One of the primary advantages that any business manager gains from using Skype in the workplace is that it is either free or costs very little, depending on how it is used. If the business is using Skype for business calls to other Skype users, then it is free. Otherwise, purchasing SkypeIn or SkypeOut monthly plans or pay-as-you-go plans are very affordable; SkypeIn costs $60/month, and SkypeOut costs $12.95/month for an unlimited world plan. For small businesses this can be particularly advantageous.
As well, the usage of Skype can increase productivity in the workplace. Skype offers a service called Skype Manager which allows business employers to manage their employees' SkypeIn and SkypeOut accounts. Skype Manager includes the capabilities of real-time analysis and reporting, as well as a convenient centralized payment system.
Skype in itself, being a service which offers unified communications capabilities, is advantageous for businesses because it allows organizations to connect and conduct business meetings with other businesses, business partners and clients. Brightstorm Inc. is an organization which produces learning videos for students and streams them on the internet, and which also heavily relies on Skype for its recruitment and interviewing process. With the use of Skype, Brightstorm Inc. can recruit employees from across the nation which offers this organization a vast selection of candidates, and by interviewing them using Skype, they can have an idea of how the person is perceived on video and if they have enough personable attributes to be successful in video tutorials.
Voice quality is also an advantage; on good Skype calls, voice quality is better than on a regular phone call because Skype uses wide-band technology that sends twice as much audio information as the PSTN.
A disadvantage for managers that choose to use Skype is that connection quality is not always as good as it is on the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Calls have been known to drop, and although this has minimized in the past few years some organizations which heavily rely on capabilities such as those which Skype offer require a guarantee of good quality, with financial compensation in cases where good quality is not provided. Skype does not offer a service level agreement (SLA) warranting that service will be available and quality will be good at the risk of financial penalties to the provider (it only guarantees its "best effort"), which causes some organizations to find more expensive services that offer an SLA.
On bad Skype calls, voices may break up to the point where it is difficult to carry on a conversation, and there may also be a noticeable lag in the signal reaching its destination. This can be particularly harmful for an organization when it is conducting meetings with clients or business partners. As well, quality is not very reliable in multi-party conference calling.
Lastly, security can be a concern for some companies; in 2007, there was an outage which lasted for two days in which Skype had become unavailable. Although such an occurrence is very rare,since Skype does not offer an SLA this may not be a chance worth taking for some larger and more financially capable companies. Skype also can use a company’s network resources to route other users’ calls- even if Skype’s use of any one computer is minimal, as Skype suggests, this causes IT professionals to be cautious in their consideration of using Skype. As well, there is a possibility that an IM client can infect a company network with malware, and although this is also rare, some companies would rather not take the chance.
"Another differentiator is that Skype is free and simple to set up, and it costs us virtually nothing for a new user to join the Skype network, which is why we can offer the service for free."