Unbridled Skype

Monday, July 17, 2006

Very interesting article entitled “Skype’s Choice”, on the problems presented by Skype.  There is no choice of course but to deal with them, given it’s unquestionable productivity & cost benefits.


  • Skype is a peer-to-peer system.  This means that it creates ad hoc computer-to-computer links over the Internet any time Skype users want to reach one another.  With this approach, no central networks mediate or manage the connection.
  • Because Skype eliminates the middleman, calls between its users are free.  A connection from a Skype-loaded device to a traditional telephone in most places generally costs about two cents per minute.
  • Skype’s sound quality is better than typical telephone reception, primarily because it is not limited to the standard telephone transmission spectrum of 300 Hz to 3 kHz, a relatively narrow bandwidth.


  • Skype is an IT manager’s nightmare.  For one thing, Skype encrypts all its traffic, which makes it impossible to monitor what employees are doing, sending, or saying when they use this communications tool.
  • Skype doesn’t follow the path of most VoIP services.  It enters the corporate network as an application embedded in a mobile device; it is activated whenever a user accesses the Internet from within the corporate network to make a call.  In this way, Skype could theoretically open holes in a corporate firewall from the inside.  The fear is that Skype users could expose corporate networks to hackers, viruses, and malicious software (“malware”) — or shield the activities of malicious employees….

Skype will force management and IT executives to consider how to structure a network that exists both inside and outside the corporate firewall.  To improve innovation and their own productivity, employees will gravitate to the most advanced collaboration and communication tools with the most reliable levels of quality, no matter what price is paid in weakened security.

Reference : http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/05314?gko=ff4f9&tid=230&pg=all

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