Phil Windley is talking about IM in the Enterprise and says something a bit stange:

I've been wanting an enterprise IM tool for some time, but couldn't justify the cost. Now, its part of Groupwise, so that helps the ROI considerably.

I'm wondering what the costs really are. Given that the software (Jabber) is free on both the client and server, what's left? Deployment? That's a one-time cost that's no higher than deploying any other softwrae. Training? IM software isn't terribly complex (compared to Word or Excel). Many already use IM at home thanks to AOL, Microsoft, or Yahoo. The less technically inclined can always ask their kids for help. :-)

We use it all the time at work, but we are Yahoo (or are we borg?). So we're eating our own dog food. It has been an indespensible tool for a long time. It sure beats the phone when you don't know if someone it working at home, at another desk, and so on. Heck, the even without the M part of IM, the presence services alone are quite handy. You can convey a lot of information with a 40-60 character "status" message like, "At lunch--back around 1pm" or "Fixing critical bugs---don't disturb!"

If I was still at my old job, I'm sure some of us would be using some sort of IM tool to keep track of each other. Come to think of it, we were already toying around with ICQ when I left 3 years ago. Amusingly, we had to resort to some funky tricks to make it work with the corporate firewall, but that wouldn't an issue today. We would just run our own (internal) Jabber server.

Posted by jzawodn at December 14, 2002 10:02 PM

Reader Comments
# john said:

We have been using AIM in my group for a couple of years. All of our key vendors and consultants are on it too and it is invaluable to us.

Corporate IT implemented IM over Exchange Server which uses MSN so we have that running too for internal IMing, but I don't like asking outsiders to use MSN for their IM tool so for now we are running rogue on AIM.

on December 15, 2002 06:45 AM
# kasia said:

Heck, we've had meetings via AIM.. I just don't understand companies that purposely block employees from using aim.. it's an invaluable communication tool.

on December 15, 2002 07:17 AM
# Dan de Isaacs said:

Z, the stock traders were all using IM clients to talk to each other. it was already a valuable business tool, even 3 years ago.

I really need to take some action and get Jabber working.

on December 15, 2002 06:37 PM
# Ask Bjoern Hansen said:

Yeah, IM is great for keeping up with people you work with. I use Jabber for most things and AIM for some groups that just don't want to know better.

At $former_workplace we used (er, they probably still use) IRC a lot. A bunch of us worked not-in-the-office there, so it was great for keeping the water cooler feel. I wish the Jabber clients had better conferencing.

- ask

on December 16, 2002 04:08 AM
# Charles Miller said:

You know you should really go back to bed when you see a blog entry entitled "IM in the Enterprise", and your first thought is "Well, they just used those little badge things to talk to each other, didn't they?"

on December 17, 2002 11:37 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.