The $8.5 billion purchase of Skype is starting to look fairly priced for Microsoft. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft’s Skype unit is reaching $2 billion in annual sales. Skype at the time of acquisition in 2011, had annual sales of $800 million.
However, Microsoft’s own enterprise communication solution–Lync, is lumped into Skype’s department. The Bloomberg report did not mention what percentage of sales Skype and Lync generate separately.
Lync is Microsoft’s homegrown enterprise communication tool and has existed prior to the purchase of Skype. It’s one of the premier internet telecommunications for enterprise competing with Cisco Systems. Out of the Fortune’s 100 companies, 90 rely on Microsoft Lync for their internet telecommunication solution. Lync currently has over 5 million users.
Skype in comparison is geared toward consumers and has over 280 million monthly users. In 2012, it accounts for over a third of total international calls (including traditional telephone calls). A report by TeleGeography shows that “international telephone traffic grew 5 percent in 2012, to 490 billion minutes.” While, ”cross-border Skype-to-Skype voice and video traffic grew 44 percent in 2012, to 167 billion minutes. This increase of nearly 51 billion minutes is more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined.” Skype and various VoIPs could potentially spell a bigger threat for telephone companies in the near future.
Microsoft is not laying still with their communication assets. The new Lync app is expected to arrive to Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices in the coming months for enterprise users. On the consumers’ side, the Skype mobile app is getting an update to enable users to send video messages to their contacts. Microsoft is also working to add Skype support to its Lync application, allowing wider interaction between the two.
Now only if Microsoft is to announce a buyout of T-Mobile US and beginning to allow customers to just subscribe to a data plan and do everything (including Skype telephone calls) over the internet. It’s a wet dream, but I’m putting it out there for Microsoft. Google is building their own data network and one could imagine where Google’s going to sail that ship.