OK, I know I am a little late on this, but being late has advantages. The perspective is clearer. So here is my take.
Any sane businessman will tell you that Skype is not for business, a business can not rely on a peer to peer network that they do not have any control over. In the same breath many small businessman will admit that they use Skype on a daily basis.
Last weeks outage should be their wake up call. A serious business should not use Skype. But, just like a driver who has a “near miss” and then swears that from now on he will drive carefully. A day later he is out speeding and tailgating again…. Skype like speed is seductive, so I don’t see many users jumping ship – for now. Though maybe a few more outages will convince them, I hope. We will probably see though a change in medium size businesses who were considering using Skype. Those plans are frozen.
What does this mean for the VoiP industry as a whole? Unfortunately consumers equate Skype with VoIP. So that is not good news. The good news should come from the continued adoption of VoIP technologyby the SMB market.
A true business solution should include the following –
- A standard based (SIP) system
- A disaster recovery plan (easy to implement with a IP / SIP system)
- A Secondary supplier in the case of a business failure of the first (the same as you would do with any business supplier)
Once you have the above in place, you will find that VoIP is very reliable. Setting up both a Disaster Recovery system and alternative suppliers is much easier with a VoIP / SIP system. In fact, it is probably impossible with a legacy system to reach the level of flexibility and reliably that you can with a IP system. Hot desks, low cost of moves and changes, expandability, immediate provisioning, all can be done only with an IP system.
The good news for Skype is that they will stay a great IM system for the SOHO market. The good news for business is that there are much better alternatives out there.