Microsoft bought Skype. But What The heck is Skype?

Media Rules! DC Book Launch PartyThese days the news channels are full of “Microsoft bought Skype” and Ramon Ray wrote a post on the Microsoft and Skype acquisition . Now as a geek I am presuming a lot of these companies like Skype are household names but is that true for all internet users? Maybe not.

Skype started off as a alternative to people to call each other using the internet first using just your computer if you preferred that way instead of picking up the phone. As this alternative to traditional phones evolved Skype became a tool for team collaboration.

  • Calling from computer to computer and saving long distance charges
  • Using Skype as a Instant messaging system to talk to your team mates
  • Using Skype to hold conference calls, web conferencing, file sharing  and desktop sharing
  • Using Skype to hold interviews with people, media companies are also doing this to hold interviews like my colleague Navin Ganeshan did for MSNBC
  • Calling International numbers at a reasonable rate
  • Services like call forwarding, voice mail  and other features previously a walled feature of telecom
  • Access anywhere on your mobile device
  • use Skype to live video cast from your business with the qcquisition by Skype of  Qik a live video casting tool

If you are a small business with team mates or employees working at different geographic locations you should be trying out services like Skype, Google Voice, http://grasshopper.com/ and also check this article on Focus.com on Skype alternatives. If you have people in other countries that you communicate with Skype is a great alternative. Remember you can call from Skype user to Skype user for free and get a Skype call-in or a call – out number for a fee. Several companies also sell handsets that help you connect to your home/office internet and make calls using Skype.

The biggest benefit is if you are hyper connected where ever you go and use Skype as your business number your customers will find you even on the go if you have the Skype app on your phone. If your business depoends on a lot of long distance calling and also includes calling other countries Skype should be on your tools to try and hopefully with Microsoft being the new owner may make it easier for you to access Skype and use it effectively in your small Business.

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Shashi Bellamkonda is a Speaker and Digital Marketing Expert and he is the Vice President, Digital Marketing at The Bozzuto Group whose mission statement is " the best real estate company in America." Bellamkonda is also an Adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University. After several years of enriching experience in the hospitality industry which also included being a chef, Shashi transformed his hobby of computers and technology to his career working in areas like Customer service, Program Management, Digital marketing and Social Media.

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