Featured Article from Conferencing

Skype Set to Hire 400 in Push to Drive Revenue Growth

January 17, 2011

The job outlook is good if you hope to leverage an opportunity with Skype. According to this Seer Press report, the company’s new chief executive, Tony Bates, plans to hire another 400 employees in 2011 to boost Skype’s sluggish product development.

Bates is also hoping to capitalize on surging consumer growth and has an eye on the role of a bigger player in Silicon Valley. Skype continues to boast that it has a high level of brand recognition, yet has been slow on the development side to launch premium brand services that can actually generate revenue. Bates is focused on quickly fixing this shortcoming.

In an interview, Bates shared that Skype needs to take the good ideas its engineers are coming up with and actually put them into the hands of consumers. He announced that the market will see a rhythm and cadence of product release that’s going to increase. Bates’ comment is likely drawn from his time as head of a Cisco division where he provided services for big business.

According to reports from TeleGeography, 25 percent of all international calling minutes last year were made within Skype. The company confirms this number, which is 12 percent higher than minutes called in 2009, when the company enjoyed a 9 percent increase over the prior year.

This trend does suggest that Skype has an impact on traditional telecommunication carriers that is only accelerating. The challenge for the company is that while 124 million people use Skype every month, only 8 million of those people actually pay for the service. Skype must figure out the best way to drive more revenue-generating traffic across its services.

Skype is enjoying global growth, according to this Conferencing report. TeleGeography Research findings show that Skype-to-Skype international long distance traffic has grown strongly, at a more than 40-percent rate, compared to international long distance using the public networks. 

In other Skype news, Conferencing recently reported that the company announced that it updated its IOS app functionality to include video chat feature. Officials at Skype informed that the app works via WiFi and 3G from one iPhone user to another.  Industry experts suggest that the new app equips Skype to compete with FaceTime, which was introduced by iPhone in June last year.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for Conferencing and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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