International Architects cut costs and boost teamwork with Skype
January 29, 2007 London, UK – Skype, the global internet communications company, has launched the first Skype™ for Business showcase in conjunction with international architects firm, Lewis & Hickey. The showcase is a live representation of how Skype makes it easier for employees and customers to communicate in a real-life office setting.
The showcase includes live demonstrations by Lewis & Hickey staff using different Skype features, including; conference calls, video calls, IM (Instant Messaging) chat and file transfer.
The latest range of Skype Certified™ hardware products will also be on show from Skype’s hardware partners including Plantronics, Logitech®, Philips, Lenovo PCs powered by Intel® Core™ 2 Duo based technology and Polycom.
As more businesses all over the world adopt Skype to communicate with customers and colleagues, Lewis & Hickey says Skype has helped it work as one global team rather than separate teams situated in different offices. L&H claims that Skype for Business has helped its staff communicate better and work more closely and creatively together. Because Skype is so easy to use, L&H is encouraging its customers to introduce it into their businesses.
Lewis & Hickey’s Chief Executive, Paul Miele sees the full business potential of Skype. “We were keen to use Skype because we knew we could save a lot of money on our telephone bills. But now we have the whole business using Skype, the benefits are far greater than just cost savings.”
Miele continued, “Skype has made communicating a more personable affair. Rather than just picking up the phone and talking with colleagues or customers, we all feel that we are building stronger relationships.”
Skype has made it is easier and faster for Lewis & Hickey to work as a global team, without the usual constraints. UK and global customers such as Sage and Reliance are joining the Skype for Business wave, Benoit Mareschal, Director of Business Development for L&H says, ‘Ultimately, Skype will be our main voice and video communications tool both in and out of the office.”
Skype for Business not only enhances the way L&H communicates but has reduced its calling costs significantly. Since making its first Skype call, the 103-year-old firm has saved up to 7.6 % off its standard call charges and is aiming to reach a cost reduction of 50% of its total telephony expenditure in the near future.
L&H now uses Skype instead of an expensive ISDN video conferencing system that was complicated to use and had to be booked in advance.
“You can now conference call from your desk whenever you like and it feels the same as a normal conversation you have with someone in the office”, says Benoit. “It gets used much more than our specialist system ever did, plus it’s free.”
L&H employees make free Skype calls to other Skype users and can also make low-cost calls to traditional landlines and mobile phones using SkypeOut™.
Among its 200 staff spread across the company’s offices in the UK and Prague, L&H is also using other features within Skype such as conference and video calling, file transfer and instant messaging. The instant messaging feature is a particular favourite with L&H employees because they love sharing & discussing ideas as well as asking for feedback.
“Using Skype in the business workplace makes perfect sense”, comments Stefan Öberg, VP & GM, Telecoms for Skype. “Saving money is just the start. Being able to communicate and work efficiently as a team is really important. Skype is also a fun product to use which keeps people motivated and interested in their work.”
Lewis & Hickey is introducing a new range of Skype accessories to staff as it extends its use of Skype Certified™ hardware across its entire business. Hardware such as the Plantronics .audio 910 wireless headset is being launched at the showcase and is optimised for Skype. It allows calls to be answered when you are away from the PC. The .audio 910 also works seamlessly with mobile phones and PC’s at the same time
The Polycom® Communicator™ is also on show and offers the ultimate hands-free high-fidelity Skype experience. The Philips VOIP841 DECT phone allows you to make Skype calls without a PC as well as normal landline use. The Logitech QuickCams Pro 5000 and Notebooks Pro are Skype compatible and deliver a high quality, visual and personal dimension to business communication. These are but a few of the Skype Certified products that will be on show.
Skype’s hardware partners and software developers are an essential part of the Skype ecosystem. There is a vast range of solutions available to meet any business need e.g. Unyte that allows you to show documents in real-time with other Skype contacts, to Pamela, that enables you to record your Skype calls.
Today Skype has more than 4000 developers, approximately 50 hardware partners and more than 160 Skype Certified products.
Skype is the world’s fastest-growing Internet communication offering, allowing unlimited free voice, video and instant messaging communication between users of Skype Software. With over 171 million registered users, Skype is available in over 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, voicemail, call forwarding and personalization including ringtones and avatars. Skype also has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). To learn more visit skype.com.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required for Skype and all Skype Certified devices and accessories. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling.
Skype, SkypeIn, SkypeOut, Skype Me, Skype Certified, Skypecasts, associated logos and the “S” symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.