Skype in the Workplace can be used to book appointments with potential customers and suppliers

Microsoft offers free Skype platform to small businesses

Microsoft’s new online platform, Skype in the Workplace (SITW), aims to help entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses promote their services.

The free-to-use platform intends to enable small businesses to promote their products and services to Skype users.

After a six-month beta trial, SITW has now officially launched. The service can be used to improve existing connections and establish new ones by instantly sending messages and talking to or meeting face-to-face with peers and business prospects over Skype.

"With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small-business community," said Ural Cebeci, head of SMB marketing at Skype.

"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. 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 can join SITW with their existing Skype accounts, then through a series of promotional tools, can create public ‘offers’ and ‘opportunities’ inviting community members to live sessions on Skype. Users can also book appointments with potential customers and suppliers and use the notification service to keep track of them all.

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