Would You Like Fries with Your Video Call?
Late last week Skype announced Conversation Ads within their calling window. The ads will start appearing only in 1:1 audio calls but Skype has already mentioned additional “commercial experiences” in the future. So advertising during Skype video calls is certainly a possibility. Although, for paid customers, it appears the ads will not be present.
Skype is a fantastic application, great for linking family and friends, as well as easily pulling in remote employees into video meetings. But, do you want to build your organization’s entire strategy behind it? Improved bandwidth and cameras have helped blur the lines between Skype calls and business video calls; and at times, they can be indistinguishable.
But when Skype decides to make a big change, like building advertising into calls, it can cause all sorts of issues. Do you want the CEO of your company taking a video call with an advertisement for maple syrup? I don’t think so!
The key to Skype, is using it to compliment your business video environment. If you have implemented Polycom, Cisco, Lifesize, Radvision, or some other technology, a cloud service can provide the link between those higher-end business calls and Skype. It is important to maintain those solutions and use them for business critical meetings. Skype should be used sparingly!
In situations where remote participants are looking to connect from a mobile device (iPad, Smartphone) or from a remote location, Skype makes perfect sense. The best way to think about these meetings is to focus on the fact that the reach of the meeting is more important than achieving the highest audio and video quality. We’ve seen clients running a fully managed meeting in their boardroom and a remote participant connecting via Skype from the Middle East. It was important for this person to be seen and heard in the call; the fact that he/she was able to connect at all was enough.
The consumerization of IT is apparent from the largest to smallest companies. As these companies embrace it and encourage employees to BYOD (bring your own device), Skype is going to continue to be more and more prevalent. Embracing it as a complimentary technology will not only make managing Skype easier, but will provide users with additional avenues to collaborate with their co-workers.