Skype has announced that it’s taking its ‘in the classroom’ concept beyond educational establishments and into the wider working world with the launch of Skype in the Workspace .

Skype in the Classroom was launched way back in 2010, and was one of the company’s first forays into the education realm, aimed at helping like-minded teachers collaborate on projects and share resources. And now the Microsoft-owned VoIP tool is taking this same concept to the workplace.

Skype in the Workspace (SITW) is aimed primarily at small businesses, and is geared towards promoting the peer-to-peer video networking platform as the tool of choice for communicating with customers and other partners globally.

Screenshot 14 520x276 Skype in the Workspace launches to help millions of SMBs network globally

Users can send messages, talk or even arrange face-to-face meetings. Following a six-month beta trial, we’re told that the SITW community is already active with 500 businesses.

“We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry,” says Ural Cebeci, Head of SMB Marketing at Skype. “From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand, to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”

Users join SITW using their existing Skype credentials, then through a series of promotional tools they can create public ‘offers’ or ‘opportunities’ inviting community members to live sessions on Skype, this could be to demo services or products. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers, and track these through a meeting notification feature.

“Reports suggest that last year over a 350,000 small businesses were started in the UK, and another claim that they contribute more than £1 billion in revenue – a core contribution to the economy,” continued Cebeci. “In order for these businesses to survive and grow in what is still a tough economic climate, we understand that good communication and connections are key to their success.

Skype in the Workspace is available to all users from today.

Skype in the Workspace

Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock