Saturday, 1 November 2008

Saving Money with Skype

Everybody knows about Skype, but most people only use a fraction of its possibilities. Skype allows you to make Skype Calls (VOIP) for free to your contacts all over the world, enjoying a sound quality that is sufficiently good in most cases. At My Digital Partner we also use Skype as our Instant messaging platform. An additional bonus of using Skype, is that you can have Video Calls, also for free, with your Skype contacts.

Saving money on landline calls:
So far, nothing new really. But once you start using
SkypeIn numbers, the advantages to small businesses become really obvious. A SkypeIn number is just like a real phone number, but you answer it using your Skype client. This however is absolutely transparent to the callers. SkypeIn phone numbers come with additional functionalities such as voicemail and call forwarding, which makes this concept fit for professional use.
In order to forward calls to land lines or mobile phones, you will however need to have bought some SkypeOut credit because the forwarding off calls is billed at very reasonable
SkypeOut rates.

What makes this Skype solution ultimately competitive is its pricing. At My Digital Partner we use an
Unlimited Europe subscription at £2.95/month which comes with a SkypeIn Phone number, voicemail, call forwarding and allows us to make unlimited calls to land lines within 21 European countries. All of that for £2.95/month!
Admittedly we spend some money on call forwarding to land lines and mobile phones (at very competitive SkypeOut rates), but this would also be the case with any other telecommunications solution.

Saving money on mobile calls:
In order to optimise our use of the Skype platform for communications, at
My Digital Partner we also use 3 Skypephones. These phones allow us to keep our mobile phone bills very, very low by using Skype call technology for communication between the members of our staff. Since every member of our staff will log in to his Skype account on his mobile, we can make mobile calls virtually for free. E.g. 3's Pay As You Go £10 top-ups come with minutes and text, similar to other mobile phone operators, but you also get 90 days worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. This reduces mobile phone bills drastically!

Saving money on international calls (option1):
Another very recent addition to the functionalities of 3's Skype implementation is the "
Call Phones Abroad". If your organisation often is in contact with companies abroad and the members of your staff need to make international calls using their mobiles, then this is something you really want to check out. From now onwards My Digital Partner's staff are using SkypeOut credit when making calls abroad with their mobiles, again implying huge savings.
Remark: At the time of this writing, this is all quite new so you might need to update your Skype software on "older" 3 Skype-enabled phones or make sure you buy a new 3 Skypephone S2 that has the updated software on-board. Don't try to call 3's Tech Support or get information in a retail outlet.  It is very unlikely you will get a satisfactory answer. Luckily some, including
My Digital Partner, have insisted on getting this to actually work and the following forum post explains how owners of the previous 3 Skypehone S1 can update their software and start enjoying the benefits of the "Call Phones Abroad" functionality.


Saving money on international calls (option2):
Another way to save money on your international calls is to use the new
Skype To Go functionality that comes for free with your Skype subscription. The idea behind this is quite simple, you call a dedicated Skype To Go local land line, just as you would call any other number. A Skype system answers your call and forwards you to any international phone number of your choice (you can also set up 6 different speed dials).  In order to make these calls, Skype then charges you according to your subscription and/or SkypeOut rates.  E.g. if you have an Unlimited Europe subscription, your calls to European land lines will be forwarded for free.  You would only pay the local call to your Skype To Go number.

Added extras:
If you want extra phone numbers in different regions across the country or an extra international phone number in the US, this is possible at the click of a button. 
Remark: some countries require you to be a local resident in order to require a local SkypeIn number.

How to start:
Just do it ... go to the dedicated Skype pages and get started.

We hope you will soon be saving money on your telecommunications.  


2 comments:

chaps_ks said...

an eye opener on Skype Voip, I APPRECIATE, THANKS

chaps_ks said...

wonderful post re skype, thanks