27th March 2008 - New research from Skype has revealed high adoption rates for new technology such as conference calling and video conferencing amongst European SMEs. More than 50 per cent of companies questioned are planning to increase the integration of conference-calling and video-conferencing technologies into their business in the coming 12 months.
A third of companies surveyed already use conference calls while a further 40% see the potential for incorporating it into their business. Two thirds of companies already using conference calling do so at least once a week and 60% predict that they are likely to increase use over the next 12 months.
There is a similar pattern to video-conferencing use. Despite being a relatively new feature, more than 40% can see the potential of video-conferencing use in business. Skype’s internal data also suggest that 30% of all Skype calls now involve video.
The research suggests that small businesses are embracing conference calling and video conferencing as a method of communicating both internally and with their customers and new prospects. Key benefits of this approach have included minimising travel, facilitating communication, improving communication and reducing costs. With video conferencing, the addition of non-verbal communication such as body language is also an important factor.
In fact, of the SMEs questioned who were not current users of video conferencing many said they would be more likely to use it if it was better quality and not expensive. Making calls between Skype users is free for anyone with a computer and broadband internet connection. To start making video calls on Skype incurs minimal set-up costs (buying a webcam for example) and once the hardware is installed, the running costs are zero. Thanks to top quality imaging ability which is available for free when you download Skype today, video conferencing is set for huge growth in 2008.
“Saving money is just the start," said Stefan Oberg, VP and general manager, telecoms, at Skype. "Skype is a great tool for businesses – especially smaller businesses who thrive on productivity while at the same time keeping an eye on the bottom line. Being able to see your customer on video for free when you are talking to them is a massive benefit and made even better because Skype is so simple to use.”
“Most successful businesses are about relationships," said Richard Martin from Cotswold Woollen Weavers, a Skype for Business user. "And making business relationships work when you’re running a fast-growth company can be tough. As a majority of all communication is non-verbal being able to see the people you’re working with using Skype video calling is a real asset. It allows you to be flexible and doesn’t discriminate in terms of where your customers are based. More importantly, because you can see your customers this reduces the need for face to face meetings so you have more time to work on new areas of you business whilst looking after your customer base.”
-- ENDS --
For further information please contact Kate Ward, Becky Ribbans, Fiona Chow or Tristan Pineiro at 3 Monkeys Communications on 020 7440 2410 or e-mail email@example.com/ Rebecca@3-monkeys.co.uk
Skype sets the standard in providing new and easy ways to stay in touch over the internet. Millions of people every day make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and send instant messages using our software. Some pay a little per minute for long-distance and international calls to phones and mobiles and for SMS, voicemail and call forwarding, or they buy subscriptions that give unlimited calls nationwide.
We certify and sell hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners and work with third-party developers to create software to extend Skype's functionality. Skype has been downloaded more than half a billion times and over 276 million people from almost every corner of the globe have registered.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY), and you can learn more and get Skype at www.skype.com.
Make your world a smaller place: talk, share and do more with Skype.
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.