Five reasons why IT managers should love Skype
David Tang is VoSKY’s vice president of global marketing. He has over 14 years of experience in telecoms and marketing, and oversees VoSKY’s product management and strategic business development.
VoSKY’s flagship product is VoSKY Exchange, a family of enterprise-grade VoIP gateways that optimise Skype for the business environment. All VoSKY products are fully Skype certified.
Some of the most revolutionary technologies are first introduced into businesses by individual users rather than IT departments. When others witness the benefits being enjoyed by the pioneers, the technology is quickly adopted company-wide. It happened this way with PC-based fax, email, and instant messaging, and now it’s happening with Skype.
Individuals were the first to embrace Skype as it offers free voice and video calls over the Internet. Now that it’s the world’s most popular and reliable internet communications software, with over 405 million registered users, it’s also an attractive infrastructure for business telephony applications.
What’s more, it complements the communications infrastructure that businesses already have in place, enabling them to make the most of the resources they already use. This is particularly compelling in the current business climate.
Here are five key reasons corporate IT managers should learn to embrace Skype within their organisation and how they can use and manage it effectively. If there’s someone in your organisation who needs to be ‘converted’, this should cover the basics:
It saves – and keeps on saving
Quite simply, Skype saves your business money on all call costs, whether national, international, inter-office or to mobiles.
With Skype managed centrally within your organisation via PBX-to-Skype gateways you can create global numbering plans, enabling employees to use extension dialling between offices. Site-to-site calls are free, and longer-distance calls are paid for using Skype Credit to reduce costs. The gateways also centralise Skype’s provisioning and management, giving IT managers’ full control and eliminating the need to install Skype on each PC. All Skype voice functions are delivered direct to users’ 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, users’ call preferences can be set up centrally by the IT team, 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 leverages 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 without having to swap out or replace existing equipment. The gateways add anything from four to 30 Skype lines to the company PBX, so that Skype calls can be made and transferred between extensions as normal. Employees simply dial eight for Skype, or nine 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 get started and to manage
The gateways can be installed, and Skype provisioned, in less than half a day, without the need for any changes to existing PBX equipment, phones, or PCs. The gateway ties the Skype online number to the business to enable Skype DID. It also simplifies configuration, management and support, putting Skype under the IT manager’s full control.
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 management right away.
Skype is completely free of malware, adware and spyware
So it does not add another potential security threat, or attack vector to your network. How many other corporate networks can say the same?
Skype is encrypted
When Skype users connect, it’s over an AES-encrypted session, whether it’s via instant message, voice, video, or file transfer. Skype communications are secure providing Skype a significant advantage over conventional VoIP or voice VPNs.
With a gateway at each office, you get secure voice VPN working over Skype without paying for expensive leased lines, or having to deploy IP PBXs from the same vendor at every office. That’s in addition to the benefits outlined earlier.
With the cost savings and functionality benefits available to you through Skype usage, what’s not to love about it?