Skype Bounces Back with Critical Business Moves
Skype (news, site) didn't have the best 2009, but recent moves suggest the VoIP platform is aiming to make an impressive comeback. In addition to filing for an IPO, both a notable partnership and a new CEO are paving the way for success. 

Going Public

Skype kicked off their string of moves by filing for an IPO in August: 

Approximately 37% of over 40,000 of our connected users surveyed in the first quarter of 2010 told us that they use our product platform occasionally or often for business-related purposes. We believe there is a significant opportunity to better serve the communications needs of the small and medium enterprise segment, as well as larger enterprise customers, by focusing on user needs in this market and developing additional products specifically tailored to business users.

The company went on to discuss its plan to offer business-focused products, as well as grow its business sales team and launch partnerships. Behold Skype's domino effect: 

From Cisco to Skype

Tony Bates of Cisco (Senior Vice President and General Manager of Ciscos Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Group) is taking Josh Silverman's place as Skype's CEO. According to his professional profile, Bates’ Cisco group had US$ 20 billion in revenue and 12,500 employees. Skype’s annual revenue is about one-twentieth of that.

Partnership with Avaya

Next, a partnership with a sizable unified communications company called Avaya. The resulting deal outlines the integration of Avaya's Aura systems with Skype in the second half of 2011, but this isn't just about gaining technology-- Avaya happens to be one of Cisco's main competitors. 

Learning Opportunities

Skype Channel Partner Program

Last month, the company also launched a channel program to train and certify systems integrators. This sort of plan falls in line with the above IPO statement by giving Skype bigger presence among small and mid-sized businesses.

The Shark Tank

All in all, it's looking like a great comeback for a company that fell victim to a custody-like battle just last year.

Meanwhile, the competition awaits. Though the last rumor we heard was about Cisco's alleged plans to purchase Skype, the platform's deal with Avaya sticks a big fat thorn in that design. Assuming their market cap climbs to a comfortable place, Skype could look into some shopping of their own. " could almost see the company buying Polycom," wrote Larry Dignan of ZDNet. "That deal would put Skype-Polycom in a collaboration league dominated by Cisco and Avaya."

In any case, it's apparent that Skype means business. Check out their latest offerings here