Skype on Tuesday launched a channel program to get more traction in the enterprise.
The effort, officially called the Skype Channel Partner Program, will aim to train and certify systems integrators. The channel plan should go a long way toward getting Skype a bigger footprint among small and mid-sized businesses.
Skype has been working to bolster its business footprint ahead of its initial public offering. The company has cited the enterprise as a key avenue for future growth. In its IPO filing Skype said:
We believe the business communications market represents a large opportunity for Skype. Approximately 37% of over 40,000 of our connected users surveyed in the first quarter of 2010 told us that they use our product platform occasionally or often for business-related purposes. We believe there is a significant opportunity to better serve the communications needs of the small and medium enterprise segment, as well as larger enterprise customers.
The company will provide value added resellers, integrators and others with support, customer tracking, marketing tools and training. Once certified, these partners will be able to install Skype's enterprise services and garner consulting and support revenue.
According to Skype, 20 resellers and integrators have been enrolled as certified partners. These partners will set up Skype products at business accounts, but do not sell services directly.
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