New Business Version of Skype for Windows Gets Group Video Calling

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New Business Version of Skype for Windows Gets Group Video Calling

Last week, group calling for Skype's regular consumer client launched. This week, the same group calling feature is launching for their business Skype client. Most people don't know there are actually two Skype clients - one for consumer and one for business. Probably because many businesses deploy the regular consumer Skype version still. But there are some advantages to the business version, including enabling enterprise administrators an easy way to deploy Skype to employees within an enterprise. It also provides the ability to control how Skype is used by letting administrators turn off or configure a variety of Skype settings. Enterprise administrators can also create Skype accounts for employees, allocate Skype Credit or subscriptions and assign premium features, like Group Video Calling, through a Web-based tool called Skype Manager.

The new Business version of Skype (version 5.1) for Windows PCs enables you to have group video calls from 3-10 people. Features include conference calling, instant messages, SMS, sharing files or screen sharing one's desktop or a presentation

Group Video Calling for businesses is available from Skype for $8.99 (€5.99/£4.99) per user per month. When businesses use Skype Manager to sign up their employees for a 3 or 12-month subscription for Group Video Calling, they will receive a 33 percent promotional discount.

Approximately 37 percent of Skype users say they use Skype's product platform occasionally or often for business-related purposes. In addition, video calling accounted for approximately 41.5 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the second half of 2010.

I still say Skype should have at least kept 3-way video calling free and made anything more than 3 participants require payment. I also said maybe even allow 30 free group video calls and then after that start charging. Get people addicted to using it. Build some traction first.

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