Skype Journal Test

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ashim Roy: What Skype means to me

On the occasion of Skype's fifth birthday, Skype Journal will publish a series on "What Skype Means To Me." You are invited to email your essay or short thoughts to

Dr. Ashim Roy is India Country Head for Stoke Networks, providing local support to network operators in the region. Dr. Roy sent this post called "Skyping at Stoke - Keeping the fire alive."

While happily Skyping away, we often forget to thank the team that created Skype. Some good things in life are still free.

I am heading a small energetic band 20+ networking professionals and we are developing a product to enable better quality of service in broadband networks. My team is in Bangalore, India and the other team is in Santa Clara, CA. Skype has become lifeline for us as we are using Skype extensively for better communications between the team members and that too at no cost. I still have a cell phone and I am certain that within next couple of years I will be using voice Skyping over my cell phone. I am sure you have heard of all this before so it may not be very exciting. However, let me tell you a story which will give you a feel for why we love Skype.

About 3 weeks ago, our equipment was in Japan for an equipment trial. We had one engineer in Tokyo and rest of the team was spread between Santa Clara and Bangalore. Time difference between Santa Clara and Bangalore is 11.5 hours and time difference between Tokyo and Bangalore is 3.5 hours.

Anyway, I received a Skype message around noon in Tokyo (night time in CA) that the software had some problems. We had a Skype session set up between our engineer at customer site in Tokyo and our engineers in Bangalore, who started looking at the error messages (which were cut-n-pasted) into the Skype chat session with a simultaneous Skype voice call. The problem was that we did not have any equipment in Bangalore to replicate the problem so we needed someone to transfer messages showing up on the screen in Tokyo site.

In the mean time, we woke up one of the engineers in CA and included him in the chat session. In about 3 hours we were able to figure out the problem and 2 more hours later we had a patch sent to the engineer in Tokyo before the end of the day. Customer was really blown away by the global cooperation and speed of execution. That evening, I took the team out for a drink and I toasted “Skype” for the success.

Thanks for best communications tool to date.

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