Skype Launches Channel Partner Program in the U.S.

Certified VARs & Systems Integrators to Provide Installation, Configuration and Support Services to Skype's Business Customers
SAN JOSE, California, September 7, 2010 -- Skype today announces the introduction of the Skype Channel Partner Program to help businesses who are looking to use Skype for their collaboration and communication needs. Recognizing that most businesses purchase their IT and telecommunications services through value-added resellers (VARs) or systems integrators, the goal of the Skype Channel Partner Program is to establish a qualified network of channel partners in the United States that can assist companies interested in using Skype to improve their productivity and optimize their communication costs. Through the Skype Channel Partner Program, qualified Channel Partners will receive training, sales and marketing collaterals, customer tracking and reporting tools, as well as support and account management from Skype to help them offer a quality service to their business customers. Once trained and certified by Skype, Skype Channel Partners will be equipped to provide their own consulting, installation, configuration, maintenance and support services to business customers who wish to use Skype's business solutions, including the Skype Business Client, Skype Manager and Skype Connect. "We believe that small, medium and large businesses are looking for cost-effective, integrated real-time communications and collaboration solutions," said David Gurlé, VP and general manager of Skype for Business. "Our certified Skype Channel Partners will advise and guide them on how to strategically adopt Skype for Business Solutions and get the most out of using them within their organizations. These 'trusted advisors' are selected by Skype based on relationships with business customers, the experience and know-how to provide complementary services, such as consulting, installation, training and local support, as well as hardware and software integration and industry-specific expertise. Ultimately, this Channel Partner Program will help us scale service and support for our business customers." Channel Partners will help businesses set up Skype and buy and use Skype products. For example, they will help Skype Manager customers use and manage the Skype Business Client on their desktop and mobile phones via business accounts or connect their existing private branch exchange (PBX) or Unified Communications (UC) systems to Skype using Skype Connect. They may also sell third-party hardware and software for use with Skype. Channel Partners will not be reselling any Skype products to customers; all Skype products will be bought directly from Skype. Already twenty VARs and system integrators have been enrolled in and trained as part of the Skype Channel Partner Program and have started marketing and selling their own services and third-party hardware and software for use with Skype's business solutions. Precedent Technologies of Atlanta, GA, which partners with small businesses, especially new startups, to deliver end-to-end technology solutions, including both hardware and services, is one of the initial Skype Channel Partners. Patrick Carley, CEO of Precedent Technologies, explains why they've joined the Skype Channel Partner Program: "Skype is a well-known brand and I've used it personally for years. I believe Skype's business solutions appeal to our diverse client base - be it smaller companies that are just getting started and need to watch their infrastructure costs closely or larger companies who may be interested in using Skype to supplement their international communications." Skype will also work with manufacturers of the IP-enabled PBX and UC systems that have already been certified as interoperable with Skype Connect to introduce the Skype Channel Partner Program to their existing channel partners. VARs and system integrators in the U.S. may learn more or apply to become a certified Skype Channel Partner at partner.skype.com. About Skype Skype is a software-based communications platform that offers high-quality, easy-to-use tools for both consumers and businesses to communicate and collaborate globally through voice, video and text conversations. Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, our mission is to be the communications platform of choice around the world. We enable users with virtually any Internet-connected device to communicate with each other by voice, video and instant message for free, or make low cost voice calls to fixed or mobile numbers virtually anywhere in the world. We had 124 million average monthly connected users for the three months ended June 30, 2010 and our users placed 95 billion calling minutes over Skype in the first half of 2010, approximately 40% of which were video. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at skype.com. Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype Connect is meant to complement existing traditional telephone services used with a corporate PBX, not as a stand-alone solution. Skype Connect users need to ensure all calls to emergency services are terminated through traditional telephone services. Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the "S" symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.