You want to talk! You want to exchange text messages! You want to see your kids’ expressions while road warrioring in a hotel room or airport waiting room. You want to have a real time conversation; you don’t want to drain your wallet.
You want to converse with friends and family who are dispersed across the country or across multiple continents. Because of your business’s unique product and service offerings you want to establish and nurture relationships with customers who may be half way around the world.
You want to share photos or videos of your latest family celebration. Or maybe you need to do a presentation to prospects on the other side of your city but have a “green” discipline that says I can do this just as effectively from the home office without expending fuel (and time) in traveling to/from the customer site.
Skype facilitates real time conversations that involve not only voice but also text chat and video. With partner products you can amuse your relatives or interactively share business documents in any of several ways. At the same time Skype calls within the Skype network (including video calls) can be free; calls involving the legacy phone network are low cost.
Voice On the Web.biz was originally intended to be a website focused on assisting small to medium businesses as well as prosumers with the understanding, implementation and operation of Skype as a business communications tool. However, as we developed the site we realized that the basics of using Skype for conversations applies equally to both those who can use Skype for personal conversations as well as those who can use it for productive business communications.
There are several services out there that provide voice communications and auxiliary services. But we have chosen to focus on Skype because:
- It has as many as 20 to 39 million users online worldwide concurrently; in December 2011 quarter Skype reported that over 200 million users had participated in at least one Skype conversation.
- In 2010 Skype-to-Skype calls represented 24.6% of all international calling minutes
- Skype supports, in a user friendly way, three modes of conversations: voice, chat and video
- Skype provides services for calls to and from the legacy PSTN network at low tariffs worldwide
- Skype provides cost effective subscriptions for effectively unlimited calling to as many as 44 countries.
- Skype provides support for multi-party conversations:
- both “invitation only” and “open” group chats for public discussions with up to 300 participants
- multi-party voice calling with up to 25 participants
- group video calling with up to 10 participants
- Skype recently introduced its multi-party Group Video Calling service as a premium service complemented by Live Chat support and unlimited calling to one of the countries with a Skype Calling Plan
- Skype for TV supports select Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Vizio TV sets, as well as select Panasonic and Sony Blu-ray players, as end points for originating and receiving Skype voice and video calls.
- TelyHD, launched in January 2012, allows you to make and receive Skype for TV calls using any HDTV.
- Skype provides conversation accessories including a contact directory, presence information, file transfer, SMS messaging, voice mail and conversation archiving, including both text chat sessions and call detail records
- Skype has worked with several hardware vendors who offer Skype-certified headsets, webcams, speakerphones and PBX products
- Skype has built up an ecosystem of partners who effectively deliver Communications Enhanced Business Process (“CEBP”) solutions that can contribute to any business’s success. They provide services such as call recording, call management, enhanced conversation archiving, desktop sharing, document sharing, fully hosted and moderated conference calling, web conference services, a virtual PBX, call center operation and unified communications services.
- The partner services have prices that allow small-to-medium businesses to introduce legacy enterprise communications services into their work patterns.
Voice On The Web.biz is designed to give you not only the basics but also tips, guides and background that facilitate and enhance your Skype conversation experiences, whether from a PC, a landline handset or a mobile smartphone.
Voice On The Web.Biz Weblog: News, Views and Information
Accompanying this information is the VoiceOnTheWeb.Biz weblog. This weblog will cover evolving news, views and information related to Voice 2.0 Communications and Communications Enhanced Business Processes. Life changing personal experiences, new business processes, enhanced communication services, mobile innovation and developer tools are amongst the topics that will be discussed. Opportunities exist for reader feedback and comments that are constructive, informative and enhance our understanding of the Voice 2.0 world.
In addition Voice On The Web has built up a Skype Reference Guide that aggregates over five years’ experience of following Skype as its ecosystem has evolved. It brings not only experience gained in personal use but also in observing and participating in the use of Skype in several business scenarios. Check out the accordion menu at the top of the sidebar to access the various pages of the Reference Guide.
Participate in the Discussion: Skype in Your Business Public Chat
Complementary to this website is a persistent Skype Public Chat where, should you have a Skype account, you can enter into an ongoing discussion amongst our site visitors about various aspects of implementing Skype or other IP-based communications offerings into your business operations. Click on the box to the left, or click on the link in the upper right hand corner of the header, to join the discussion at any time. If we’re online we’ll answer; if we’re not online we will see your inquiry when we next log into Skype. Any special topics of discussion will be listed in the Public Chat window header; the moderator reserves the right to edit/remove content and/or participants should the discussion get off topic.