Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Take a deep breath

If you're like me, when someone sends you an email about some sort of business competition you usually hit delete faster than you can say Skype. Well, a few months ago I got an email about the First Skype for Business Competition.

For once, instead of thrashing it, I thought... hang on we can win this! We use Skype all the time, for everything, and it helps make our business run so efficiently across Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

And today Skype's regional PR agency Upstream Asia sent a press release confirming my first thoughts -- we won! (release below)

Winners demonstrate how Skype enriches their business communications

Singapore August 12, 2009: Skype has announced the winners of the first Skype for Business Competition, which puts the spotlight on how companies can use Skype for cost-effective communications around the world.

The month-long competition - launched to celebrate the new look for the Skype for Business portal ( was open to companies in the Asia Pacific, EMEA and Americas regions. The judges looked not only at the creativity and originality of how Skype is being used, but also the range of Skype features used and the geographic spread of their use. Entries were judged based on the following criteria :

Creativity and originality of submission and use of Skype (50%)
Range of Skype features used (20%)

Geographic spread of Skype usage (20%)
Clarity of case study (10%)

Prizes include bespoke Skype solutions for first place winners, along with Skype Credit and Skype Certified hardware.

The winning companies in Asia Pacific, who best demonstrated how they are saving time, saving money and staying ahead by using Skype, are as follows:

First Place: Lighthouse Independent Media, Singapore – An international publishing company that has made Skype an integral part of its daily editorial and production processes.

Second Place: RareJob, Japan – A company delivering more than 2,000 English conversation lessons via Skype each day.

Third Place: Rusty, Australia – An international surfwear and apparel brand that uses Skype to enable close collaboration between its employees around the world.

And here's what they said about us:

Lighthouse Independent Media: A publishing company with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur uses Skype to operate seamlessly across borders. Lighthouse Independent Media uses Skype as an everyday communications tool to keep all offices and all people in all offices connected throughout the day. In addition to the conversations and file sharing capabilities, Skype is used in the three market morning news conferences held between the different editorial teams as well as a medium to address the entire company over Skype via speakers. Apart from work purposes, Skype is also used to celebrate birthdays across geographic markets. They even had a two office bar night via video Skype- making it a tool that is used effectively to balance work and play!

Nice bit of mid-week news for us but in the spirit of Web 2.0 -- let's keep the conversation going with comments on how we can use internet companies like Skype to drive business forward.

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