From the December 2009 issue of Entrepreneur

Can't Live with It
'I use Skype regularly to communicate with clients in the U.S., Europe and Asia and sometimes set up conference calls. Although Skype provides a valuable service at no cost, its security is poor and customer service nonexistent. In the spring, I began receiving unsolicited calls at my home and office from Skype-based numbers. I unplugged my office phones and left a voicemail advising people to try me on another number. Clients were concerned--one asked if I couldn't pay my phone bill--and I missed other important calls. I tried calling Skype but there is no phone number associated with the phone service. After searching the web, I discovered you could post issues on one of its forums. Eventually Skype stopped the calls. I determined that my phone numbers had been harvested from my Skype profile. Skype is the de facto standard of international business callers, so despite my fears of further security compromises and poor customer service concerns, I still use Skype upon request."
--George Cohen, president, George Cohen Communications Inc., Boston



Can't Live Without It
'We literally use Skype all day, every day to communicate between employees and vendors in different locations. Also, both offices use Skype Chat as back-channel communications during conference calls with remote clients. By chatting back and forth, we make decisions literally while the client is asking a question, and decide who on the team is best qualified to do it. We then use chat to pass snippets of information or even full files to help them answer the question. It's a lot of fun to watch knowledge being passed by a group on one channel and hearing it disseminated by an individual on another channel--all in real time and with great effectiveness. We save Skype Video for more in-depth conversations, creative team meetings or for presentations that need visual representation. We also use it as a social tool to bring the two offices together. Screen sharing is a great feature for offices in multiple locations. Everything runs smoother when we use Skype and fewer mistakes are made."
--Jay Lohmann, creative partner, TagTeam Creative, Dallas and Colorado Springs, Colo.