Skype announced that their popular Manager product, which allowed small business users to manage a group of associated accounts from one sign in is to be crippled, with the most important features to be retired during March.
Currently small businesses using Skype are able to benefit from powerful features such as allocating phone numbers, credit, and setting up redirects for staff during leave all from one central log in.
Over the coming weeks those features are set to be retired, and to make matters worse, any business accounts created in manager are to be converted to personal accounts owned by the individual users. Managers will need to be careful that important business assets, such as phone numbers, are not lost by the business during the transition.
The Skype Manager administrator may not be able to retrieve allocated subscriptions, Skype Credit or Skype Numbers associated with a personal account, and may not be able to access content or material associated with a Managed Account after the transition to personal accounts. (Source: Skype)
The vague wording provided is particularly unhelpful to businesses, many of whom will have purchased Skype direct lines for work-from-home employees and contractors and not wish to lose those numbers should the user leave the business.
Businesses who wish to retain complete control over their managed accounts will no longer be able to safely use Skype manager without more clarity on this so moving to Skype For Business could be the only option.
In the UK Skype For Business is priced at £1.30 per user so it won’t impact small businesses significantly in the pocket, provided they make the switch soon and avoid risking their important assets such as allocated funds, phone numbers, and business Skype accounts that they don’t wish to lose to personal users after the changeover.
[Image Source: Microsoft Press Center]