The End Of Enterprise Focused IM

from the nice-try-there... dept

It looks like the major instant messaging players are now realizing that so-called “enterprise IM” wasn’t making much sense. In the past few years, both AOL and Yahoo had announced enterprise-focused IM products that tried to build off the success of their free public IM products. The idea was that companies would need more secure instant messaging offerings, as well as transcript logging functionality for regulatory compliance. However, most people quickly realized that either those enterprise-only IM products didn’t work with existing IM offerings (defeating the purpose of talking to anyone outside the office) or were simply too expensive for features that didn’t seem worth the money (or that could be easily replicated in other ways). So, it’s no real surprise to see both AOL and Yahoo basically drop out of the enterprise IM business. In both cases, it appears very few companies were impacted, because so few used the products they already offered.

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Comments on “The End Of Enterprise Focused IM”

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Nonesuch (user link) says:

What problems do these offerings solve?

There is a limited need for “corporate” IM, however I haven’t seen any offerings that fill this need without an excessive price tag ($10-$15 per seat per year) and a very soft ROI.

The top considerations for corps for IM are the same as for email — identity management, reliability, automatic enforcement of retention policies, and (to a lesser extent) keeping internal conversations internal.
TMK, the “enterprise edition” offerings from each the various popular Internet IM solutions tended to do a lousy job filling these requirements.

IMHO, for most big corporations a well-tuned enterprise Exchange deployment with Outlook clients and blackberry handhelds is close enough to “IM” to keep the average white collar worker productive.

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