IBM + Skype … Google + Skype … ? + Skype

Skype_logoThe speculation around the future of Skype continues to increase as questions regarding their position within eBay, their overall strategy, revenue opportunities and even the level of customer support hint at strategic and tactical problems.

That is not to say that Skype is about to join the dead-pool.  Rumors abound that Skype is "in-play" and a number of suitors are at least talking and listening.

To me it seems the strategic opportunity for revenue growth should be focused on removing strategic constraints (explicitly or implicitly linked to eBay’s model & management) and creating revenue streams from applications riding above the "connecting" layer. 

Jim Courtney at Skype Journal offers an interesting perspective on how Skype may be working with IBM to provide "connectivity" for their Sametime – Unyte unified communications solution.   With rumors that Google is at least listening to eBay-Skype strategic options, and Skype already linked with Google Apps bundles, you would suspect that they may be looking to Skype for at least the same type of "connectivity" as IBM (but that is for another post).

Jim summarizes by asking "Would it not be a fair prediction to assume, given:

  1. The statement of IBM’s ongoing search for excellence,
  2. Skype’s investment into ac knowledgeably improving both audio and video quality and performance
  3. The more intensive exposure of IBM SameTime’s Unified Communications and Collaboration team to Skype over a few months
  4. WebDialog’s pioneering partnership work with Skype
  5. Not only Skype’s high quality voice and video but also more comprehensive real time conversation offering incorporating auxiliary services such as securely encrypted file transfer and chat,
  6. IBM’s expressed desire to work with its partners
  7. Microsoft’s current campaign launching their Unified Communications Services,

that IBM is investigating at least a licensing partnership for incorporation of Skype technology into its various SameTime real time communications offerings where appropriate?"

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