The Rebirth Of Enterprise Focused Chat?
from the it's-baaaaaaaaaaack dept
It really does seem, these days, that all those old internet ideas that failed are suddenly coming back -- sometimes making the same mistakes they did the first time around. There definitely are some improvements, but it's not clear why people keep hyping up what has already failed as being new and innovative without explaining why it's different this time. The latest area to see this is in enterprise chat. It was only a year and a half ago, of course, that we noted that enterprise chat was dead. Yahoo and AOL had both decided to shelve highly touted, but little used, products in the space. Yet, here we are, at the beginning of 2006, hearing stories about how excited AOL is to be getting into the enterprise chat business, in a partnership with Webex. Meanwhile, we see startups trying to get into the space as well with buzz-generating products like 37 Signals' Campfire. It's true that these products do tend to offer a few different features -- but there isn't much indication how much of that is worth paying for, which is the business model being used. Everyone seems to be banking on security and collaboration as the two pegs for enterprise chat -- however, neither were that compelling in the past. The real issue, however, is that many people have figured out that existing, free, solutions are good enough to get the job done -- and have the added benefit of the network effects of people already using them. That's not to say there isn't some wonderful solution that won't come along and convince us all why we need to shell out for enterprise chat -- but so far, no one even seems to be trying to do any convincing. They just seem to think that if they say it's for businesses, then those businesses will come running.