Thursday, January 06, 2011

Skype's Acquisition of Qik - it's all about the paid services

Skype closed a deal today to purchase the mobile video broadcasting startup Qik, for a reported 150M$. I actually had to do a double take on this one as I couldn't quite figure out why Skype would want Qik - outside of both companies being in video on mobiles the obvious synergies end pretty quickly.

After a bit of thought I see a strategic move by Skype's new CEO Tony Bates here. As an ex-Cisco VP., Mr Bates understands a few things really well - the buy vs. build argument and the business services market. Qik represents a few things to Skype: a quick add of 60 really talented engineers, some killer IP, and most importantly some traditional brick and mortar highly scalable infrastructure, which is something that Skype sorely lacks.

This lack of traditional server infrastructure limits Skype ability to add new premium services, and as a direct result its ability to increase revenue especially in the business arena which is Mr. Bates bread and butter and something that Skype has failed miserably on since its inception.

The audio conferencing market is huge, but the video conferencing market is just starting to explode and has the potential to be much larger. The highly profitable premium services that are attached to traditional audio conferencing centre around recording and storage/sharing, businesses love to record and store conference calls - and they pay for the privilege. NO ONE is recording and storing video conferencing in any sizable scale, this is a very tiny market but IMHO will be the number 1 paid service that will accompany video conferencing, especially in business. Skype, with the aquisition of Qik, is now poised to be the global leader in not only desktop videoconferencing but also the paid for services that will accompany it.

This is why they bought Qik - its gives Skype the ability to innovate and not only create the global desktop video-conference market but also the ecosystem of services that will surround it, starting with recording and storage and innovating from there.

It is a very smart and bold move, Skype's new CEO is starting off with a big bang. Well done.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Skype's take on the Net Neutrality ruling.. or lack thereof.

From the Ars article:

Skype's Christopher Libertelli, who said after today's vote, "In any complicated FCC rulemaking, there are going to be trade-offs and compromises. On balance, this decision advances the goal of keeping the Internet an open and unencumbered medium for Skype users."

Um, what??? I suppose this is true if your definition of unencumbered means you are on say a mobile device, accessing the web through 3G or LTE or if your ISP decides that Skype video is too bandwidth intensive and charges your for less latency..

Hire better lobbyists next time Skype.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Skype and iPhone OS 4.0 - this is sort of a big deal..

Apple today announced the upcoming features and road-map for iPhone OS 4.0. In short multitasking is supported. This means that you can make and receive Skype calls and presumably receive IM anytime the application is running in the background. Skype actually demo'd a VoIP call on stage during the event on an iPhone.

This is a gamechanger.

The adoption of Skype in Business is a no brainer now. With Verizon, 3 and iPhone supporting Skype calling on their platform and devices, businesses have to take Skype as a serious as they take the PSTN, do you really want to be the only business that doesn't accept incoming Skype calls? If you're competition is doing it, you better as well.

Kudo's to Apple for opening the platform, RIM has some serious competition coming - they need a refresh of the OS in a BIG way...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tungle & Skype are two peas in an "interconnected flat world pod"

I have been using Tungle a lot lately. It simply rocks, if you work like I do in multiple time zones, scheduling meetings is a royal pain in the a$$. I actually dread the emails that come into my inbox that copy 4 people and ask "whats a good time for all of us to meet?". The hair on the back of my neck stands up, and the dog hides under the couch.

Tungle solves all that - I can set up a Skype conference call in 1 email, with 5 persons globally in different time zones. I can't put a value on this, everyone I work with I push to Tungle now. There is no other way to solve this problem as elegantly as Tungle does it. Oh, by the way - Tungle is FREE. Click here to see my tungle me link. My Calendar.

Anyway - Tungle is running a 'ask the customer contest' and I wanted to share my answers to the 5 questions, as I am a sucker for a free T-shirt.

Q. What made you decide to start Tungling?
A. I work with a Virtual team in almost all timezones on the planet, there is no way to schedule calls efficiently - Tungle solves this.

Q. What’s one thing we do better than any other productivity app out there?
A. You solve a real world problem, and you don't force me to change anything I am not already doing.

Q. What’s one thing we could do to create a better experience for you?
A. You need to take a long think on how to manage trade show/conference calendars. In this scenario Tungle is helpful but not perfect, usually you have a group of people all sharing the same calendar.

Q. Do you refer to others? If yes, why?
A. Yes all the time, if you want to meet with me you have to book it through Tungle - also I want a free Kindle.

Q. What would you Google to find an app like
A. Probably - Time Zone Calendar Synch or free exchange calendar

Thanks Tungle team!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Interesting Skype Mobile Facts

Russ Shaw, General Manager of Skype Mobile, has a great blog post recapping some of the stats Skype and its carrier partners have collected on Skype mobile usage.

The two I found most interesting are:

Skype for iPhone push notifications are coming!! Skype is working on it and as soon as the process is perfect it will be released.

Skype on 3 in the UK with the INQ phone, has been a amazing success as well. Most importantly the stats 3 has observed is that revenue from a Skype customer is 60% higher than other customers and provides 3x the SMS revenue as well. I've said it before, 3 gets it.

Hopefully Apple will remove the restrictions on 3G calling VoIP apps., in 2010. Mobile VoIP is hot, and must be a fun sector to be working in.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Skype on the Nokia N900 - WOW!!!

My Xmas list just got a little bit longer, the Nokia N900 has Skype completely integrated into the OS.. I am drooling..

More information on the integration here..