Skype is planning to shift its gears towards the business perspective of video chatting, and is teaming up with Citrix, a worldwide company who offers online meetings with GoToMeeting. The new feature is expected to be available near the end of the year, and Skype hopes for this partnership to “help expand Skype’s business offerings by providing powerful collaboration features for businesses of all sizes to set up and hold meetings” (Skype, 2011). Along with video calls and conferencing, the new service will also include audio features with voice calling, as well as instant messaging, file sharing, and group video calling, which is a brand new element that Skype launched with their latest version, Skype 5.0.
The new conference calling product is a little different from their current free conference calling service. The free conference calling that Skype already offers only allows two users to video call online, instant message, file share, etc., while the new product is a paid version that is extended through Skype’s business service. Skype and Citrix are excited to bring this product to life and explain that, “Web and audio conferencing has been among the top requested features by our business users. This represents a significant step towards broadening our enterprise offerings, while adding features that will enable business people to collaborate even more efficiently and effectively.” (Skype, 2011). This new conference calling service makes it simpler for corporate businesses to hold meetings with one another and are able to connect anywhere and anytime, which increases productivity. Citrix also claims that GoToMeeting is extremely user-friendly, therefore prior training or knowledge of the program is not necessary. The exact price of how much the conference call feature is going to cost has not been established yet, and Skype plans to let users know of all costs closer to the release of the service.
Travel costs and difficult meeting arrangements are out the window with this brand new product. Collaborating with other businesses also becomes much more flexible and easy with this new technology. This was just a little preview, stay tuned for more news with Skype and their new conference calling product later this year!