Without doubt, Skype is one business tool that has spurred the growth of virtual work in the planet. Latest reports have shown that there are approximately 42 million Skype users online each day. While not all are using it solely for business purposes, suffice it to say that a considerable percentage of this figure covers parties who are online for business-related reasons.
Skype is a voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) service and software application. The software is available for free download from the Skype’s home page. Skype allows users to communicate online with text chats (or instant messaging as others are apt to call it), voice calls and video calls --- all for free. It has also grown more popular because of additional features that have consequently been integrated to the system like easy file transfer, voice or video conferencing and screen sharing. Again all basically for free.
|Video Conference through Skype|
Phone calls to landlines and mobiles, as well as text messages are also possible with Skype but this time it comes with a fee. The rates, however, are very reasonable and there are subscription packages to choose from that come laden with extra benefits.
With a growing number of people doing business online, utilizing Skype’s full potential, is proving to be hugely beneficial for business enterprises mainly because of the following reasons:
• Cost Benefit – Since it’s basic VOIP services are free, this provides for savings in international phone calls and even domestic toll charges. Skype calls are amazingly stable and clear. As it is an internet application though, stability and clarity will be relative to the quality of internet connection users have. Furthermore, it allows for multi-party conferencing even from different locations. Thus, collaborations and consultations among remote business associates can be arranged quite easily.
|Screen Sharing through Skype|
• Ease of Use - Skype has a very friendly user interface. One can easily install it unto a computer and navigate through its functions in no time. Its privacy features can also be tweaked easily to settings that suit the user best.
• Valuable Features – Skype’s video calling and screen sharing features are one of the strongest in the market today. Through screen sharing, business associates can actually show a particular presentation or walk the other party through a process quite easily. Note however that group video calling is also available but is a paid service.
|Instant Messaging through Skype|
• Potential to Enhance Business – Skype can help improve a company’s customer service particularly businesses that are on an international scale. Providing clients with your Skype ID allows them to reach you and lets them know when you are available online. This is also a good way to build contacts.
While there are a lot of softwares nowadays that are of the same nature, Skype has remained one of the more popular systems. It has evolved from being a communication tool to a platform for collaboration as well. Having been recently acquired by Microsoft in May 2011, Skype has since then been incorporated as one of its division. At this point, whether this new structure will bring Skype to new heights still remains to be seen. In the meantime, let’s take a deep breath.
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