As Skype prepares for an IPO in the next year, the VoIP company has been looking for new ways to expand its business both in terms of revenue and product development. One avenue the company is exploring to bring in more revenue is through enterprise offerings, via B2C and B2B offerings. However, it looks like Skype will be moving its VoIP offerings to the cloud.
We spotted these job postings on Skype’s website, indicating that the company is looking to build a team of cloud and web technology engineers. According to the postings, these staff members will “build an infrastructure capable of supporting hundreds of millions of users.” The products, will deliver “voice, video, chat and presence” to the web and “enable radically new Skype applications.”
A source with knowledge of the matter has confirmed that Skype is indeed building a team to work on cloud products and will be launching a number of web-based applications in the near future.
It’s not surprising that Skype wants to go after the the web-based voice-calling market. We heard a few months ago that the company was sniffing around Web-based chat startups. And as Google gets into the web-based calling market with Google Voice’s integration with Gmail, the search giant is tapping into a big market. Google recently added an integration with Google Voice to Google Apps, signifying an enterprise play.
While a web-based version of Skype would surely draw in plenty of consumers (Skype is averaging 124 million users a month, a small fraction of which are paying for the service), the cloud play could also mean enterprise dollars as well.
If Skype was able to integrate its web-based voice-calling functionality into let’s say Microsoft’s cloud offerings, this could be a huge revenue and partnership win for the company. This is all hypothetical, of course, but it seems obvious that the VoIP company would want to look to existing enterprise companies to form these potentially lucrative deals. On the consumer side, Skype could further its existing partnership with Facebook to integrate a web app into the social network.
A representative for Skype tells us that the company will be hiring 350 new heads with majority in engineering and approx 80 percent in Silicon Valley. Clearly the company is boosting its developers so it can create new products. We know that Skype is eying other ways to create revenue, including advertising, gaming and virtual gifts.
But developing a reliable cloud-based calling service makes the most sense. One thing is for sure—Skype definitely has something cloud-related up its sleeve.
Photo Credit/Flickr/Jesse Kruger