What a coincidence! On the same day that a survey is released showing that Internet telephony (or Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP) "has arrived" for business, VoIP juggernaut Skype announces it's providing a new service to let business pay for a chunk of services at once and to let a group of different people use the services together.
The Skype news release gives some fascinating detail I haven't seen before about how much of its service is used by business, especially small business:
- * 31 percent of Skype's registered users use it for business.
* 25 percent of small-business respondents are in the software and services sector, 11 percent are in business services, and 8 percent are involved in technology hardware and equipment.
* A lot of the use is for international or multiple offices.
Meanwhile, here's a piece on the dangers to VoIP from malicious hackers, viruses, and so on. I have myself witnessed teeth gnashing and hair pulling caused by VoIP, for instance, when a small business that was promised all kinds of reliability and redundancy had all its calls drop away and its network go dead for a few hours. And I don't think I'll forget the recent CNET conference call, which we conducted by cell phone when our company's VoIP network went down.
And here's some disturbing news about Internet service providers (read telcos) messing up VoIP service, for obvious reasons. And a more optimistic essay by Internet icon Vint Cerf about how "Internet-enabled control of traditional telecommunication modalities and the commoditization of Internet transport...makes it possible to invent new businesses through software and services on the Internet and...makes these services inexpensive to implement."