Skype in the Journal
(Sponsor: Lok Technology)
The Wall Street Journal this morning features a good piece of commentary on Skype from Bruno Giussani of Stanford's Institute of International Studies. Essentially, he's arguing why Skype (and other VoIP innovations) need to be taken seriously as part of the telecom business.
"Despite all the skepticism that surrounds the notion of giving away (as Skype does) a service that the telecom operators charge for, this is serious stuff. Sure, the 'free' price tag alone is for many an unbeatable proposition. (And don't be fooled: There is a lot of money in 'free,' as many companies have demonstrated in recent years.) It is serious because of what happened during my conversation with Susan. Using Skype's file-transfer feature, we exchanged documents and pictures related to the project we were discussing in real-time. We Googled information and shared it immediately by sending links to one another through Skype's instant-messaging tool. And at a certain point we needed to ask our colleague Alberto for an update. My Skype 'buddy list' showed that he was online, probably in his office in Lugano, Switzerland. We suspended the discussion for five seconds, the time it took me to set up a Skype conference call with six clicks, and there we were, the three of us, talking freely and for free across the ocean."Of course, the insights about the business possibilities aren't novel. Neither are Skype's abilities to tie together voice, presence and other forms of communication (Communicator, anyone?). One thing's guaranteed, though -- lots of well-dressed and well-paid people who until know have been wondering what the heck their kids are talking about when they use the word "Skype" ("Honey -- do you think that's a new drug they're trying?") are going to have their eyes opened by seeing this in the Journal.