Network World's Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick put forth an interesting "devil's advocate" proposition with reference to Skype.
Their essential point is that because Skype gets updated often, doesn't offer customer support, guaranteed QoS or proactive (as compared to reactive) security monitoring and related information accessible to the subscriber, wouldn't you be better off getting your VoIP service from a VoIP service provider able to offer you all of the above?
Failing that- and this is my term- what about a Skype Nanny to monitor your Skype service, watch out for security alerts, perform tweaks,download and install patches, updates, cool third-party apps?
Taylor and Hettick cite points made at the recent Next Generations Networks conference by Sonus Networks CTO and founder Mike Hluchyj. They note that Hluchyj expressed a preference for " a service provider to make sure that software programs such as Skype are secure and that they provide the quality of service he expects with his voice calls. And equally important, Hluchyj pointed out that he wants a person to call to fix the problem if something goes wrong."
The authors then add their own point. "And while most Microsoft users are accustomed to check for 'critical patch' updates each time they log on to their personal computers,we're not sure the same comfort levelor user discipline applies to Skype."
Now as to "user discipline," I would change the term to "user responsibility." Yes, Skype is cheap, but for that "cheap," you implicitly assume some of the onus for making sure you download those patches, watch out for security alerts and perform your own updates.
To me, Taylor and Hettick seem to be advancing the case of a "Skype Nanny."
While that could be a good business, I can manage my own Skype just fine, thank you.
What do you think? Would you pay, say $10 bucks a month for a Skype Nanny? Maybe $5 bucks a month? Let's get some TalkBacks going here.