Skype targets SMEs with dedicated business platform

AUTHOR: Inavate

Skype is leveraging its enormous customer base and ready-made network to target small businesses with 'Skype in the workplace' (SITW).

The Microsoft owned communication platform says the dedicated business offering will provide a central hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses to connect with experts, coaches and consultants.

Users join the community, which has just completed a six-month beta trial, with their existing Skype accounts to es

tablish new connections, send messages and meet face-to-face with peers and business prospects over the Skype platform.

"With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small-business community," said Ural Cebeci, head of SMB marketing at Skype. "We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that, by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry."

A series of promotional tools can create public "offers" or "opportunities" inviting community members to live sessions on Skype to demonstrate services or products to a wider audience. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers and keep track of them with a meeting notification service. When an opportunity is over, users can publish testimonials on the product or service offered.