IM's Missing Link Could Ease The Workflow

from the does-this-all-make-sense? dept

Among the various technologies I'm skeptical about, you can put corporate instant messaging and unified messaging near the top of the list. However, if the technologies are actually integrated well, there are some interesting possibilities. I've always said that corporate instant messaging doesn't benefit the end user at all (it just makes it worse). The only people it might benefit (and even that's questionable) is corporate IT staffs. However, this latest completely integrated offering gives some ideas of the more advanced features that might make companies find value in moving to a corporate IM solution. By integrating the IM with email and the phone, it has the potential to be a real productivity tool - if people actually use it. I'm on the fence, though, as to whether or not people will actually use it. It adds a layer of complexity to how you communicate, and it also will be seen by many as a way to for execs to spy on you during your workday. Plus, at $400/seat, it's on the insanely pricey side. If these features are really useful, others will develop them in the various free instant messaging offerings out there.
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  • identicon
    Glenn, 17 Jun 2003 @ 11:59am

    No Subject Given

    I don't know if I agree with you on this one, Mike. At least at my conglomerate, I think IM could be a useful tool. Currently, we use (1) an old phone system with non-caller-ID phones and (2) groupwise email, which is notoriously slow. It takes 10 seconds or thereabouts to lookup the phone number of one of our 10,000 management employees.

    So if I need someone, I can either walk over to their cube, which is slow and not always fruitfull, or call them - which is always slow and can on occasion crash my computer.

    If I had IM, and could have the people who I work closely with on some quick-reference directory, I think it would save me some time and increase both productivity and our daily interaction.

    But if you tied IM into Groupwise, well it's just an extension of our current issues.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 17 Jun 2003 @ 12:06pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Ah, you miss my point. I have nothing against IM in the corporation. I think that's very useful. It's the separate corporate IM applications that I have a problem with.

      Using IM in a corporate setting is very useful... but is it worth spending $400/seat, when you can just get everone to download Yahoo instant messenger?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Glenn, 17 Jun 2003 @ 12:46pm

        Re: No Subject Given

        Yes, I did miss your point. And no, I wouldn't spend $400 seat for something I can get for free. I leave that kind of decision making to the gov't.

        Over and out.

        -G

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2003 @ 1:37pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Have you loked at GroupWise instant messenger ?

      and for an address book their eGuide product...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Glenn, 17 Jun 2003 @ 3:58pm

        Re: No Subject Given

        No, while intrigued, I have not. But given that it takes several forms and days just to get the currently available applications installed on one of our user's workstations, I'm a bit daunted when faced with the installation of a new piece of software. I think my 5 year old computer is a bit intimidated too. (It might 3 years old, but whichever... too old)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2003 @ 6:27pm

    the problem with IM

    is that it's a conversation.
    You might IM someone to get some information and go back to work, but you might also get the information, and then someone will say "hey, how was that thing you did this weekend?" which will waste a lot of time.
    And worst of all-- you have to take measures to save and organize your conversations.
    Email is superior to IM in every work related way-- except goofing off.
    I'm not above goofing off, but I prefer email for work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 17 Jun 2003 @ 6:38pm

      Re: the problem with IM

      While I agree that there is a risk with IM of it extending into a "conversation", there are also other benefits that extend beyond email. Mostly these are around the idea of presence, letting people know if someone else is around and available. Instead of having to check in and see, it's easier to just check your IM status.

      Also, email can be unweildy for certain bits of information that require a back-and-forth. I much prefer to use IM for those types of issues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lee, 18 Jun 2003 @ 7:54am

        Re: the problem with IM

        I think something that is overlooked about IM in business, is the interpersonal relationship value. I think it can be more valuable than email in helping people get to know one another across geography- more personality shows through.

        Of course, that may mean goofing off more- but it may also mean more loyalty to a company. Studies have shown that relationships with co-workers are high on the list of reasons to stay.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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