Skype Problems, Update


A few days ago, I posted that VoIP’s honeymoon phase is over and now the companies like Skype need to deal with the nitty gritty. It was not a knock on Skype or Vonage, but a harsh reality of today’s business place. Stuart, one man who knows more about Skype than well Skypers, posted a comment and then wrote a longish reply on his blog. I read it twice… because I could not believe what I was reading. He and I were actually agreeing on something, and well the approach he took is different. In fact, I will go on to say, he has suggested a better fix for all the issues facing Skype and what company needs to do. He suggests, fix the technology, and make the technology help fix the problems. I think he is write. I get to the end of his post, and woah Nelly!

It’s simply too expensive and it means the “simplicity” and “it just works” philosophy that launched with Skype is lost. The real learning may be that the backend work in the design phase for both SkypeOut and the accounts system was simply “rushed” by VC pressure.

Andy is right – you can’t wish these problems away with a FAQ entry.


Andy Abramson

And if Vonage is being blockmailed by the carriers somewhere, do you think it won’t be long before some DSL and Cable companies do the same to Skype?

I see the day coming where the so called “open internet” connection that we all enjoy drops in price. You’ll get Port 80 and the right to use SMTP/POP but only on the ISP’s servers so you can be “managed.” After that “premium” packages will be available leading up to a full blown equivilant to your own T-1. It will be pricier than what we have today, but it will also have things like high quality hosting available, FTP, integrated spam, firewall, VoIP and VOD paths. One bill, one service provider on both a bundled and a la carte basis…


Thomas Soulez

To Skype : Dont Mix Products and Services !

Skype consider themselves purely as a software vendor, not as a Communication Service Provider (CSP). But by providing SkypeOut and running it themselves, they are a CSP !!

In order to survive Skype must spin off SkypeOut and focus on what it does best : being a software vendor focussed on a developping and supporting the Skype platform. This platform should be as generic and customisable as possible :

* Generic Call Termination interface to enable Service Providers to provide their own call termination services (through their own peering agreements to PSTN or any other networks, e.g SIP networks).

* Generic framework to integrate any payment solution (local ones work best in some cases)

* A Skype Web Service (SOAP/WSDL)

* A protocol-agnostic platform to integrate SIP ..etc

All the above would confirm Skype as the leading vendor by spurring a wave of local or specialised Service Providers using the Skype platform.

If Skype does not make that step, its poor customer service reputation will taint its reputation as a software vendor.

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