September 21, 2009
I am always impressed with Skype. The user interface is good, the business strategy is clever and left to themselve's they have carved out significant marketshare of communication users without technically being a carrier.
That is a difficult road to travel. Virgin Mobile, Vonage, Packet8 and most MVNOs have not been able to navigate that agile path as nimbly.
So if the Janus has been jilted by the former Joltid's CEO the question is does that mean an end to IPR held by Janus and Niklas? A friend has pointed to the irony of the Kazaa IPR owners claiming foul over copyright rules.
Inside Avaya there is a lot of buzz about being able to join the Skype ecosystem. It could take on a lot of different strategies, from developing media server solutions, interfacing like Digium has to the Skype network, or my favorite, federating the pbx's with supernode abilities.
Federating has been a giant problem, because the long tail of the federating has been elusive. I was very close to it once, and the company I helped to form got lost in the weeds. See the thing they forget to tell you about the long tail first mover is that it's the new category creation that is the key.
But if Silver Lake's Skype acquisition goes through, in theory Avaya's federation has found a new home and its not aligned with a network operator.
On the other hand if Janus and Niklas win their war, its not about enabling the enterprise for them. The path that the current team has been on in deepening the ecosystem. I am not sure if the partner program would be totally restored, but I would bet that it would at least be reorganized. (As you know it was killed shortly after the announcement of the acquisition) This could have been just an issue of not hosting it with the Ebay types, which had hosted the community as a subset for a while.
If Niklas negates the deal, the question of "what is next?" becomes significant. Without a clear path, Skype could go the way of Alta Vista, AOL, and other industry movers. If the objection is one of allowing Skype to go IPO I think that works. If it is about the IP embedded in the system and the licensing deal is the real issue, that should be addressable. (I have stated my view previously).
I am sure Ebay would love for this to be over, but like a diamond that is going to be cut, the next move is the significant one. Let's hope it makes the service more precious.
, Janus Friis
, Niklas Zennstron
, Silver Lake
, Virgin Mobile
: Related Tags: janus niklas
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