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SMB"> "It probably has to do with the fact that Skype is using peer-to-peer technology. And peer-to-peer technology is something that is, in many cases, associated with file sharing and [Sharman Networks Ltd.s] Kazaa," Friis said. In addition, Friis said he understands that IT managers at large companies question any Internet application installed on a users desktop. There are communication infrastructure issues and corporate security requirements in large organizations that probably dont exist in small businesses, he said.Skype officials admit the technology is not designed to be an enterprise-grade tool. Click here to read more. Skype is not in a position to replace your telephone company. "Skype is a supplement. Its not that General Electric [Co.] has replaced their entire communication system with Skype. Thats not what we see now," said Friis. What Friis said he does see are small businesses adopting Skype as a tool for traveling employees to call home base, just like Craig does. The inability to get the enterprise customer comes down to QOS (quality of service), said Abramson, who, as an editorial voice in the VOIP market, also represents Popular Telephony in public relations. While Skype is constantly upgrading its product, it cant offer guaranteed QOS like the telcos do, said Abramson. Skype has no SLAs (service-level agreements), but, then again, said Abramson, what can users really expect? Skype is essentially free. Yet, even without the QOS and the SLAs, Skype has made a major impact. "Phone companies are cautiously watching, and they make moves like elephants. Skype is like a bumblebee. Theyre stinging the elephant on the butt," Abramson said. Abramson uses Skype, but he said he relies on other tools for communications. "I like Skype. I like for what [it] is used for. I like the Internet intercom. But would I give up my phone and use only Skype? No way. I love my CallVantage [AT&Ts VOIP solution] line too much. CallVantage has all the things I need ... it sounds good ... it reaches me anywhere, and it can find me. Skype cant do that yet," Abramson said. Craig, who has been using Skype also on his PDA, is a far more devout fan. "I got to a point where I was using it so much I wondered why I still had a cell phone," said Craig. "When people want to reach me, they would try me first on Skype." David Spark is a freelance writer in San Francisco. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.
"I think the usage for Skype in a [small or midsize] business or SOHO [small office/home office] environment is very cut-and-dry. Its when you get into those larger enterprise environments where it becomes more of a big deal," Craig said.