Skype In The Workspace: Use Skype’s Community To Discuss Business With Other Professionals

We’ve all used Skype for a long time, now owned by Microsoft.

Many of use continue to use Skype, but there are many other competing platforms that are cropping up – including Zoom.us and of course tools from Google (Hangout) and Vidyo, Fuzebox and ooVoo.

Skype’s recently launched Skype In The Workspace to connect business owners and other professionals.

What I find interesting about this new feature is that if you want to know about a variety of topics, Pinterest, branding, freelance teams and MORE – you can find these and more discussions waiting for your face to face, live input on Skype. Pretty neat.

You can create an opportunity and offer your time to discuss a topic, or you can just sign up and connect with another business owner who’s already created and opportunity.

Here’s Microsoft’s press release on it:

Skype today launched a new online platform, Skype in the workspace (SITW) to the public, a place for small businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe.

The free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections. Users can improve existing connections and establish new ones by instantly sending messages and talking to or meeting face-to-face with peers and business prospects over Skype.

The SITW community is already active as today’s launch comes at the end of a six-month beta trial, which enabled 500 businesses, offering over 140 different services, to sign up, try out and test the platform.

“With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small business community,” said Ural Cebeci, Head of SMB Marketing at Skype. “We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry. From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand, to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”

Skype in the workspace will provide a central hub for entrepreneurs; startups and small businesses to connect with experts, coaches and consultants who can help them develop their business. Users join the community using their existing Skype accounts, then through a series of promotional tools can create public ‘offers’ or ‘opportunities’ inviting community members to live sessions on Skype to demonstrate services or products to a wider audience. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers, and keep track of these with a meeting notification service. When an opportunity is over, users can instantly give testimonials on the product or service offered.

“2011 figures from the US Small Business Administration suggest that last year in the US, the nation’s 27 million small businesses created 57 million jobs – a core contribution to the economy,” said Cebeci. “In order for these businesses to survive and grow in what is still a tough economic climate, we understand that good communication and connections are key to their success. “

“This is why today we are opening the Skype in the workspace platform to the public. We feel we’re helping connect businesses face-to-face with their customers and prospects, no matter where they are located. It opens up a world of opportunity for them.”

One avid user is Jorge Parra owner of Florida based Jorge Parra photography, who said: “There’s a big difference between a professional network and a social network and Skype in the workspace seems to understand this distinction. It is the perfect companion to my existing online presence, and generates connections that will actually bring me business.”

Cindy Bidar, owner of All Quality Websites, a US startup providing expert advice on how to design, build and maintain online presence added; “ Skype in the workspace has offered something other online platforms couldn’t – a community of business-focused individuals who can explore my services and interact with me in real time.”

 Skype today launched a new online platform, Skype in the workspace (SITW) to the public, a place for small businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe.

The free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections. Users can improve existing connections and establish new ones by instantly sending messages and talking to or meeting face-to-face with peers and business prospects over Skype.

The SITW community is already active as today’s launch comes at the end of a six-month beta trial, which enabled 500 businesses, offering over 140 different services, to sign up, try out and test the platform.

“With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small business community,” said Ural Cebeci, Head of SMB Marketing at Skype. “We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry. From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand, to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”

Skype in the workspace will provide a central hub for entrepreneurs; startups and small businesses to connect with expertscoaches and consultants who can help them develop their business. Users join the community using their existing Skype accounts, then through a series of promotional tools can create public ‘offers’ or ‘opportunities’ inviting community members to live sessions on Skype to demonstrate services or products to a wider audience. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers, and keep track of these with a meeting notification service. When an opportunity is over, users can instantly give testimonials on the product or service offered.

 

“2011 figures from the US Small Business Administration suggest that last year in the USthe nation’s 27 million small businesses created 57 million jobs – a core contribution to the economy,” said Cebeci. “In order for these businesses to survive and grow in what is still a tough economic climate, we understand that good communication and connections are key to their success. 

“This is why today we are opening the Skype in the workspace platform to the public. We feel we’re helping connect businesses face-to-face with their customers and prospects, no matter where they are located. It opens up a world of opportunity for them.”

One avid user is Jorge Parra owner of Florida based Jorge Parra photography, who said:  “There’s a big difference between a professional network and a social network and Skype in the workspace seems to understand this distinction. It is the perfect companion to my existing online presence, and generates connections that will actually bring me business.”

Cindy Bidar, owner of  All Quality Websites, a US startup providing expert advice on how to design, build and maintain online presence added; “ Skype in the workspace has offered something other online platforms couldn’t – a community of business-focused individuals who can explore my services and interact with me in real time.”

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook