I’ve heard people talking about businesses making more use of instant messaging – legitimately that is, not for asking your colleague on the ground floor to pop out and get you a Cornetto…
AOL obviously think there’s something to it, as they’re releasing "AIM Pro" as an enhanced IM solution for businesses and includes security, online meeting functions, and integration with Outlook’s calendar and directory. It also allows integration with WebEx voice and videoconferencing services.
AIM Pro will let people use their professional email address as their screen name (yay, lots of spam at work) – or I guess they could still use more ‘hip’ tags like ‘BobTheBigBoss’ or ‘SamSexySecretary’ – hmmm maybe not, eh?
As you’ll know if you’ve tried the IM offerings from the big three,
interoperability is the main problem. Microsoft and Yahoo have recently
joined their IM networks, which is a step in the right direction, but
no word on whether AOL are prepared to join in.
AIM Pro will be able to tap into some 80 million users through AOL AIM, ICQ and Apple’s iChat.
I think American companies, where 90% of the workforce are reported to
use some form of IM software, albeit uncontrolled, are some way ahead
of us here.
Do you think IM would catch on in your workplace? Do you already use it for real work?