Skylook: A Skype Extras Success Story

During my recent visit to Skype’s London office I had the good fortune to meet Jeremy Hague, President of Melbourne, Australia’s Netralia, who, in turn, is Publisher of SkyLook, or, as it is now bylined in Skype Extras: MS Office Outlook Calling, MP3 Recording and Alerts.

In spite of having just over 50,000 downloads via Skype Extras (and ranked 15th for downloads as of March 28), Skylook has become one of the premier Skype Extras success stories.Why? Because they have developed a mission critical business tool for a market that benefits significantly from Skylook’s value-add.

During the two days we were together I was able to sit in on Jeremy’s presentation to Skype staff. Jeremy positioned Skylook as a Skype extension to Outlook. In a manner similar to Outlook’s handling and management of email, a Skylook user can also store, track and archive all his/her Skype activities within Outlook folders. Skylook will enter as Outlook events all chat session activity, all Skype call history information and, on an elective basis, Skype call recordings. In addition it provides an Outlook Toolbar from which you can manage all your Skype activities.

But, in addition to the software itself, Netralia’s other key asset is the customer base of clients, built up over eighteen months. Skylook provides a valuable conversation management and archiving service for sales, marketing and customer service personnel, who use Skype in conjunction with their customer relationship management (CRM) activities. Skylook 2.0 has an annual subscription-based model at a cost of $99.95 per license which includes all upgrades and customer support; a limited feature set Skylook 1.5 is available for $49.95 until the end of 2008. I’m sure several business cases can be made to show the time to recovery of this charge is less than a month..

In a space where the Skype Email Toolbar is free and where there are other competitors who may have some overlapping features. Skylook has succeeded by listening to its customers and building into Skylook 2.0 the feature set requested by their customers. Finally, for the new quarter starting April 2, 2007, Skylook has been listed as a Premium Partner where they are reached simply by clicking "Tools | Do More"; as a result they have seen an uptick in sales activity.

Bottom line: if you provide significant value-add for business operations, yet charge a fair price with a short term ROI for the customer, a business can be built via Skype Extras.

Note: In Skype Extras, you will find a version of the product that is listed as "Free". In fact downloading Skylook will provide you with a fully featured 14-day trial version; however, after 14 days, should you not purchase a full license, it will drop back to providing some basic Outlook integration features such as calling any Outlook Contact via Skype or SkypeOut, as appropriate from within Outlook.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.


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