ever justify its acquisition price, Christensen said the company will be rolling out many new products over its platform aimed at creating new revenues. But that was not the main reason for purchasing Skype, according to Christensen. It was a one-time opportunity.
"On the Internet, there are some successful businesses that are only created once, like Flickr, YouTube and Skype," Christensen said. "For every YouTube, you'll find hundreds of other sites offering nearly the same service. It's what we call major network effect; once it happens, it happens."
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