With its recent unveiling of a new networking platform for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), Microsoft’s Skype is venturing into the vast world of online business communication.
Dubbed as Skype in the Workspace (SITW), the new platform aims to provide all users – business owners or those who are just planning to start a business – a single, web-based platform to run and manage their business communications online.
SITW will enable SMBs to conduct their daily business on the web by networking and connecting with customers, partners and suppliers through a Skype connection. This will enable small businesses to promote their services and products to new connections and networks.
Users will be able to utilise their existing Skype accounts to access the community. In addition, through a series of promotional tools they can then create public ‘offers’ or ‘opportunities’, inviting other members of the community to live sessions on Skype. During these sessions user can demonstrate the services they offer or more fully describe products to a wider audience.
Furthermore, use can be made of the system to make appointments with suppliers and potential customers. It is very simple to keep track of appointments by using the provided meeting notification service.
This new platform is expected to provide a central communications hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. It is also intended to make connecting with experts, coaches and consultants who can help a user develop their business, far easier than ever before.
Microsoft is eager to integrate Skype into the world of business communication and networking, as this is potentially a huge market. The software giant recently moved its Lync unified communications platform to Skype. These moves indicate that Skype will now move forward as a big player in the business communications market of the future.